What the children say
Contact Us

TWENTY THOUSAND DRUMS and LITTLE GURUS in partnership have created a BEATS & BREATHING FOR HEALING initiative to implement in schools in South Africa.
Due to the present teaching situation, which is in a state of crisis with poor physical education in schools around the country, most children are not getting enough daily exercise and physical stimulation. Our initiative provides two experiential and participatory activities, which give children tools that impact on them physically, mentally and emotionally, helping them develop fitness, self-confidence and self-discipline. Learners need to be exposed to various art forms in order to make informed choices, which in turn creates changes in attitude and builds a more civil society.


Due to socio-economic factors such as unemployment, HIV/AIDS and family displacement, our children & youth, especially those living in PDC’s, often do not have access to support systems and training opportunities. Our youth are often traumatised by the serious illness and death of primary caregivers and their resultant vulnerability exposes them to physical, sexual and emotional abuse. We have a high dropout rate amongst learners in these communities, which often lead to crime and substance abuse.

20 000 Drums is committed to cultural & music education, skills transfer, job creation and community development.

This project empowers learners and educators through playshop teaching drumming, traditional singing, and percussion. Affirming and instilling values is achieved through branding on the drums and positive poetry. In addition to donating the necessary drums to each school (300 Riempie drums plus facilitation drums and percussion instruments), we further ensure the project’s sustainability by selecting learners and educators to attend an advanced drumming, facilitators-training & team-building camp.
Drumming playshop foster teamwork, creativity, emotional healing and grounding, and are proven stress release and immunity enhancers. Poetry provides a platform for dealing with emotional issues.


20 000 Drums, is in partnership with
Department of Arts & Culture, creating
Social Cohesion, Moral Regeneration and Nation Building nationally. Criteria for this is based on targeting communities situated within ISRDP (Integrated sustainable rural development program) nodal areas. 2005 Road show included 6 provinces, 14 schools/ communities, 5825 learners, & training of 75 facilitators. 2 100 drums were distributed within the communities.

Our partnership includes our participation in national events such as Dept Education Ngoma Indigenous Music & Dance Festival. 16 Days of Activism Against Women & Child Abuse - opening & closing ceremonies.

A team of 4 facilitators attended the International Delphic Games held in Malaysia 1-7th September 2005. They received 2 gold medals for Traditional Instruments & Music, Cultural Music & Dance section of the games. The team facilitated 500 international delegates at the hand over of the flag from Malaysia to the Mayor of Johannesburg in preparation for South Africa hosting the International Junior Delphics in 2007.

20 000 Drums is the marketing, information distribution & training team for National Delphic Games, South Africa, national tour to begin in July 2006.

CC- Ck. 2003/041477/23, established 2003

Since 2003 Little Gurus has been teaching children in schools, studios and disadvantaged communities as well as AIDS orphanages.

We teach children fun exercises, brain balance techniques, postural awareness, how to calm the mind, breathing skills etc. A flexible body creates a flexible mind. Flexibility increases the flow of vitality, promotes energy and stimulates the circulation to the brain, improving memory skills, comprehension and general learning activities.

Our focus is to provide SA youth with the necessary tools to build confidence, encourage self-expression, promote positive changes in attitude and help them to nurture their potential.

In various experiences of teaching in townships, and disadvantaged communities, we are repeatedly deeply touched by the gratitude the children express for having the opportunity to learn body knowledge and yoga and we are amazed how quickly they respond.


In addition to being involved and associated with this unique initiative that really changes lives, we are offering the following opportunities:

· An effective Corporate Social Investment program.
· Experiential branding opportunity; drum, t-shirt, vehicle, banner branding.
· Extensive market exposure; target reach 15 000 learners & 1 250 educators.
· Project to be utilized as an in-house employee teambuilding program by employees attending the playshops in the township schools.
· PR opportunity and a platform for creating media-hype.

A number of marketing and branding opportunities are possible for discussion.


Our target audience, located in previously disadvantaged townships or rural communities and whose access to information & skills-training is limited, is:
1. Primary School learners,
2. High School learners,
3. Out-of School youth &
4. Educators

A large proportion of our beneficiaries will be youths who are orphaned and affected by HIV/AIDS.
The BEATS & BREATHING FOR HEALING initiative aims at reaching 15 000 children & youth and 1 250 educators in its initial 1 year program.


Health and Fitness - This is basic health care from the inside out in the form of physical exercise and breathing. The basis of all language is body language - we constantly overlook the fact that experience is a bodily phenomena - the importance of breathing -
breathing plays an important role, for only through breathing deeply & fully can one summon the energy for a more spirited life -Conscious breathing alone results in improved health and immunity.

Safety - A child will come to understand what it means to feel safe. As an adult s/he will hopefully have grown up with little or less experiences of trauma, gravitate towards safe choices and be a positive, constructive member of society.

Self-Awareness - The child becomes aware of her/ his interest, skill and vision; the adult has a readiness to actualise goals and dreams - a discerning and productive consumer.

Emotional Intelligence - The child learns to navigate his/ her emotional needs and matures into a compassionate citizen.

Moral regeneration - In this decade up to a third of children will grow up without their natural parents. Our innate spirit/ soul can play a part in our personal experience of parental guidance. Children who grow up taking care of their siblings, do not only need to be taught cooking, cleaning, sewing on a button, opening a bank account and how to conduct themselves in a work environment. They also need to cultivate the human potential of faith, intuition, resourcefulness, joy and generosity.


Drumming and Yoga both tie in with the new revised national curriculum statement and introduction of arts & culture as obligatory of the new education program.

Drumming and yoga

  • Introducing activities that embrace the spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional aspects of human endeavour as an integral part of life.
  • Developing creative and innovative individuals.
  • Assisting in furthering individual potential and enabling educators and learners to achieve to their maximum ability.
  • Developing creative thinking, and allowing learners to work effectively with others as members of a team and group.
  • Developing learners who are self confident, independent and multi-skilled and able to participate in society as active citizens.
  • Establishing, developing and promoting the creativity of educators and learners as a rich and productive resource.


  • Drumming provides access to Arts & Culture education for educators and learners as part of redressing historical imbalances and reaffirmation of indigenous knowledge systems.
  • A project that moves educators and learners from being passive inheritors of culture to being active participants.
  • Providing exposure to music and Heritage.
  • Develops an awareness of national culture to promote nation building.
  • Provides opportunities to develop usable skills, attitudes and values in Arts & Culture that can prepare learners for life, living and lifelong learning.
  • Develops entrepreneurial opportunities for dance/theatre/music performances.
  • Poetry promotes values important for personal development and also ensures the development of value-based national South African identity.
  • Inspire youths to use their drum skills as an opportunity for income generation within the tourism, entertainment & corporate sector
  • Cultivating talents for future job opportunities in the music & entertainment industries.


BEATS & BREATHING FOR HEALING aims to achieve within the learners:

  • Strengthened co-ordination & flexibility through specific exercises and movements.
  • Improved breathing patterns.
  • Self-respect, self-confidence and self-expression by their participating in new activities, which provide children the opportunity to achieve in something new.
  • Discipline, created through concentration and focus.
  • Teamwork through playing music together as a group.
  • Communication development through the experience of communicating through rhythm.
  • Balancing right & left brain hemispheres, which enhances logical, mathematical, scientific and the creative, artistic aspects of the individual.
  • Building immunity (researched higher production of T-cells)
  • Motivation & inspiration through mentorship.
  • Building stamina, stability and balance.
  • Skills development and training through advanced training camps.
  • Having fun and feeling positive.


The BEATS & BREATHING FOR HEALING initiative constitutes:
Phase 1

  • Three consecutive playshops per Primary or High School and includes the drumming and body awareness programs.
  • At the end of the third workshop an audition is held, in order to identify the leaders & learners who have the potential to be trained as facilitators.

Phase 2

  • The identified learners and educators attend a 4-day facilitators training, teambuilding and personal empowerment camp. During the 4 days the learners are provided with the necessary skills and tools to continue the ongoing playshop in the schools thereafter. (Various provinces are brought together for this camp, so as to further create cultural sharing & education).

Six schools are targeted per month with a training camp thereafter. Initially five provinces will be included – Gauteng, North West, Limpopo, Mpumalanga & Free State.

To ensure the sustainability of the project monthly communication and mentoring is provided. Individual and school reports are submitted on request.

Psychologist Sandee Daniell will be conducting academic research into the positive benefits of rhythm on the psyche of children.

The BEATS & BREATHING FOR HEALING initiative will run for 1-year, taking school holidays into consideration and plans to be an annual program.

BEATS & BREATHING FOR HEALING is all-women-managed and is backed by a team of trained community facilitators.

TWENTY THOUSAND DRUMS founder/director Samantha Skyring has considerable national and international management experience. She conceptualised 20 000 Drums and currently manages the overall project. She has been involved in community development since 2001.

LITTLE GURUS founder/director Coco Van Opens (RCYP cert.) has a BA from the Brooks Institute in California USA. She has studied Children’s Yoga in Italy (2003) and in North America (2004), is a ‘Radiant Child’ (RCYP 1 &2) certified teacher and has completed phase 1 of the YogaKids Certificate in Miami. She has also studied under two renowned American authors /children’s Yoga teachers: Shakta Kaur Khalsa ( and Jodi Komitor, New York (

She is also a qualified international adult Kundalini Yoga teacher (IKYTT level 1) and part of Level 2 (conscious communication).


Total no. of persons participated – 17 100
Facilitators trained – 138 learners, youth & educators
Drums distributed – 7310 5ltr Riempies

2003 - 6 week children’s body knowledge programs at the following schools:-

  • Saxonwold Primary,
  • St Theresa’s Mercy,
  • Nkosi’s Haven (aids orphanage).
  • St David’s Marist Brothers - grade 7 pupils (12-13 years).
    2004 – 2005
  • Weekly classes for children & adults at various studios.
  • Annually Coco teaches family Yoga with a swimming with dolphin’s initiative.
  • Collaboration with 20 000 Drums, 3 day playshop, in disadvantaged communities.


We kindly invite you to partner with BEATS & BREATHING FOR HEALING initiatives by funding this project.

· 50 schools – 150 playshops –15,000 learners
· Advanced training of facilitators – 300 Drumming and 200 Yoga
· Individually Tailored Budgets available on request


Contact: Samantha Skyring
Cell: +27 84 555 0239

Contact: Coco Van Oppens
Cell: +27 83 325 2975

Our vision is to expose each and every child to the BEATS & BREATHING FOR HEALING program, to give children the opportunity of accessing and fulfilling their potentials.

Our vision is to identify the natural leaders in the communities of learners, youth & educators and impart knowledge & skills that allows for their continued self-development.

Our vision is to allow the leaders to impact positively on the broader community.

Our vision is to offer youths the opportunity for future job creation and income generation.

Our Vision we believe that if mind & body are one, a true physical education should at the same time be a proper mental education.

Our vision through every BEAT & every BREATH is to…

                                        and Uplift

                           all Children in South Africa.


“I love 20 000 Drums project because they tell a message you must not forget your culture and they healed me with African rhythm to show we are African and we must be proud of it!”

“What I can say is that they show that we should love to do drumming also to love ourselves.”

“You go with the rhythm of the drum because you feel the joy, and also that the drums do calm your nerves.”

“We came together as one group and made something special that has some happiness and joy into it.”

“Yoga takes me to a place only I understand”

“I don’t really enjoy sports at school but I love the yoga it makes me feel good”

“Yoga helps to open our minds and teaches us to breathe”

“Make me Happy”