Project WILD aims to take kids and young adults from all backgrounds into nature. In an era of classroom and office imprisonment, screen slaves, social domestication, extreme violence, emotional disconnection and the growing research around the detrimental consequences of Nature Deficit Disorder; Warrior Youth believes that nature holds the keys to breaking free the ‘inner Warrior’ — the authentic self who holds the power to affect positive change. As the TED Talk by John Harri discussed, the very root of problems like substance abuse, unhappiness and violence stems from a lack of meaningful connection — in other words, they are social disorders. With this in mind, we design outdoor adventures that incorporate proven Eco-therapeutic tools to promote emotional and psychological development and exploration, autonomy and a sense of belonging and connection; to facilitate prevention and recovery from trauma and stress-related disorders. These tools embrace nature as a teacher, healer and metaphor for life and allow the space to become intimate with one’s own nature away from the distractions and triggers of daily living.
With the rise of obesity, depression, addiction, attention-deficit disorders and gang recruitment in Cape Town’s youth, we recognize the need for radical and innovative intervention for problems with consequences that effect every being independent of race, gender, class or even eye color. Through Project WILD, we aspire to revive the ‘Warrior spirit’ and reconnect people with themselves and others; to address problems that stem from a lack of intimacy so that we can empower and uplift Cape Town’s youth to #livetheirbestlives and work towards a safer, healthier and more inclusive South Africa.