By Billy Sadia
Posted in Africa Yoga Project Blog, on January 03, 2013
If you were given $100 USD and challenged to positivley impact as many lives as you could with it, what would you do? At the end last year, we asked the Africa Yoga Project teachers just that. We called this the "Impact Challenge" - and it was a lesson in social enterprise, budgeting and project managment for our team. We are grroming each of our teachers to be leaders in their community and this challenge allowed them to access this part of themselves. Each of our teachers works in the informal settlements of Nairobi where they witness firsthand the many needs of the communities they work in. Each teacher was awarded 8000 Kenya Shillings (100 $) to create a project in thier communities that met a current need that they wittnessed. Some of them did individual projects while others partnered and did projects as a group. I will try and tell you something about each of the projects on other posts.
On Christmas day I had the blessing to be part of an incredible project. Eight Africa Yoga Project teachers (all incredible girls) got together and did what I term "Heavy duty giving, straight from the heart". This was experienced at the Tree House Orphanage, a children's home that teachers Catherine, Irene and Wanji have been sharing yoga with for the last 2 years. There are 28 children living here - all whom have no parental support and were taken in and cared for by a group called Community Transformers.
The teachers came together and bought 28 new school shoes and school uniforms for all the children at Tree House. They went ahead and organised a Christmas party that I was invited at. The level of giving of the AYP teachers filled my heart with so much joy. They cooked, sang, played, cooked more, danced and shared their big hearts with all the children, whom at this point, were all just beaming rays of light passing all over the orphanage. I was touched. All this was a surprise to them. Eric, co- founder of Tree House orphanage said, "We were not even thinking of having a day like this, we were just going to lock ourselves in our rooms and sleep. We are happy to have you guys around".
This day impacted these children both on Christmas and in the year to come. It showed me that yes, $100 can change lives AND when we come together as a group of contributers we can impact way beyond how we contribute individually. An inspiration for the New Year that anything is possible!