By Laura Schutter
Posted in Africa Yoga Project Blog, on February 24, 2017
By Anamaria Guerra Forero
"They believe in themselves to transform their own realities and the realities of their communities.”
The life story of Faith Kamene gives us hope. She is 20 years old, and lives in Mathare, one of the biggest slums in Kenya, where the conditions of life are not easy, and where you can not simply escape from the negative influence of drugs, gangs, sexual violence, just to name some of them. Faith shows us a different way to act, to build strategies for the future of people and communities.
She was born in Kariobangi, a place in Nairobi where you are able to dream, but most of the time those dreams don't turn into reality, because the tough environment probably has planned it's own unexpected destiny for you. It is hard for me to listen to all of the stories that she can shares, but I can see where darkness exists the light within is still infinite.
Millie, an Africa Yoga Project teacher, met Faith and invited her to be part of the team, a team who believes in the power of each person to transform their own realities, to provide opportunities for people to discover their passion, their dreams and support them in that process.
One and a half years ago, Faith started her training as a yoga teacher. The Scholarship Program that AYP offers, gives youth in vulnerable communities the opportunity to train as yoga teachers, empowering themselves as agents of change and becoming self sustenible in their communities. After applying for this Scholarship Program, Faith received a scholarship in 2015.
This transformational path in her words: “changed my life forever to be a better person - to give back to the society what life gave to me”. After the Teacher Training she started to serve as a teacher in vulnerable communities at a neighborhood called Huruma, Nairobi, which in Kiswahili means "massive."
In Huruma, within local markets and small streets, you find Mercy Care School, a place abundant of welcoming smiles, where 46 students from 13 to 16 years old, have a yoga class each Wednesday since 2016, from 2pm to 3pm, with Faith. She is truly happy to share and train them in yoga as an way to show the greatest possibility that they possess to change their own reality, and follow their dreams.
Today, Faith´s dreams are ambitious. She dreams about becoming a great yoga teacher for deaf people, opening her own yoga studio and traveling around the world visiting different communities where she can teach how to be a leader through yoga in your community. She believes that she has the power to inspire youth generations to empower themselves, and offer them real and practical tools for their life.
Faith… is pure faith.