Tarryn Day, 31, of Table View, has started The Little Earthlings Club with the hope of creating a greener future for children.
Ms Day has been in the teaching and au pair fields since 2008, which inspired her passion for working with children.
She has always found joy in teaching and mentoring children, she says.
On Saturday September 18, International Coastal Clean-up Day, she gathered children from surrounding communities to clean up the Bloubergstrand beachfront. It was the second beach clean-up she has held for the month.
The children, aged 2 to 15, and some of them joined by their parents, were each issued gloves and a plastic bag, and they started their clean-up at 10am. Each child also received a branded wristband with their name and parents’ cell phone number in case they got lost.
At the end of the event, each child was given badge for taking part. They were also given cupcakes and a puzzle made out of dried mango fruit pieces.
Ms Day has the idea of “changing the world,” starting with youth, by raising environmental awareness and teaching them humanitarian values.
“The aim is to teach children to be kind, have empathy for others and take care of the planet because they are the future,” she said.
The ultimate goal for The Little Earthlings Club non-profit is to reach as many children as possible, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, and to teach them about environmental issues.
Ms Day has teamed up with Shelanti Private School, a remedial school in Parklands, where she encourages the pupils to live a greener lifestyle.
Deirdre Kempen, the school’s principal, said the pupils were excited about joining The Little Earthlings Club as it was a non-competitive programme that boosted their confidence.
The pupils were passionate about making a difference, especially in their community, and they looked forward to getting a badge for joining a clean-up.
“This initiative is run beautifully and the children look forward to the next initiative,” said Ms Kempen.
Yolande Smith, of Flamingo Vlei, took her son, Elijah,5, to the first beach clean-up on Saturday September 4. She said he “felt like a superhero” and had been very keen to take part in more clean-ups, including the one last Saturday.
“Elijah has learnt a lot about the ocean at school and has applied his knowledge to the beach clean-ups,” she said.
Parents can sign their children up to join The Little Earthlings Club at no cost, but those wanting to donate to the initiative can email Ms Day at email@example.com or find them on Facebook for more information.