This yoga mat bag radiates hope, possibility, and supports women’s empowerment in Rwanda. Izuba (meaning the Sun in Kinyarwanda) is handmade by members of Komera’s Parent and Guardian Cooperative - Agnes, Post-Secondary Transition Program - Ennide and Mary, and Teen Mothers programs - Fabiola. Made out of kitenge fabric, a traditional East African wax print, brings a piece of “the land of a thousand hills” everywhere your yoga practice takes you. When you bring this bag home you are not only enhancing your own yoga experience, you are making a difference.
Developed in 2019, the On the Ground Yoga Teacher Trainings’s goal is to decentralize yoga teacher training so that it is accessible and adaptable for women all over the world to use for themselves and their communities. We envision the positive effect yoga can have on the well-being of communities, especially for women where it can intersect with leadership values, peace building and self-compassion. Our ongoing collaboration with Komera will continue to will teach and train the Komera staff and social workers will learn how to teach yoga and adapt it to their Rwinkwavu community by focusing on young mothers and primary school students. Yoga trainees will learn physical practices, whereby shapes and sequences were self-designed to encourage holistic empowerment and to cement the message that yoga is for every type of body and every type of person. Trainees learn how to guide meditations, breath work, as well as engaging in self-care workshops.
Komera develops self-confident young women through education, community development, and health. Komera believe that young women have the right to lead change in their community, to experience the joy of self-discovery and to realize their potential. “Komera” means “be strong, have courage.”
Komera’s investment goes beyond each individual girl; it includes her family as well. Upon acceptance into Komera, the parents and guardians of each scholar are invited to join the Komera Parent and Guardian Cooperative, where they gain business skills, financial advice, and join a specific cooperative that strengthens their voice and spending ability.
Parents are advocates for girls in our community, and are leading the way in addressing sensitive cultural norms that limit opportunities for girls. The cooperative members save money together to launch small businesses, and Komera provides training for them to become savvy business owners. The cooperative has grown to over 100 parents and 50 business ventures boasting some impressive results for the community.
In the photo (left to right): Vestine, Ruth, and Scovia, graduates from the On the Ground Yoga Teacher training 2019 program.