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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Stretching a charitable spirit. Non-profit brings yoga empowerment to at-risk youth

Courtesy Reach Within
Yoga’s worldly appeal and benefits are being showered upon children in Grenada, who have experienced hardship or loss, thanks to ReachWithin, a charity that supports vulnerable Grenadian children and their caregivers.

“In 2009, the Reach Grenada Youth Program was created and has grown in to a full curriculum, rooted in the growing needs of the children it serves,” says Meghan Tyrrell, program manager.
Five part-time employees now run... weekly yoga classes out at The Queen Elizabeth Home, located in the parish of St. Georges, as well as Belair Home, Dorothy Hopkins Home for the Disabled, Father Mallaghan's, and at The Emergency Shelter.
The Queen Elizabeth Home is, "a place that supports children of all ages who are orphaned or in need of care through voluntary contribution,” says Tyrell. “These children need practical tools in order to self-regulate and learn about their emotions. It’s actually a yoga/life-skills program that helps them to develop social-emotional literacy, self-confidence and resiliency in the presence of caring adults,” says Tyrrel.
Using their train-the-trainer model, caregivers in the group residential homes the organization works with were trained to teach the yoga classes with the help of trained facilitators who mentor them, according to Tyrrell. 
Courtesy Reach Within

A formal curriculum is in the works, for spreading with other non-profits with similar missions.
So far, “Reach Within has witnessed an overall reduction of disruptive behavior and an increase in listening skills and caring for others,” says Tyrrell. Longer term, the hope is, “to see children playing a positive and active role in the community, have increased opportunities for employment, having family planning knowledge and demonstrating safe behaviors.”


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