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Tools for Inner Peace is a charitable foundation registered in the UK: registered charity number 1169251.
Sow Seeds of Yoga in Sierra Leone - Scholarships for Sulcut, Meeky and Francess


Training in Yoga for Children

 


Support Sulcut, Meeky and Francess to Spread the Light of Yoga


Purpose: We wish to create a scholarship fund to support Sulcut, Meeky and Francess - three Sierra Leonean poets, singers, song-writers whose home has been on the streets over many years - in undertaking an intensive 18-month yoga training. They will pay their scholarships forward by teaching yoga to others, helping to heal the scars of trauma in children and vulnerable people in their communities.  


Sierra Leone - Yoga to Build a Better World

In this classical yoga training, participants undergo a process of self-transformation, then support the healing of their communities.The training focuses on sharing tools that promote a peaceful and gradual social and environmental change, generating new habits that help improve the mental and physical health of the people of Sierra Leone. This way it creates better living conditions in the present and possibilities to build a fair and decent future.

Classical Yoga training

 

The project will impact more than 1,000 children and 300 vulnerable adults during 2022. As Sulcut, Meeky and Francess can testify, children in Sierra Leone face severe obstacles to their development. Most pressingly, children are at risk of child labour, violence and sexual abuse, child marriage and adolescent pregnancy. These risks, combined with systemic poverty, poor health conditions and lack of access to education, endanger all children in the country. 


The stories of Sulcut, Meeky and Francess

One of twelve children, Sulcut (Sulaiman Bangura) spent his childhood in poverty and his youth in refugee camps in Guinea. On his return to Sierra Leone he struggled for survival on the street. He is a poet and song-writer. Meeky (Michael Samuel Kamara), a singer-songwriter, also made the street his home in his teens. Like Sulcut, he has learned a range of skills, including sound engineering, at WAYout which offers training in media, music and the arts to disadvantaged young people in Sierra Leone. WAYout has also been a haven for Francess (Francess Kamara), who has participated in photography, editing and poetry workshops there. A triplet, Francess was turned out of her uncle’s home at the age of eight on account of superstition, when her two other sisters died. 


Michael Samuel Kamara a.k.a. Meeky Star


Always on the edge of survival, Sulcut, Meeky and Francess' sources of income have dried up with the Covid-19 pandemic. Yet despite their own severely reduced circumstances, all three continue to volunteer to spread healing and joy through poetry, dance, music - and now yoga - to patients in a psychiatric ward, at a women’s prison, in schools, among orphans and other children in need. 


Scholarships 

We would hope to provide a stipend of £50 per month to Sulcut, Meeky and Francess throughout the 18 months of training. Our overall goal for the crowdfunding campaign is £2.700. 


If you are feeling particularly generous and we manage to collect more money than needed for these three scholarships, we will distribute the additional funds to others taking part in the training who have financial needs. Thank you for helping us sow the seeds of yoga far and wide, to build a better world. 


The Sierra Leone - Yoga to Build a Better World initiative is led by Fundación YOGA PURA VIDA, in partnership with Tools for Inner Peace. 




Sulaiman Bangura a.k.a. Sulcut

 

I Was Born in Poverty

by Sulaiman Bangura a.k.a. Sulcut


I remember when we used to sleep without food

No expectation of tomorrow

We only wished to see another day

We were poor and unsafe

Living on bush animals and plants

And curing our diseases with bush medicines


We lived and walked through the bush

Looking fearfully at the hills and trees

Walking miles every day just in search of the basics of life

We were like roses under a black rock

Locked in darkness


I remember the old building made of branches

With a roof of golden grasses

Some days we had to endure

The frenzied weather of the mountains

Mist floated through the building

And we felt the cold within our bones

Brothers and sisters lay in rows on the cold ground

Sharing an old faded blanket


We were living a mysterious rustic life without luxuries

The black soap we used was made by our grandma

We used sticks to clean our teeth

To be poor is not a crime, but poverty is an ugly relative


 

I Must Lose with You

by Meeky Star (Michael Samuel Kamara)




The Woman in Me

by Francess Kamara


In me there is a great woman

This woman makes a difference

Can make changes in my life

Day and night she gets stronger


This great woman in me

Makes me fight for what I want

believes in hustling hard

Makes me do astonishing things


Sometimes unbelievable

To everyone even me

Sometimes I wonder in slumber

What kind of woman I am


This woman can never change,

Can make perfect things occur

This woman can never give up

can never be lost or done with


The growth of her power in me

Makes me fight to victory

Ready to face the whole world

Show the power of the woman in me



Francess Kamara