“On June 20, the world commemorates the strength, courage, and resilience of millions of refugees.”
This is a cause that connects us all as human beings at the most fundamental level. “Around the world, more than 50 million people have fled their homes. Each day thousands more follow” (United Nations). Many of us cannot even fathom what it feels like to be ripped away from your home, community, culture, and all things familiar in the courageous act of keeping your family safe. And yet in spite of all this hardship, human beings continue to thrive, to create, to succeed.
Cameroon has been struggling with political instability and civil unrest for almost two years. Schools and hospitals have been systematically targeted, leaving hundreds of thousands of people without access to basic health and education services. “According to UN estimates more than 437,000 people are currently displaced within Cameroon. The deadly conflict has also forced over 35,000 Cameroonians to seek asylum in Nigeria. With the fighting continuing, this number is expected to rise” (United Nations).
Resources are stretched thin and it is incredibly difficult for refugees and internally displaced persons to access basic education, health services, food, and water. Communities are really stepping up and doing the best they can, but this is an unprecedented influx of people that need more support than local communities can provide.
The Himalayan Institute has dedicated the last 12 years to supporting education, healthcare, and job creation across Cameroon. As we navigate through this time of uncertainty together, there is one thing we know will remain consistent: our dedication to the community. We will continue to provide unwavering support through our network of public libraries and health centers—all free of charge. This will ensure maximum impact, as we strive to provide resources to as many people as possible during this time of conflict.
We stand with refugees today and every day.
We must support all of our brothers and sisters, no matter their religion, race, or nationality. There is nothing more powerful than kindness, compassion, and a positively focused collective consciousness. In honor of World Refugee Day, let’s think about how we can all work together to make the world a safer and more welcoming place for human beings of all backgrounds.
Now is the time to put our yoga into action. The practice of selfless service is a foundational element upon which our personal yoga practice is built and continues to grow. The ability to enact this in our everyday lives requires an immense amount of focus and personal commitment. But together—with open minds, open hearts, focus, and determination—we can make a meaningful impact.