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In 2014 a pilot project was implemented to research the impacts of Integral Yoga on the children and their families. This took place at Village Tods Educare in Garden Village, Maitland, Cape Town, South Africa. The study included the Educare Principal, teachers and 30 children.

The findings of the research showed that:

  • children are more relaxed and calm
  • children are developing self-regulating behaviour
  • children are speaking in full sentences
  • children are using tools, such as breathing when angry, at home.

As a result of these positive outcomes, it was decided by the Educare that there should be an introduction of a parent/teacher yoga class.

Based on parents’ observation of the positive results, the parents themselves have requested the introduction of community yoga classes.

Outcome of Case Study research in community

Having qualitative results of the impact of Integral Yoga on the children at Village Todds Educare, it was later discovered by the Trust that children in Grades 1 and 2 at the local school nearby were struggling with writing their name, reading, motor co-ordination, overall developmental delays and experiencing traumatic emotional challenges. These children reside in Garden Village and had not received any foundation years of stimulation and development.

This led to house-to-house visits in Garden Village, where homes in the community were randomly visited, with the astonishing discovery that there were up to five children in a home between the ages of 0 and 6 years, staying at home all day and unable to attend any Early Childhood Programmes as a result of the unaffordability to pay fees. This discovery indicated that there was a dire need for an Early Childhood Programme to be established to serve these children. Parents of these children were unemployed or single and many lived as back-yard dwellers. The only educare in this community is Village Tods Educare and this facility is unaffordable for these residents.

It is for this reason that the Ananda Kutir Education Trust has embarked upon establishing a Children of Light Educare for these children of Garden Village, Maitland, who have unjustifiably been deprived of basic education in their foundational years, as a result of poverty.

Objectives

1) Free, quality education for all children regardless of gender, race, disability, creed, religion and social background with an emphasis on under privileged communities

2) A curriculum based on and infused with living values of Integral Yoga

3) A school where the classroom is a sacred, safe and loving environment

4) A school which nurtures and brings out the innate divinity of each child

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