Yoga in Ugandan Primary Schools
My name is Kiri, I am a Danish yoga teacher specialised in teaching children and teenagers. Last summer I went on my first trip to Uganda where I taught yoga to approx. 600 children and 55 teachers and youth leaders. I funded this first trip out of my own yoga-teacher-pocket. For those of you who teach yoga, you will know that these pockets are full of love - and maybe a few coins.... Unfortunately love doesn't buy yoga mats or flight tickets or prints manuals, shoots yoga videos or anything like that.
How great if it did!
The communities I was part of in Uganda have adobted yoga with so much openness and willingness to learn more. As we all know, one or two yoga classes do not make us experts and even though the youth leaders and teachers are trying to do yoga together and are forming yoga clubs, they can't do it properly without proper training.
This enthusiasm and eagerness to learn more brought about my second trip to Uganda in December 2016 where I and my colleague Lea facilitated two 4-day basic yoga teacher trainings. One in collaboration with ASHWA (Alliance for Sustainable Health and Wealth in Africa) for the youth leaders in Busia close to the Kenyan border, and one for the teachers at Bethany Center Uganda - a primary school run through charity donations in Jjungo in Central Uganda.
4 days is not enough....
We are so very proud to see that most of the trainees from our trainings in December are now teaching yoga either during the school day or in actual clubs founded by ASHWA. The 1500 euros we have collected so far has been well spent on the previous trainings.
This summer I will teach two basic trainings and a follow-up training for those who already have received their certificate. We aim to keep supporting the trainers and to teach them how to teach more trainers. This builds empowerment and skills in the communities.
In order to make this happen we need funding to cover:
- Teaching materials, t-shirts and certificates for the trainings
- A small salary for the local Project Managers who are doing a huge job setting up yoga clubs and putting everything together
- Sweatpants and yoga outfit for those who cannot afford to buy it
- Food for the participants and teachers
- Transportation and accomodation in Uganda
- Production of yoga videos for further training and reference
- Flights, visa and vaccines
- and most likely other administrative expenses
MY HEART FIRE DESIRE
It is my greatest passion in life to empower other people. To make them able to find strength and wisdom inside of themselves and use this to break out of their shell, or their circumstances, or whatever is holding them back from reaching their true potential. This is true for the work I do in Denmark and in the international community alike.
I am not doing this for me. I am doing this because I know that it will make a difference to the people involved. It has already created an awareness of the importance of non-violent classrooms, of the need for sleep and movement for optimal brain functioning, and of attentiveness to sensitive children in the classrooms. By conducting these yoga teacher trainings, the principles and practices of yoga will be able to settle deeper in the communities and schools and it will spread to more and more people. It will help children and youth let go of tension, trust themselves and believe in themselves and a better Uganda.
Having seen the looks on their faces after yoga, having heard their comments about how much one single yoga class has done for them, I cannot leave it at this. I need to go back and offer as much as I can to build their yoga community in a sustainable and safe way. Not just once or twice, but we take one step at the time..
Please give me a hand. Anything goes! A little goes a very long way in Uganda....
Thank you so much for reading this and on behalf of the beautiful children, youth and teachers in Uganda a heartfelt THANK YOU!
If you want to read more, please visit my blog.
Less than a year ago, I went to Uganda to teach a few yoga workshops and get a taste of Africa. In December 2016 I returned to educate 30 young leaders and school teachers to become yoga trainers who can share the benefits of yoga with the growing young population in the country.
Eric is using his new skills to pass on his new healthy and empowering lifestyle to hundreds, maybe thousands of children and young people. I am looking so much forward to further educating him and the other trainees and to having him as my assistant while conducting more trainings this summer.
YES! You can help make this happen!
<3 You can share this post and ask your friends to support us
<3 You can donate a yoga mat or old yoga clothes
<3 You can support us financially or donate your time
We are grateful for every single word of support and encouragement and for those of you who have already supported us! Together we have made this happen! We couldn't have done it without your support.
“We can do it with my learners everyday because it is good for their health. It also opens up the brain of the learners. It helps the children to be sensitive to their needs.”
Harriet is one of the teachers who is joining our teacher training this coming December, because in order to use yoga with the pupils a 2-3 hours yoga class is far from enough.
We are collecting used yoga mats, yoga books and funds to transport the yoga mats to Uganda, feed the teachers during the training and cover our expenses. You can help by sharing this post, sending over a yoga mat or book or by donating a little something to the project. Thank you so much from Harriet, the children at school and everyone who is touched by the project.
Cadeau to Simon who was giving his all yesterday as you can see in these beautiful pictures from Uganda. The Ugandan school system does teach people a special skill in replicating what they only heard and saw once!! Amazing!
It makes me worry a little bit about the safety of the practice, though, but with your generous support, I am going to be there soon to guide the teachers and give them the tools they need and a set of skills that will enable them to guide the students safely through the practice!
Thank you for your interest and support for this awesome project! We are still collecting yoga mats, books, and donations, so please feel free to share and like and comment, so that we can spread the message and reach the goal <3
These outstanding women that I am 'hanging' out with in this picture are working on building girl power in their community. So awesome! They are currently producing reusable menstrual pads for the school girls and teaching them how to make them themselves.
Confidence and empowerment is in high demand and with our yoga education we are spreading just that!
You can help empower these courageous people by sharing this post, by passing on your old yoga mat or by donating to the campaign. Every contribution makes a difference and gives the women even more courage to continue their efforts!