lululemon athletica’s flagship store in Covent Garden has generously donated its 2015 metta giving grant to Ourmala. The fund will enable 320 refugee and asylum-seeking women living in London to access yoga, which they say really helps them to move on with their lives.
The core group Ourmala works with are registered with the UK Home Office and have survived torture, human trafficking, gender based violence or violent political regime.
“Our team at Covent Garden chose Ourmala for the 2015 metta grant because of the inspirational work that Emily and the Ourmala team does for this group of women.” said Jenn Tod, Covent Garden’s Assistant Store Manager. “From the first moment I met Emily I could see that she was a true stand for the empowerment of refugee and asylum-seeking women through the gift of yoga. Ourmala has provided the women with a community and with safe place to come and feel a part of something. We are grateful to be have been welcomed into the Ourmala community and truly inspired by not only Emily and the team but by each and every one of the women we have had the opportunity to meet.”
“Before yoga, I can’t speak English properly because I’m nervous, anxious and depressed. There are a lot of very, very bad things in my head. After yoga, my mind is peaceful and my English is coming, I understand people better, I’m more confident and happy. It helps my life outside yoga class. It is really, really helpful and I am a better Mum. I do yoga and my son is very happy… because he knows, when I come here I return home happy and active.” – Fatemeh*, refugee and Ourmala yoga student
Known best for being a globally successful yoga and athletic wear clothing brand, lululemon athletica’s also all about achieving your goals and leading the happiest version of your life possible. Refugee and asylum-seeking women have experienced living nightmares and, during the asylum-seeking and resettlement process, most often their sphere control is extremely limited. Yoga practice is like recharging a battery and it helps to restore inner strength, stability, self-esteem and hope so that they have the headspace and confidence to start thinking about their own goals again.
Thank you for your support lululemon athletica, it means a huge amount.
*Name changed to protect identity.