3 Ways to Help Raise Money for Opening Your Heart to Bhutan on Give Back Friday
Move Over Black Friday, it’s Give Back Friday!
We all love a Black Friday deal, but as yogis we also want to put other people and planet first, which is why we have created our first ever Give Back Friday. We are giving 10% of all sales made in our yoga shop - from Black Friday through to midnight the following Tuesday - to Opening Your Heart to Bhutan. This is the charity dedicated to improving the lives of children in Bhutan, giving them better access to education, medicine and social care.
Who’s in charge?
Pema Deki, creator of Opening Your Heart to Bhutan, is a force of nature, a woman whose life credits run from Investment Banker to Yoga Teacher to Buddhist Nun and who divides her time between the Himalayan country of Bhutan and the seaside town of Whitstable. I first met her at the British Wheel of Yoga Festival earlier this year. There she was, a skinny, tall, bald headed woman in richly coloured traditional robes, her pale skin luminous in the dark lecture theatre, lighting us up with her energy and passion. With her feet folded beneath her it looked as if she was levitating; which probably is one of her super powers. It was immediately obvious to me that she operates from the highest ideals of philanthropy and compassion; and she confirmed this when she shared that the charity is able to donate 92p in every £1 directly to projects on the ground. This is made possible, in no small part, by the small army of volunteers drawn to the project by their charismatic leader.
Where does the money go?
Pema is a tireless fundraiser, popping up all over the country to talk about her amazing life and to sell her book Set Free, which she wrote with the sole (should that be soul?) purpose of raising money for the charity. Over four years £272,000 has been raised, playing a major role in building the first purpose-built special needs school in East Bhutan, where children are offered education and vocational training. Buildings include a dining hall, kitchen, storeroom, library and classrooms. The charity has purchased two vehicles to enable students to attend school, and hospital when required. It has also built a playground and all-important toilets, and provided those who have lost their limbs with life-changing prosthetics.
What’s next for Opening Your Heart to Bhutan?
Recently the charity has begun backing the further training of teachers – equipping them with the necessary skills to widen and deepen special needs teaching in Bhutan. Pema tells me that the further training of teachers in this field is a priority; along with continuing to expand the number of special needs children able to access educational and medical services.
How can you help?
Volunteer - everybody in the charity feels passionately that their own lives are hugely enriched by the work that they do to help these children in Bhutan. While the charity is not currently accepting volunteers in Bhutan itself, if you would like to volunteer to help from the UK, in any capacity, please click here to email.
Shop with us - 10% of your order value goes to the charity - Friday 23rd to Tuesday 28th November.Buy Set Free, Pema’s excellent book - click here.
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is a yoga advocate and writer with three yoga books to her name, including the beloved travel memoir Yoga School Dropout. She writes regularly for the national press, has authored over 150 guides to types of yoga and yoga poses, discovered nearly 250 proven health benefits of yoga through her painstaking classification of 300 clinical studies, and collected more than 500 personal testimonials to the real life benefits of yoga. She is also the creator of our yoga shop – YogaClicks.Store – handpicking yoga brands that are beautifully made by yogis committed to environmental and social sustainability.