NEW PROJECT FUNDED BY LULULEMON: THE POWER OF JUSTICE YOGA PROGRAMME

Emily BrettLatest news

OURMALA has been awarded a significant grant from the global retailer lululemon athletica to deliver a new programme of work called ‘THE POWER OF JUSTICE YOGA PROGRAMME’. We are so proud of our team, who have won this grant and we look forward to addressing some of the social injustice in our small corner of the world and making a really positive difference.

In the current political climate, we know many are feeling low and powerless but please don’t! Take inspiration from this global corporate lululemon supporting OURMALA (a small non-profit) to genuinely help refugees and people seeking asylum in the UK for a start…

The main goals of THE POWER OF JUSTICE YOGA PROGRAMME are to:

– Open 6 new yoga classes in London, closer to where people seeking international protection in the UK live to make the health, wellbeing and integration benefits of yoga more accessible

– launch a new volunteering project to enable more beneficiaries to get involved at OURMALA, gain confidence and learn new skills and experience they can put on their CVs

– continue running our 14 weekly yoga programmes where beneficiaries can access up to 40 weeks’ of free yoga per year

Earlier this year, we talked to OURMALA beneficiaries across all our yoga classes to see if our model was meeting their needs to the best of our ability. Two unmet needs were apparently obvious:

1. Beneficiaries often travel up to two hours each way to access our yoga programme. We need to work towards putting yoga in place closer to where beneficiaries live to reduce the travel time and cost of travel refunds.

2. Beneficiaries wanted to give back. They wanted more opportunities to volunteer with OURMALA so that they could be more involved but also so that they could gain skills and experience to put on their CVs in preparation for getting ready to work.

THE POWER OF JUSTICE YOGA PROGRAMME runs from September 2019 to June 2020 inclusive and is a direct response to what the people we work with have told us they need. We look forward to posting updates as the project progresses and we will be publishing results from our consultation with beneficiaries in due course.

THE POWER OF JUSTICE YOGA PROGRAMME will provide safe, welcoming  spaces where our beneficiaries can access the healing and empowering benefits of yoga, moral support and more.

OURMALA’s high-quality evidence based yoga programme has been independently evaluated as making a significant positive difference to people’s mental and physical health, wellbeing and ability to integrate better into society.

As you may know, if you are seeking asylum in the UK, which can take years, you are not legally allowed to work so you are unable to earn an income whilst living on the government benefit of approximately £37 a week for everything. This is extremely wearing and generally compounds people’s suffering, especially when legal cases drag-on. Being able to volunteer, be part of a team, learn new skills and gain confidence and experience is a big deal and we are really delighted to be able to offer our beneficiaries new opportunities to get involved.

Greatest thanks to lululemon athletica for your continued support. This grant is part of ‘Here to Be’, their global social impact programme that creates access to yoga and meditation across social, physical, and economic barriers. OURMALA have been grant recipients of lululemon since 2013.

Despite fantastic grants like this, OURMALA is still a small grassroots organisation and we really depend on donations from those who believe in our work.

If you might be interested in supporting us, please visit the donations pageYou can see where the money goes and set-up a monthly giving arrangement or a one-off donation. Thank you so much to all our supporters for all your incredible generosity!

Special yoga project for the Grenfell Tower community
In case you missed it, just to let you know that we delivered a yoga programme for the community affected by the Grenfell Tower fire commissioned by the NHS. Read more.

Yoga teachers: we are actively recruiting
The first step is taking our weekend training. Read more.