Ourmala helps refugees and asylum-seekers rebuild their lives. This project will give over 200 people the opportunity to change their suffering into the strength they need to to move on with their lives, fulfil their potential and contribute to society. Most we work with are registered with the UK Home Office and have experienced cruelty such as torture, human trafficking and sexual violence in conflict zones. Most wake every night with nightmares about the past and anxiety, depression, physical pain, low confidence, fear, malnutrition, extreme isolation, stress and exhaustion are very common. We specialise in providing therapeutic yoga classes because it not only helps with all of these but it is one of the most effective ways to recover from trauma.
“I used to have real trouble sleeping and was on high levels of antidepressants. Yoga has helped me sleep – if you can’t sleep, it is difficult to do anything.” - Eden
All our classes are free and we refund the cost of their travel, without which most would not be able to afford to come. We also provide English class, hot nutritious lunch and information about other services that can help them. Healthcare, housing, education and employment, for example.
Why we're crowdfunding now
We've recently seen a spike in the number of people seeking asylum in the UK, mainly due to war and tyrannical political regimes. We currently run four yoga classes a week with up to 16 people in each class. Over 250 people are on our waiting list. And with clients travelling up to two hours each way for yoga, demand is at an all-time high.
“I have nothing. Yoga gives me hope.” - Hiwot
At the same time, we currently run a 100% voluntary basis, which is not sustainable. We have tried and tested our model. Feedback from our clients and organisations that refer to us such as British Red Cross, Freedom from Torture and The Helen Bamber Foundtion is incredibly positive. We would love to put on more classes to meet the demand but we need to make sure our current classes are sustainable first.
Will you back us so we can?
“A lot of us don’t have families here and Ourmala is a beating heart for us.” - Jacqueline
The people we help come from all over the world and are referred to us by over 25 human rights and humanitarian organisations. For example, British Red Cross, The Helen Bamber Foundation and Freedom from Torture. Together, we deliver a complete package of support for refugees and asylum seekers.
"After yoga, I can concentrate on what I need to do. Before, my mind is bad. It helps me move forward." - Maritas
Ourmala's team of Yoga teachers are especially trained to work with refugees and people seeking asylum. Ourmala provides this training in collaboration with The Minded Institute, one of the UK's leading providers in Yoga Therapy.
What the money raised will do:
- £80 will enable 16 people to change their suffering into strength at a therapeutic yoga class by paying their travel
- £3,200 will do this at 40 classes in Hackney over 2017 with around 16 people in each class
- £7,200 means we can do this and all importantly pay someone to be in the office one day a week to organise all four of our current classes, teachers, referrals, travel refund paperwork and all the tasks that go on behind the scenes to enable an operation to run smoothly
If were able to raise £7,200 then this project also has 'stretch targets' that would enable us to raise more and put on a new classes, including one for young people seeking asylum, aged between 13 and 22. We've just finished a pilot project with the British Red Cross with yoga classes with up to 25 young people in them. Overwhelmingly positive feedback and we would love to put regular sessions in for them to help them sleep and cope better with the stresses of their lives.
With your backing, Ourmala can continue to help these extremely vulnerable yet strong and inspirational people move on with their lives. Thank you for believing in us and our mission!
Thank you Tom Day for letting us use your beautiful track on our video :)