Yoga helping refugees

yoga 2

Posted on: 7th March, 2017

Category: Features

Contributor: West Cork People

West Cork yoga teachers Claire Osborne and Bella Hancock will be returning to the Middle East with the Yoga Mandela Project in March, where they will be offering yoga classes and yoga therapy in refugee communities.

The Yoga Mandela Project is a non-profit organisation that provides psycho-social support and wellbeing through the physical and mental health benefits of yoga to those displaced by war and conflict.

As well as volunteering as yoga teachers within refugee communities, working in partnership with local community organisations in the Middle East, Europe and Ireland, Claire and Bella are also working to establish sustainable volunteer programmes with teachers in each locality, by providing training for teachers and community support workers in trauma informed yoga practice, teaching and protocol.yoga 1

In March, the yoga teachers will be working directly with people affected by war and conflict, visiting Zaartri and Asraq camps.

“On my last visit, a woman who works with the UN and International Red Cross sat in on one my classes,” says Claire. “She just suddenly started crying. After a time, she was able to explain that in all her experience working with refugees around the world, she had never seen a group of traumatised people so peaceful, as in that class.”

Based on their experience working with refugees over the last three years, Claire and Bella and another experienced yoga teacher and project member Susan Bainter-Baghdadi will be running training workshops for yoga teachers and healthcare professionals who wish to develop an understanding of trauma, it’s psycho-social implications and how yoga can be used to help manage and minimise its effects.

“The training is based on our experience bringing yoga and TRE (trauma release exercise) to Refugees in Amman, Jordan through the Collateral Repair Project, and in Greece through Lifting Hands International,” says Claire.

“This will be a valuable experience for those who have worked with refugees and have experienced secondary trauma and wish to have tools to help manage their own experience, as well as learning skills to bring into the field.”

The Yoga Mandela Project is in the process of registering as a charity and has started a fundraising campaign to help with the set up costs, as well as developing sustainable training programmes in Jordan and Palestine, delivering one-to-one yoga therapy to individual refugees in Amman; and also setting up links with groups providing psycho-social support in refugee camps in Jordan, with a view to delivering training programmes in self care to their volunteers, as well as simple holistic health care programmes for refugees.

“We have seen and been amazed by the positive impact our work has had so far. Whether it is by supporting volunteers, or working with the refugee community, people have been profoundly and positively impacted by the tools we offer.”

If you would like to make a donation to the Yoga Mandela Project go to www.generosity.com/volunteer-fundraising/yoga-for-refugees-in-jordan.

To follow the group’s progress, go to Yoga Peace Mandala – supporting refugees with Yoga on Facebook.

Pictured above: The Yoga Mandela Project is a non-profit organisation that provides psycho-social support and wellbeing through the physical and mental health benefits of yoga to those displaced by war and conflict.

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Submarines, American Sailors, and the Underwater War in Irish Waters, 1917-1918
by Dr John Borgonovo in The Parish Centre, Clonakilty
on Thursday Oct 26 2017 at 8.30 pm

In 1917, unrestricted submarine warfare by German U-boats brought the United States into WWI and created a crisis in Britain. To defeat the submarine menace, an American naval fleet was dispatched to County Cork, bringing about 10,000 sailors with it. This talk will explain the circumstances of this extraordinary event, and how Cork residents dealt with their unexpected American guests.

Dr John Borgonovo is a lecturer in the School of History at UCC. His publications include Spies, Informers, and the 'Anti-Sinn Féin' Society: The Intelligence War in Cork City, 1920-1921; The Dynamics of War and Revolution: Cork City, 1916-1918; Exercising a close vigilance over their daughters: Cork women, American sailors, and Catholic vigilantes, 1917-18; Something in the Nature of a Massacre: The Bandon Valley Killings Revisited (with Andy Bielenberg). His latest publication (with co-authors John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil and Mike Murphy) is the highly acclaimed and magnificient Atlas of the Irish Revolution. In July of this year, he organised a very successful conference on Winning the Western Approaches - Unrestricted Submarine Warfare and the US Navy in Ireland 1917-1918.
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Apple Juicing Day in Clonakilty next Sunday Sept 30th. All welcome to bring their apples from 2-6pm to the Clonakilty Community Garden (on entrance road to Clonakilty Lodge).

Building on the success of its inaugural 2016 event, local voluntary environmental organisation Sustainable Clonakilty invites people to bring along their apples and press them to extract their own juice to take home, using the group's Apple Press.

Volunteers will be at hand to assist in the procedure. Bring along your apples washed; clean containers to freeze your juice (milk/juice bottles or cartons, plastic bottles with caps); clean, sterilised glass bottles to pasteurise with swing caps or suitable for 26 mm diameter metal cap.

A limited number of new 3 litres juice bags that are suitable for freezing and pasteurising, can be purchased for a nominal fee on the day also.

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For further information, please contact Xavier at xavierdubuisson@gmail.com or text at 086/0476124.
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