Inspiring people to re-imagine their relationship to their world
  • Adopts a unique approach to programmes that acknowledges the importance of inner work and personal growth alongside ecological awareness as a vehicle for truly sustainable social transformation.
  • Facilitates initiatives that draw on indigenous knowledge systems, teachings and practices with a focus on rekindling a connection to the natural world.
  • Cultivates a culture of belonging through community building initiatives that bring youth and elders together to exchange perspectives and stories, practices and teachings.
  • Advocates principles of reciprocity and attentiveness to nature as one of the most transformative and long-lasting forms of cultural and environmental education.
A place where community, conservation and natural law can co exist


I feel happy when everything is growing and when I sell it. It keeps me young! Gardening has made me independent. I can buy what I want. I have what I need. I don’t need to steal or beg for a job. Young people can learn this too." – Phindiwe Hlawana (Women’s Gardening Co Op)

The visions shared on sustainability street food planting and handing down of knowledge were hopeful and inspiring.

Skill sharing, knowledge, wisdom, stories and meeting heart to heart were the order of both days, pre-workshop. The rounds of interviews highlighted the importance of building trust as well as the proof that this community had sustained themselves during a pandemic as hard though it may have been. The stories began to flow organically We learned how the pandemic had inspired more gardens, more fruit trees for children to one day eat from and a closer community with a shared vision of reciprocity. The elders are very keen and ready to pass on their wisdom, gardening, planting practices and knowledge. The cook, her food stories and recipes, the young to receive and learn from the elders and the ones in-between to pass their knowledge to the next generations and make commitments that serve the greater good, for a sustainable and thriving community- We laughed, and left uplifted, and that was just the walkabout!

"I just want to share my love of gardening with the children, so they can carry it forward." – Tata William

Read More

Leadership Program

"To lead is to bring my gifts to the world and to inspire others to do the same." - Angelique Michaels, RTO Graduate Leader

Meet our Graduated Leaders

Return to Origin's voice for the next generation

A rites of passage must be marked with a ceremony witnessed by the community.

These young men and women have completed a 3 year program in returning to their origin.  Through deep nature connection, rigorous inner work, reflection and creative projects they have received direct hands on lived experience essential to Indigenous Knowledge Leadership Programs.

They have tracked with the Khomani San Bushmen, walked the Umfolozi trail, studied san rock paintings with Dr Jeanette deacon, Craig Foster and Leon Lewis has worked with them as a guide to their original signature and Anna Breytenbach provided animal communication training.

They have served underserved communities around Cape Town through our Guardians for Nature program, providing day long trainings to reconnect young people to nature.  Through Return to Origin's Trees for Tomorrow project they have along with the community planted nearly a 100 trees.  We have witnessed unique transformation when inner and outer work are a parallel process often overlooked by most leadership programs. 

We celebrate the next steps of their journey.

Read More


“A sustainable civilization can only exist if reciprocity remains a core value.”
– Theodore Richards.

Where does your investment go?

Builds sustainable systems, and healthy communities, where the issue of well-being and self-worth are at the heart of our project designs.

Drawing on indigenous knowledge systems, with a focus on cultivating a connection to the land and nature we offer powerful transformative and long-lasting forms of cultural and environmental education often omitted in leadership programs.

Assists our leaders to give back to the next generations,  establishing a reciprocity where an understanding of our rich heritage and legacy is deeply rooted.  Guardians for Nature Project

Invitation to Collaborate - we welcome your collaboration opportunities.
Please contact us:

Copyright © 2021 Return to Origin | All Rights Reserved
 Powered by ERC Design
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram