Education is the most powerful instrument to change the world. The YOGA4KENYA project is a pilot study that aims to improve the mental & physical health of Kenyan students * through education and self-practice of a customized yoga program (called the 'Conscious Curriculum') by professional Ann Schreppers. Through the program, students will grow their self-esteem and leadership skills, whilst reducing their stress levels and anxiety.
*Students in higher education aged 18-22 enrolled in the course community health & wellbeing at the School for Integrated Medicine
Whilst teaching the program, YOGA4KENYA will simultaneously research the health benefits of the techniques taught in this unique yoga program. The end goal is to introduce the program to educational institutions worldwide and help prevent and cure stress-related mental and physical issues.
The program meets the growing demands for a more preventive and holistic approach towards physical and mental health in higher education and adult life. YOGA4KENYA builds much needed roots in personal development for youth at the onset of their professional career.
Empower Kenyan youth to create transformation
Kenya is a very youthful country. Unfortunately more than 35% is unemployed and feel marginalized in terms of access to opportunities, representation and participation. Simultaneously, the Kenyan youth - as is youth worldwide- is increasingly struggling with mental health problems depression, anxiety, eating disorders, psychosis and substance abuse. Youth self-esteem can play an essential role in creating a transformation. The Yoga4Kenya project will help improve self-esteem through self-awareness through yoga. It will also lead to many other benefits such as stress reduction, better sleep, increased self-awareness and emotional resilience.
Health care impact ánd scientific research at the same time
Besides educating & empowering 20-40 health care students, the Yoga4Kenya project will make a critical contribution to the science and understanding of the effects of yoga
& self-awareness on self-esteem, stress levels and therefore physical and mental health.
The research, including questionnaires and statistical data, will be supervised by professor Anne-Marie Vanderhasselt of the University of Gent (Belgium). The goal is to show the world the impact of the universal method of yoga, far beyond
culture and background. Simultaneously, I would like to open the door to more research on the importance of stress regulation to improve public health and hopefully changes within our greater institution and educational systems.
Background of Ann Schreppers, founder of YOGA4KENYA
My calling is to contribute to this unique education & research project by offering my knowledge and time.
Over the past decade I have had the privilege to teach yoga to people and communities worldwide (Kenya, Nicaragua, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Italy & Swiss).
In these years, I have taught classes, workshops and teacher training sessions to over 10.000 people and experienced the many benefits of this powerful practice firsthand. Based upon my extensive experience as a yoga teacher and my academic background (Masters in Public Policy), I have developed a balanced and accessible health & yoga program called the Conscious Curriculum and its first large scale case study with 'YOGA4KENYA'.
Besides teaching this unique yoga program in Kenya, I will measure the effects through scientific research, all supported by professor Marie-Anne Vanderhasselt from the University of Gent (Belgium).
Your support makes the difference
Although I personally invest my time and knowledge to this unique education & research project, YOGA4KENYA cannot succeed without external resources such as yoga
and teaching materials, transportation, local assistance on the classes etc. My aim is to also to hire a videographer to document the unique nature of this project and spread a message of hope and change into this world.
All other costs such as teaching hours, flight / transportation to Kenya, scientific support, yoga mats …. are funded by the generous contributors as listed below and any excess funds will be kept in the Yoga4Kenya trust and designated towards future youth empowerment programs.
Partners & supporters
- Kenyan School for Integrated Medicine (NGO) and its incredible founder Marie Magré : Local Kenyan partner and beneficiary of the Yoga4Kenya trust. Students of this higher education program will follow the customized yoga program on-site.
- Professor Vanderhasselt of the Faculty of Psychology of the University of Gent will support the review of the theoretical section of the study and data analysis of the results measures by questionnaires to both students of the school that join the program and don't join (control group). VanderHasselt is a published author in the field of burn-out prevention, stress and lifestyle changes.
- Manduka Yoga Europe for providing me with yoga mats for the students! @MandukaEurope
- YOU : All donations, large and small, are very much appreciated and will enable this project to succeed. All donations above 25 euros will be added to a private group with stories on Instagram and receive daily updates on the program and our students' experience.
We are very grateful to everyone who contributes to the program in their own way and abilities.
My wish for a better world
My biggest wish is to see a more connected and compassionate world. Change starts with us, with our educational system, with the way we see the world and the wish and ability to change it as well.
Or as Mr. Nelson Mandela said :
'Education is the most powerful instrument to change the world'
Thank you so much !
Ann Schreppers – yoga teacher & founder YOGA4KENYA – Costa da Caparica, Portugal
Marie Magré – director of Kenyan School for Integrated Medicine (NGO) – Kwale, Kenya
Anne Marie VanderHasselt – professor at the University of Gent, Belgium