For the first time in March 2010, The Art of Living Happiness Programs were conducted in Chad, Africa. The programs were conducted for residents as well as staff at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) in the capital city of N'Djamena.
One of the participants shared, “I am so happy to have heard from you and happy to have learned 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."
A teacher’s journey
The life of Hiteshini Jugessur, an Art of Living teacher, has been dotted with interesting adventures while she traveled to Chad teaching people meditation.
Hiteshini shares, “Once I gave an introductory talk to a group of 20 people in the yard of a local home (a traditional mud-hut) where there was no electricity. Under the light of the stars and using one flashlight, the people learned breathing techniques.”
“We have conducted courses when the maximum temperature has been 52-degree Celsius and when the town has been affected by red dust storms. The external tough conditions only resolved our team’s resolve to reach out to people with Gurudev’s tools of leading a stress-free life,” she adds.
Reaching out to child soldiers
The Art of Living faculty and volunteers 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 to various ministries, including the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture and the Ministry of Social Services.
The Art of Living will focus on rehabilitation of child soldiers and conduct 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. We have just begun to scratch the surface," says Hiteshini.