We received some wonderful news this week from a graduate from our Trauma-Informed Yoga for Youth training. We wanted to share with you an example of the creative ways people are using the knowledge and skills they learn in Street Yoga’s trainings!! We hope you are as inspired as we are—see Mollie’s letter below:
“My name is Mollie Dugan and I had the privilege of taking the Street Yoga Teacher Training with Mark in NYC in the summer of 2012. I am always so inspired by the newsletter and postings on your site of what you and the rest of the Street Yoga Community are doing to touch the lives of so many. I wanted to share my recent experience and let you know that I have been putting my teaching to use in the Kingdom of Lesotho, a small, landlocked country within South Africa. I have been interning here with Social Workers Beyond Borders, a non-profit organization based out of Washington DC for the past four months.
The facility where I have been placed is called Ithuseng, which means, “help yourself” in Sesotho (the local language). Ithuseng is a two-year, residential program for individuals identified in the community as having some type of disability, primarily physical, but mental as well. While enrolled, trainees learn some type of skill, such as sewing, metalwork, carpentry, agriculture or leatherwork, to use for income generating purposes, following completion of the program. However, many participants have never worked before nor spent time away from their villages and families. Learning to cope in their new environment can be extremely challenging, especially without the support of their loved ones.
In efforts to increase the graduation rate of the trainees, I had the opportunity to create my own stress management program. During our training Mark spoke to his personal experience of how yoga helped him to overcome past trauma and in doing so knew he had to pay such an incredible gift foreward to anyone and everyone who might also benefit. I think each of us are called to the mat for our own reasons, but after having that first taste of what yoga can really do, I agree that it becomes our responsibility to pass that understanding on to others. Knowing how much yoga has helped me to help myself or “ithuseng” to deal with the ups and downs of life, I have included yoga and associated breathing practices into my programming.
Yoga is a completely new concept, but has been extremely well received! It is truly incredible to witness the healing benefits of yoga for those who have never had any prior experience. While we are quite a long distance from the studio in New York, your teachings are no less powerful, if not more so. The pictures really speak for themselves. The photos were taken during a small group session held earlier this week.”
We agree, the pictures speak volumes more than we could sum up here. Thanks Mollie for your great work and for your sharing your story with the Street Yoga community!
Mollie Dugan describes herself as a traveller, do-gooder, yogi, snowboarder and avid animal lover. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in May with her Masters in Social Work, she sold her car and moved to Lesotho, a small, landlocked country within South Africa. She considers this one of the best decisions she’s ever made. Mollie currently works for Social Workers Beyond Borders (SWBB), a small, grassroots, nonprofit organization, based out of Washington DC. To learn more about her experiences, you can view SWBB’s Tumblr: swbblesotho.tumblr.com. And if you’re feeling inspired and want to see how you can get involved, click the link for current opportunities with SWBB: socialworkersbeyondborders.org