Art of Living Stress Relief Programs In Chad

For the first time in March 2010, Art of Living’s yoga, Meditation and the Sudarshan Kriya techniques were taught in Chad, Africa. The Part 1 courses were conducted for the residents as well as the staff at the UNFPA (the United Nations Population Fund) and MINURCAT (The United Nations Mission in Central African Republic and Chad) in the capital city of N'Djamena.

A participant shares: “I am so happy to have heard from you and happy to have learnt the wonderful techniques that you taught us while you were here. The techniques are helping me even today. I am healthy and relaxed and would like to continue with these practices and we are waiting for you to come back for the next course."

Notes from a teacher’s diary

 “Last night, I gave an introductory talk to a group of 20 people, in the yard of a local person’s home (a traditional mud-hut). There was no electricity, so we were seated in a circle on a carpet, on the sandy ground outside the home, under the stars, with one flashlight.. We practiced breath techniques, there, in the open. It's mind blowing to me!,’ shared Hiteshini Jugessur

 A few days later, came another post:

 “Imagine RED fog…not being able to see more than 10 meters ahead of you...woke up to a funny reddish light outside...In fact it was not fog but dust! ..and it just lingers for a week or so at this time of the year. People are walking with their noses and mouths covered. Means no laundry for a while as everything you wash instantly gets covered in red dust the moment you hang it outside…white cloths turn pink! A course is going on at the moment.”

The Art of Living teacher and volunteers faced challenges of extreme weather conditions with maximum temperatures of 52°C and red dust storms. These outer conditions, although tough, strengthened the volunteers’ resolve to reach out to people, offer comfort and carry Sri Sri’s message of peace.

Reaching out to child soldiers

They visited one of UNICEF's (United Nations Children's Fund) transit homes where many child soldiers are being protected and rehabilitated. The country has a large number of child soldiers. The volunteers made presentations on trauma-relief work in various ministries, including the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture and the Ministry of Social Services.

Future plans

The Art of Living will focus on rehabilitation of child soldiers and conducting trauma relief programs in refugee camps around the country. “This is only the beginning. We have so much to do in Chad. We need to create strong partnerships with the local government and the various United Nations agencies. In this last trip, I only began to scratch the surface," says Hiteshini.

For those, who would like to join in, contact Hiteshini Jugessur @ hitu@artofliving.org