Why we need your help
The AZAHAR Foundation works in post-conflict communities providing free yoga classes and yoga teacher training. Their aim is to break cycles of violence, and focus on the recovery and rehabilitation of individuals, and the communities in which they live.
They do this by identifying young leaders and providing them with a 2-year professional community development, arts and yoga teacher training to empower them to become agents of positive change within their communities.
The organization was founded by Yogeswari (Estelle Eichenberger) in 2008. It is a registered charity in the United States, Switzerland and Cambodia. Approximately 90% of its staff and beneficiaries are women and girls from disadvantaged backgrounds. Yogeswari describes them as the “daughters of genocide survivors whose opportunities are generally limited to working in sweat shops, sex slavery or on impoverished farms”.
AZAHAR Foundation currently runs two Centers for Peace, Yoga & Arts and a vegan café in Cambodia and teaches yoga in five NGOs in Rwanda. The objective is to establish professional schools in said disciplines on each continent. A central Peace Village in Switzerland will facilitate cross-cultural exchange and collaborations.
In Cambodia, vocational development happens in 3 phases:
1) Casting the Net: Free Vegan Food & Yoga for All
These yoga classes are for children, adolescents & young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds. Young people are exposed to yoga and meditation, which is inherent in the spiritual tradition of Cambodia. Due to malnutrition and poverty, young people are more likely to participate in extra-curricular activities when a free meal is provided.
2) Professional Training
Currently, the Professional Training comprises an 8-month Peace Curriculum that exposes young people to yoga, meditation, various artistic disciplines, as well as areas of peace work and social development. This is followed by a two-month internship in an NGO or community in need. The second year is a Yoga Teacher Training which, since 2019, has been provided by local teachers. Currently, AZAHAR offers one international scholarship for Yoga Teacher Training and would like to expand that international scholarship program to the Arts.
3) Career Opportunities:
Yoga teachers who have gone through the Foundation’s training are now eligible to make a living through AZAHAR Foundation. They teach public classes at their centers to students who are able to pay class fees. They also teach in businesses, factories, corporations and NGOs.
AZAHAR is looking to develop a similar system for the Performing Arts, both through teaching and performing. The goal is to become a self-sustaining social business.
Thank you for your support
raised so far
Dec 18, 2020
Dec 18, 2020
Dec 10, 2020
Nov 11, 2020
Nov 10, 2020
The Devi Yoga Family
Sep 20, 2020
Jun 29, 2020
Total raised so far
Total plus Gift Aid £575.00
Raised offline £0.00