It is Friday, it looks like a normal day but for the children of Mama Africa Pendo School in Mathare, it is a special day, they start very early to ask teacher Mariana: When will the teacher Millie arrive? The seed of yoga is starting to germinate since the beginning of this year when Millie, Teacher of Africa Yoga Project, started to visit and spending quality time with this 20 children; boys and girls between 3 and 4 years old, who live in one of the most vulnerable sectors of Nairobi.
When yoga class starts, all the children run out of the classroom to the courtyard to follow the instructions of Millie. They have a big smile on their face, a signal indicating that they are happy and enjoying the activity. They start the class in a circle to warm up, recognizing themselves as part of a group, laughing and jumping of happiness.
Really, the courtyard of Mama Africa Pendo School on Fridays afternoon is transformed by the seed of yoga. Mariana, a teacher of the school, notices the effect that yoga has on her students. She perceives how the practice relieves the stress the children carry within, they are more flexible, fit, calmed, and after the classes, more aware and capable of sharing and integrating as a group.
In words of Mary Njeru, Founder of the School they feel part of society, motivated and excited, and it doesn’t matter if they live in a slum, yoga is everywhere, and thanks to Africa Yoga Project, for everyone.