If you came to YOGA FOR REFUGEES, thank you so much! And to everyone else, thank you so much for all your support and generous donations. It was a brilliant evening and we could not have done it without you.
We’ve had really great feedback so far and many people have said that the evening felt like a personal gift to them.
For now, please know that the money you have helped us raise will soon be supporting more refugee women and children in crisis in London. We’re firming-up plans at the moment with Helen Bamber Foundation and British Red Cross and other agencies to deliver this together and will be in touch when there’s news on that front.
You’ve also helped us significantly raise the profile of Ourmala which, looking ahead, should further our aim of helping as many refugees and asylum-seekers as need our support in our local community.
There are so many refugee women, babies and children who need our help in London now. Brexit will most likely result in even less funding and support for asylum-seekers and refugees. We are not just working with The Helen Bamber Foundation and British Red Cross but are in the process of ‘mapping’ all the support for refugees in London so that all the humanitarian support agencies can work together better and identify geographically where help is needed most.
If you would like to help us (and couldn’t make the event or haven’t donated yet), it’s not too late! You can donate now and we will spend every penny on delivering our integration programme — from antenatal support for pregnant refugee women to giving them baby clothes, nappies and food, through to our therapeutic yoga classes, English classes and help with getting into education, volunteering and work.
Many of the women we work with have been to university in their countries of origin and were on the way to a successful career when they were hijacked by people traffickers. Most often they were raped and now have children as consequence, as well as all the devastating physical and psychological ramifications. I always hesitate before writing things like this as I’m not a sensationalist and can’t bear to think of of the pain these women have been through and don’t want to upset you by writing about clearly horrible situations. But this is why Ourmala exists – to help alleviate pain and support people in finding their feet in a new country and making a truly fresh start, as far as that is possible.
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The more people who are aware of Ourmala’s work the better. We are all about working in partnership so we can deliver everything that’s needed along the journey of an asylum-seeker from when they arrive in the country to our goal of when they don’t need our service anymore and find confidence and the ability to fulfil their potential.
Last, thank you SO much to all those who have held yoga fundraisers in solidarity with YOGA FOR REFUGEES! We have been bowled over by your generosity. If you’re a yogi and interested in holding a fundraiser, it’s very simple. Hold an event on a donation basis (or charge a fee if you think that’s better) and then donate the funds raised to www.localgiving.com/yoga Do let us know if you’re doing something on social media and we’ll publicise as much as we can!
With our greatest thanks again for your support. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask firstname.lastname@example.org
By Emily Brett, Yoga teacher & Founder of Ourmala