IKAMVA YOUTH Outreach and Educational Experience - Hiking Cape Town South Africa
On the 13th of October, Trailblazers Hiking Club spent the day taking IkamvaYouth South Africa into the great outdoors. This is an organisation that provides a safe space for learners to be after class ends, where they receive help with their homework and a host of other services and support to ensure they succeed.
IkamvaYouth is HOME to learners who often come from difficult environments and when they enter Ikamva Youth's doors they receive the seldom feeling of being noticed and valued. At Ikamva Youth, learners are validated and celebrated for who they are and as celebrating individuality and accepting and embracing who we are lies close to the Trailblazers hearts, we thought this would be a perfect opportunity to get involved.
With many of these teens having never had the chance to experience the trails that are available right in their backyards, we wanted to give them the opportunity to explore nature for themselves, teach them more about mountain safety, environmental responsibility and educate them on the opportunities that our mountains have to offer.
It was a beautiful Saturday morning were we met up with 12 incredible boys and girls from Ikamva Youth at Silvermine Nature Reserve ready for a fun-filled day of adventure. Thanks to some great brands getting involved it would be a day full of surprises! Starting with some delicious refreshments sponsored by Royal Juice, yummy biltong from Buy Fresh and our friends at Under Armour South Africa also providing some awesome tops for everyone. So with our snacks packed and everyone geared up in our kits, we had a quick stretch and set off on our adventure.
We started off with our moderately easy hike, spotting the reservoir after just a few meters and sharing some of its rich history with the group. With the dam being quite breath-taking from this viewpoint there was a bustle of activity with many of the teens not having been aware of its existence. With spirits high, there were numerous pit stops to take pictures and admire the various elements that nature has to offer.
As we ventured on at a steady pace there was a constant flow of laughter as everyone awed at the unfamiliar surroundings and shared their stories. From floral and snake lovers to dreaming of being the next big thing on our TV screens, we had a variety of personalities and individuals in the group. There was no lack of inspiration to be taken from these teens who are all working towards achieving their dreams and succeeding despite their circumstances.
With everyone having found their rhythm with nature, we started the final climb towards Elephant’s eye. There was awe and wonder in everyone’s eyes as they took in the Southern Suburbs far below and the False bay coastline south of our viewpoint. As we reached a stream flowing over the path we all took the opportunity to have a taste of the fresh mountain water, which of course, was the perfect opportunity for further education on our water as well as a mini photoshoot right in the heart of what mother.
As we reached Elephants Eye the excitement built with everyone taking in the wonder of just how immense the cave actually is in size. It was a well earned break for some after meandering through the reserve so we spent some time enjoying the shade that the cave has to offer sharing stories of the eye and the myths behind its name all while enjoying our snacks and drinks.
With everyone having enjoyed the break we started packing up and getting ready to make our way back down to the dam where we had one last surprise in store for them!
We ended the day with some delicious flap jacks made fresh right on the banks of the dam. Everyone happily chatted away about their experience and what the highlights of the day were while enjoying their flap jacks. One thing is for sure, this was the perfect Saturday filled with laughter, new experiences, learning about pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones and appreciating what nature has to offer. This was an unforgettable day and we hope that there will be many more to come in the near future.
If you would like to find out more about this amazing programme or would like to get involved, please feel free to visit: http://ikamvayouth.org/