Holiday Festivities for Children!
There is nothing sweeter than to see the faces of children light up with joy! The only thing that can top this is when we see mothers with a deep sense of relief and comfort knowing that their children are growing in happiness, that they will survive the challenges in their life, and that they will not only be OK, but will thrive.
This is a beautiful outcome of our TM Clubs for children in Kampala, which was clear to all of us at AWAGO at our 2020 TM Club holiday celebrations for the children of our charitable partners this season, UWOPED and Empowered Women.
One of AWAGO’s primary focuses has been providing wellness programs, including the Transcendental Meditation technique, to ultra-poor women and children in Uganda. Uganda has one of the youngest populations in the world (57% under the age of 18) and 38% of youth ages 6-17 live in poverty. Now more than ever, youth need access to holistic interventions that can provide them with tools to cope with stress, develop resilience, and gain opportunities to grow socially in today’s challenging environment.
Four years ago we started our TM Clubs for UWOPED children ages 10-18. UWOPED was our first charitable partner starting in 2012, serving single mothers in Kampala and providing them with skills training, counseling, and other services. To date 800 UWOPED women and 350 of their children have learned TM. In 2020 we gained a new partner, Empowered Women, which also serves women and children with important wellness services. Over 400 women and 400 children at Empowered Women have learned TM just this year. This celebration marked the inauguration of Empowered Women’s TM Club.
What is a TM Club?
TM Clubs were created for the purpose of allowing these children to have a safe and supportive social environment to come together for group meditation, knowledge, and fun activities. Knowledge lessons are centered around general principles of natural law, such as “The Nature of Life is to Grow,” “Life is Found in Layers,” and “Rest and Activity Are the Steps of Progress.” Each lesson explores examples of these principles in nature, in the students’ own lives, and in their own meditation practice. The goal is to explore and find connections between both inner and outer knowledge—inner knowledge of oneself, and outer knowledge of the world—and to grow in the appreciation that “Knowledge is for action, action is for achievement, and achievement is for fulfillment.”
Through our TM Clubs we celebrate the power of love and mutual respect. Our aim is to help these young people develop their individual potential, as well as social awareness and teamwork, and to give them a strong foundation of self-esteem and confidence as they grow to become responsible members and even future leaders of society.
Our Holiday TM Club celebrations were an opportunity for all of us to come together and allow the children to share what they have been learning through delightful songs and skits and dancing.
A special holiday meal was enjoyed, topped off with a delicious celebration cake, and each child received a t-shirt as a gift.
The event ended with a Zoom call with international leaders and supporters of AWAGO, with everyone, including children, their mothers, and organization leaders sharing words of love, appreciation, and gratitude. The highlight of the celebration was the singing and dancing. A great time was had by all!
We wish all of our AWAGO friends a beautiful, peaceful and happy New Year!!!