New | In the sign of the planet & its children
Next-Gen-Jewellery-brand mandana and laboratory diamond manufacturer Nevermined build classrooms for more
(self-)awareness in South Africa
- In collaboration with the non-profit organisation Earthchild Project, a feel-good space was created for over 1,100 children in Khayelitsha, one of South Africa’s largest townships
- Yoga, meditation, healthy eating & mindfulness exercises strengthen schoolchildren emotionally and mentally for better future prospects
- Supermodel Nadine Mirada: „incredibly great way to take responsibility as a brand and really make a difference“
In Khayelitsha, the second largest township in Cape Town, South Africa, almost 1 million people live in a very small area. Their everyday lives are often characterised by a lack of supplies and hunger, violence, a lack of education and unemployment – which only drives up crime rates. A staggering 85% of young people in the townships of South Africa have no employment, making their fate seem predetermined.
One organisation that has been fighting to make a difference since 2007 is the Earthchild Project. The non-profit organisation, founded by Janna Kretzmar, supports underserved schools with programmes and free lessons. But not in maths, English or physics: the dedicated volunteers at the Earthchild Project teach schoolchildren how to treat the environment with respect, eat healthily and treat themselves and each other with love. The curriculum includes yoga and meditation, organic gardening, closeness to nature, mindfulness and teaching values. A healthy meal is also included – often the only meal of the day for the children.
Moved and inspired by Janna Kretzmar’s work, bestselling author, podcaster and mindset coach Laura Malina Seiler founded the German EarthChild e.V. together with her and nine other members at the end of 2022 to publicise the project in Germany and around the world. The beginning of a journey that crossed the path of mandana and Nevermined shortly afterwards.
Christine Seifert, Founder and CEO of mandana and Nevermined:
We were in the middle of launching our jewellery brand mandana and our laboratory diamond production Nevermined when we got to know the Earthchild Project,” reports the founder. „From the very first moment, we were incredibly moved by the team’s value-orientated commitment. We make our premium jewellery exclusively with recycled gold and lab-grown diamonds and have founded our own diamond production company, Nevermined, in Essen, Germany, because we are aware of the devastating impact of of open-cast diamond mining on people and the environment. A large part of this takes place in Africa. We work every day to produce diamond jewellery transparently, fairly and ethically in order to protect the people and nature in precisely these areas. We therefore quickly realised that we wanted to support the work of the NPO.“
„I am beautiful, I am strong, I am awesome” – your own classroom in South Africa
Built by Earthchild Project, financed and supported by mandana and Nevermined, the first dedicated classroom was opened in October 2023 for use by over 1,100 schoolchildren in Khayelitsha. „Previously, when we held our yoga classes and meditation sessions, they took place under a tarpaulin on a dusty floor“, says Janna Kretzmar. „The children see the school as a safe space. Now they can finally do that in the truest sense of the word! Many of them have never entered such a solid, spacious and beautifully designed room. With over 96 square metres of space, we finally have enough room to free our minds from the stresses and strains of everyday life. And even for 40 yoga mats sponsored by Nevermined and mandana. We can also train our teachers here in peace and quiet.“ In addition to yoga, meditation, affirmations, healthy eating and mindfulness exercises, the children also love the Worm Farm. In large boxes, they use worm excrement to produce organic fertiliser to grow their own vegetables. „It’s so nice to see our work bearing fruit“, enthuses Janna Kretzmar. „The older children are already holding breathing exercises for the younger ones. In future, this will take place in our classroom.“
Nadine Mirada: „A sign of social responsibility“
In addition to the team around founder Christine Marhofer, brand ambassador Nadine Mirada also travelled to the opening in October. Since the launch in 2023, the Austrian top model has already walked the red carpet for mandana and Nevermined in Cannes and shot jewellery collections in her favourite city, Venice. When she’s not posing for the covers of international fashion magazines, she advocates body positivity, social and environmental responsibility, naturalness, authenticity and diversity in front of her 500,000+ Instagram followers. In South Africa, she was able to experience the social commitment she shares with her partner brands live. „The new Nevermined and Mandana classroom is not only a real enrichment for the children, as you can see from the countless shining eyes here, but also a symbol of how to assume social responsibility as a brand. An incredibly great way to really make a difference! I could hardly be prouder to accompany mandana and Nevermined as a brand ambassador“, emphasises Nadine Mirada.