The thief left it behind: the moon at my window - Ryokan

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Dear Friends

During school time life is fairly structured for my 12 year old son, Neville. There's the morning at school, extra murals in the afternoons and homework, leaving an hour or two to do various chores and follow his interests.

Now its the holidays... and the thing which is catching my attention right now is:
Holidays, children and what they do with their time.

When i look around my sense is that its all too easy for children to have caretakers in the form of TV, computer and/or playstation games, movies and the likes. I also sense my dilemma may be fairly universal and there may be a crying need for attention in this area. Though I don't know how it is in other countries.

From what I see, my 12 year olds interests are music and the computer, seconded by spending time with friends. We don't have a TV otherwise it would most certainly be on the Must Do list. Parents are definitely NOT cool, so the days of organising shared activities are in the past (and future) to a large degree.

The 1st few days of the holiday are about unwinding and simply enjoying relative freedom. Our end of year holidays in South Africa continue for over a month and children (of all ages) often start complaining about being bored when not provided with something to keep them occupied.

My sense is that no one seems to be coming up with a solution. This has got me thinking of starting a holiday project, something which will include children of all ages (possibly children forming age related activity groups). Also something which will help people in some way, so the activity becomes a means of growing awareness while simultaneously being entertaining and creative. My thoughts are still unformed - but fairly persistent.

One thought I had; there are many mothers and children on our street corners begging for money which is really heart breaking and another area where no one seems to know what to do - after all it's been going on for years. I thought it may be a good idea to somehow get involved with one or two families like this. But i'm unsure of the logistics and know this is just one possibility.

At this point I'd like to open this conversation up and hear from you. Please share your ideas, experiences, anything else you think of

With deep gratitude
Wishing you and yours a blessed year ending and new beginnings

1 comment:

hele said...

dear anna,

(its me helena)

for a long time now I have been thinking of starting a environmental education project with children at our small holding in linbro - 15 minutes from both sandton and edenvale and across the road from alex. There is a great book by roger hart ( on how to get children involved in research programs where they themselves decide through a democratic process what they want to research and how they can implement their findings in their environment.

I am also in the process of completing the deep democracy process ( which looks at ways in which to include the wisdom of the minority within the majority decision.

Lastly I have joined the Jane Goodhall roots and shoots initiative ( which "create awareness amongst youngsters on key issues such as the environment, animals and helping communities in need"

Now I am ready to start putting together a group but I have no idea where to start and I would love someone to collaborate with.

I'm keen to hear what do you think?

my email helena (at) opensynergy (dot) co (dot) za

ps. I am experiencing some difficulty joining the self acceptance gaia group so have posted my reply to your lovely invitation to introduce myself on my blog
( )