Using Yoga and Mindfulness to Fight Against Teen Pregnancy in Rwanda

by | Oct 7, 2022 | Heartivist Of The Week

After attending a training about sexual and reproductive health in Nairobi, Emmanuel Dushimimana was inspired to bring change home to Karongi, Rwanda. “In my community, cases of teen pregnancy were surging, and I wondered – how can I contribute to bring about change?”

Having seen some of his family members go through pregnancy at an early age due to misinformation and lack of access to healthcare, Emmanuel was determined to help as many girls as he could. 

As a certified mindfulness and meditation practitioner from the World Peace Initiative Foundation, Thailand, with experience in training over 4,000 people, Emmanuel had first-hand experience in reaping the benefits of these techniques. When he was on the brink of taking his life due to the grief of losing his grandmother, these techniques helped him survive the trauma and take care of himself. So, he was well acquainted with the magnitude of the positive effects of meditation and mindfulness and wanted to amplify it in Rwanda. 

Three years later, the Humuriza Tamar Foundation was born. With the expansion in two districts and over three thousand beneficiaries, the thriving organization was helping youth going through depression and suicidal thoughts with mindfulness and yoga. “We started off by providing the right information about sexual and reproductive health to girls at schools and then expanded into meditation and Yoga.” They focused on the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people like teen mothers, victims of gender-based violence, and people with disabilities. 

However, it wasn’t as easy as it sounds. When asked about the challenges he faced, Emmanuel answers, “It was difficult to convince my family and friends why I want to fight against teen pregnancy as a 28-year-old man. People couldn’t really understand why I am doing what I am doing.”

He went on to say, “To be honest, my approach of using meditation, yoga, and mindfulness practices, was something new to Rwanda. So, I had to really sit people down and explain to them how these practices changed my life.”

yoga mats

The grant from The Pollination Project

As Emmanuel continued to impact more people, he realized he needed support for his cause. He heard about The Pollination Project from a friend who was also a TPP grantee. “I went online and read everything I possibly could about TPP, their work, the projects they support, the changes they have made so far. After going through all of this, I knew this is the right place where I can submit my application. When I heard the news of my application being approved, I was ecstatic and so was my family!” he added happily.  

With this grant,  Emmanuel plans to purchase 40 yoga mats for his community, double what they currently have now. The mats are an investment as this will enable more people, especially the ones without a mat, to join in. This will give them a chance to focus on both meditation and yoga. For Emmanuel, this will help him to continue to help vulnerable groups of people in Rwanda.

Learn more about his organization, Hamuriza Tamar Foundation here

 

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At TPP, we are always looking for grassroots changemakers who are working to make the world a kinder and more compassionate place. We invite you to reach out to us here if you would like to apply for a TPP grant for your organization. 

 

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🌟 Empowering Through Play! 🌟

Nature Trust (Tamilnadu, India) launched the project, "Enhance the Skills of Children with Disabilities through Play," supported by one of our seed grants 🎉✨ Timed with World Autism Awareness Day 2024, this initiative resonates with the theme of "Empowering the Autistic Voices."

In particular, the grant allowed Nature Trust to provide specially curated play materials to 20 remarkable children with diverse disabilities. These tools were thoughtfully selected to ignite their development and unlock their potential. 🧩🎨

At the distribution event held on March 31st, the atmosphere was filled with joy as children and parents expressed gratitude for the newfound importance of play in their lives. 💖👦👧 The presence of local leaders underscored the significance of inclusive initiatives like this one.

Beyond distribution, Nature Trust volunteers engaged with the children, creating lasting connections and memories. 🤝 

Through the power of play, Nature Trust is fostering a more inclusive world where every child has the opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential. 🌈 

Let's continue spreading joy and empowerment through play! 

#EmpowerThroughPlay #InclusiveCommunities 🌟 
#childrenwithdisabilities #autism #supportchildren #kindness #heartivism #India
It's Volunteer Month! 🌟 🌟 🌟 Today we celebrate our grant advisors working on Economic Development focus area.

By meticulously selecting projects for our seed grants, they're not just funding ideas—they're empowering communities and sparking transformative change. 

Join us in celebrating their invaluable efforts and the positive impact they're creating together!

🔸 Eric Anorrey (Ghana)
🔸 Mariam Nakiryowa (Uganda)
🔸 Jean-Marie Zihalirwa (DRC)
🔸 Emily Logiron Asekon (Kenya)
🔸 Georgia Bernbaum (USA) 
🔸 Herve Tsoala Kuete (Cameroon)
🔸 Jackson Bizimungu (Rwanda)
🔸 Okumu Dickson (Uganda)
🔸 Samuel Litunya (Kenya)

@ericanorrey 
@mayanja_mariam 
@g.bernbaum 

#volunteermonth #volunteer #heartivism #economicdevelopment #change #empoweringcommunities
The Green Earth Initiative (#Cameroon) is a project dedicated to educating and empowering students about climate change, sustainable development, and environmental challenges, that has received a seed grant from The Pollination Project in 2023. With a focus on fostering environmental protection and conservation, the initiative establishes Eco-clubs and Environment Clubs in schools, providing students with the tools to learn, engage, and take action in their communities.

Since receiving the grant from TPP, the Green Earth Initiative has expanded its reach, now encompassing 9 additional schools across two regions/cities, surpassing its initial goal of 5. 
This expansion was made possible by the overwhelming interest from school authorities and the growing number of volunteers and team members.

Through the support of TPP and other partners, the project's environmental education programs, awareness campaigns, and initiatives have impacted over 8000 students in two cities of Cameroon. Additionally, the initiative has planted over 600 trees, launched 5 Environment/Eco Clubs, and distributed over 150 adapted waste bins produced from recycled plastics, contributing to proper waste management practices.

The seed grant from The Pollination Project has been instrumental in catalyzing the growth and success of the Green Earth Initiative, enabling it to make a tangible difference in the lives of students and communities, while fostering a culture of environmental stewardship and sustainability. 

@isec_cameroon 
#environmentprotection #seedgrant #heartivism #environmentaleducation