Yoga for Refugees

The OMPowerment Project empowers refugee men and women to lead themselves and members of their communities in the healing practice of trauma centered yoga to improve physical and emotional health and aid in finding greater peace of mind. By providing refugees with free, week-long trainings, we aim to equip men and women with the skills to create a safe space in their communities, free of labels and judgement, in which members of their communities can relieve anxiety and build confidence and self-esteem.

Why do we want to do this?
in January 2017, I spent a few weeks in northern Greece volunteering with the refugee effort. One of the things I did was to teach two yoga classes a day to women and children in one of the camps. I witnessed first-hand the profound affect this practice had on the participants and how much they enjoyed it. As I prepared to leave Greece, I was filled with a deep sadness that my leaving would mean that these individuals would no longer be able to practice until another yoga teacher happened to volunteer in the same area. This led to the idea to empower the refugees themselves by teaching them the basics of leading a class so that this healing practice could continue regardless of volunteer skillsets and availability. 

How much can you teach in a week?
This will not be a typical 200-hour teacher training as the length of time required to complete such training would be unrealistic given the typical daily demands on both the refugees and volunteer trainers. We will focus on basic, core poses (down dog, warrior poses, etc.) and teach a set of go to sequences that participants can have ready at hand. All training will be given in a trauma-centered way and all participants will receive a manual (in English and Arabic), video resources, and a mat to keep as a way to continue their practice. 

What’s the plan?
We have a training scheduled in northern Greece in early September 2017 and plans for a second, two-week training in Palestine later this year. We will build on lessons learned from these trainings to plan for more in the future.

What do you need money for?
Training will be led by volunteer teachers but we need funding to support:
Translation of the materials in to Arabic
Mats and props for participants
Printing of the manual and other resources
Travel costs for trainers

Please get in touch if you have any questions! Thank you for your support.
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  • Jo Tapp 
    • £15 
    • 53 mos
  • Katie Robinson 
    • £40 
    • 56 mos
  • Silvana Saveri 
    • £350 
    • 57 mos
  • Ava Riby-williams 
    • £150 
    • 58 mos
  • Maria Burpee 
    • £10 
    • 58 mos
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Julia Midland 
London, Greater London, United Kingdom