In the summer of 2014, Jeanine Munyeshuli Barbé and Yogeswari met in Woodstock to discuss the possibility of implementing Yoga and Peace Programs in Rwanda through AZAHAR. Jeanine was very happy, as she had been wishing to give back to her native country in this way, and was still missing a structure. With the support of AZAHAR Switzerland, Jeanine traveled to Rwanda in February 2015, identified some very dynamic organizations we could work with and taught some introductory Yoga classes.
In February 2016, Jeanine Munyeshuli Barbé and Yogeswari were in Rwanda. Their aim was to refresh the memory and strengthen the contacts with the organizations where Jeanine taught in 2015, and to find one or several teachers who could ensure continuity with the programs. This is when we met Aline Mpazimpaka, the first Rwandan female certified yoga teacher living in Rwanda. Aline is a dancer, social worker and received her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Certification from Africa Yoga Project in Nairobi in 2014 and has pursued more advanced studies. She is a meditation coach under Peace Revolution and has followed three trainings on using conscious living breath for stress and trauma reduction. AZAHAR Switzerland has been sponsoring Aline to teach regular classes to Agahozo Shalom, Indego Africa and Imbuto Foundation.
“As a country that faced genocide in 1994, a big number of Rwandans have had problems of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I have found that yoga can be instrumental to find the solution to PTSD in Rwanda.”
With the program in rwanda being just one year old, azahar’s entry point
To peace building is though yoga & meditation. For a year now, aline mazimpaka has been teaching to high-school students at agahozo shalom youth village, who were orphaned or otherwise born into difficult circumstances due to the rwandan genocide in 1994. She also teaches at the women’s cooperatives of indego foundation. Many of them were widowed and lost several family members during the genocide. Yoga is helpful in helping them find grounding and joy, and is a valuable tool to maintain longevity in the physically demanding jobs of sewing, knitting and basket weaving. The yoga classes at imbuto foundation target a group of young college-age women who were orphaned during the genocide and have been given (food),shelter (and an education) by imbuto for many years. As they cannot really afford any other activities, yoga is a hit for them.
Cost: $15,000.00 USD