Beyond Expectations: A Hike for Meaning…

Earlier in May, I spent a Saturday hiking with a group of kids from Khayelitsha. This would be their first time on Table Mountain. Accompanied by Olwethu and Nomvuyo, two enthusiastic junior leaders and our guides, we hiked from Constantia Nek. It was a gloomy, wet and cold Saturday, but regardless of the weather, everyone was very amped to go up the mountain.

Even though Table Mountain is an iconic landmark, many people from surrounding Cape Town townships, including these kids, have never had the opportunity to stand on top of the mountain. Beyond Expectation Environmental Project (BEEP) have taken it upon themselves to change this status quo among disadvantaged young people.

Founded by Lindela Mjenxane in 2005, BEEP’s main focus is on environmental education ans conservation, but more than that, it realises that it is very hard to teach township kids about respecting and protecting the environment of they have never experienced nature. This access to nature has created space where the kids have the opportunity for self-reflection; it has a positive influence on their outlook, and builds pride for Table Mountain.

This group of kids are also part of Rainbow Dreams Trust’s ‘To Be a Child Again’ club. RDT is a sister organisation to BEEP and does incredible work through guiding and mentoring children from various Cape Town townships. For more information on such incredible work go ahead and check out Beyond Expectation Environmental Project and Rainbow Dreams Trust.

It was heart-warming and beautiful to have had this experience. The feeling of joy and accomplishment when we got to the top was worth it!

 

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the kids making sure that their packs are ready before they get they hike briefing

 

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Some of of inspiration given by Olwethu before the hike commences

 

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Nomvuyo is a junior leader. She recently matriculated and would like to continue her studies in the field of biology.

 

two paths lie ahead. One is to the left, it is easy but long. The other is right above, although it is shorter it is way more challenging. The challenge was accepted
two paths lie ahead. One is to the left, it is easy but long. The other is right above, although it is shorter it is way more challenging. The challenge was accepted

 

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Lindela, the founder and coordinator of BEEP, teaching the kids about the environment and the importance of nature conservation. They are tasked with coming up with green solution for issues facing their schools.

 

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it may have been gloomy weather, but determination was in the air

 

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Olwethu, another passionate junior leader. He knows his role is crucial to the development of these kids, and hopes that he is a great mentor.

 

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the youngest of the group
the youngest of the group

 

half way point, these kids still intent in listening
Half way point, these kids still intent in listening

 

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we made it all the way to the top... just in time to take shelter at the rest camp... anly a few moments after the wind picked up and heavy rain poured down.
We made it all the way to the top… just in time to take shelter at the rest camp… Only a few moments after the wind picked up and heavy rain poured down.

 

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In the end fun was had by all
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2 thoughts on “Beyond Expectations: A Hike for Meaning…

  1. It was such a pleasuRe having an opportunity to have a hike with you, being eager enough to wake up on that cold and rainy Saturday. Sacrifised your time and I even remember you were working the following day. Its not as easy task having to guide children to the top of Table Mountain but its worth being able to be patient and know how to motivate them so they do not panic. I hope there are better chances that you would one day attend other hikes.

    Liked by 1 person

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