Yoga for Syrian Children in Lebanon

My name is May Tartoussy and I am a Syrian Canadian living in Toronto and this August I am travelling to  Lebanon with the Olive Tree Yoga Foundation (  a yoga based 501c3  and partnering  with Sonbola (, a non profit Learning Center for children in the Refugee camps to provide a mindbody wellbeing program for kids.

This cause is very close to my heart as it touches the quality of life for more than 200 Syrian kids. How so?

These children go to a learning center in a refugee camp area in Lebanon.  The name Sonbola means wheat in Arabic.  The wheat is a symbol for great potential of goodness that needs care and nurture. And this is exactly what this center does for more than 200 children.

The center's mission is to support Syrian refugee and displaced children and young adults in greatest need with inclusive and quality-based education that aims to reduce the regression of their culture, education and wellbeing, and mitigate the worsening status of violence and child labor imposed by the current situation.

The center attracted some of the most inspiring Yoga teachers around the world. They are willing to go to the camp with the objective of teaching Yoga to 200 children over 2 weeks and to train teachers for the sustainability of the program. This summer program reflects best practices in trauma-informed mind-body work and is based on the body of empirical research and theoretical knowledge that is currently available.
Students will get to acquire the tools that they can utilise to continuously cultivate their own physical, mental and emotional well being.

The Foundations involved are:
1. The Olive Tree Yoga Foundation (OTYF),
2. Yogis in Service (YIS),
3. The Africa Yoga Project(AYP),
4. The Baptiste Foundation,
5. A research team from the University of Buffalo

We have been developing this program since last November and I was asked to join the program. I said no as it is difficult for me to re-visit these life conditions as I went through a similar experience in my childhood. But then I decided to get over my own pain and only focus on the interest of children and actually be there with them.

My role in this program is Logistics, Social Media, Documentation and Translator. The funds raised here will contribute directly to the delivery of this program in one or more of the following areas funding flights for myself and other participants,  lodging, learning materials, meals, ground transportation.

The aim of this fundraiser is to allow us to deliver the program in Lebanon. We are all volunteering for this program. Paul Van Wijk - an inspiring Yoga teacher will lead an evening of Yoga on Friday, July 22 @ Trinity Bellwood Park
 where you get to practice Yoga and your donation will allow for a great program to reach the Syrian Children in Lebanon. I hope you can help us reach our goal.​
  • Leandra Antonutti 
    • $100 
    • 64 mos
  • Lidia DiCarlo 
    • $50 
    • 65 mos
  • Katia Millar 
    • $20 
    • 65 mos
  • Saad Khaled 
    • $20 
    • 65 mos
  • Rana El-Mogharbel 
    • $50 
    • 65 mos
See all


May May 
Toronto, ON
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