Norahib bikom- welcomes you

Norahib bikom- welcomes you

“Something has to be done!” That’s what Bettina Schuler thought in 2014 when she saw images of the refugee crisis in the news again. The trained yoga teacher promptly decides to volunteer to offer a yoga course in a refugee home. Bettina Schuler, born in 1975, lives and works in Berlin. She studied theater, film and television studies, history and German in Cologne and Paris. In addition to her work as an author, she completed training as a yoga teacher a few years ago. She has been giving yoga lessons to refugee women since 2014

At the beginning of 2016, Bettina founded the non-profit organization Citizen2be with the aim of increasing the integration of refugees. That's why she started a crowdfunding campaign on November 15th with the goal of collecting 20,000 euros. We talked to her about what Bettina wants some people to do and how we can support her in her campaigns.

“Something has to be done!”

Hello Bettina, in 2014 you came up with the idea of ​​doing yoga with refugees. How did you come up with that? You don't get up in the morning and think, today I'm going to do something completely new...

Bettina: That's right, not really and for me there was of course a trigger for my decision. In this case, it was quite banal that the topics of the day reported that hundreds of refugees had drowned trying to reach Europe across the Mediterranean. From that point on, it suddenly became clear to me that I could no longer tolerate sitting idly by. And since, due to my family and professional situation, I was unfortunately unable to travel to the Mediterranean myself to help the stranded refugees there, I decided to at least work for them here in my country, in my city. That was on a Sunday evening. On Monday morning I called several homes, on Tuesday I had an appointment at a home and on Wednesday I gave my first yoga class.

You then wrote a book (“Norahib bikom- means Welcome”, published by Eden Books) about the experiences you had in your yoga classes. This book is about a very special woman, her family and her story. Tell me exactly.

Rosa: Exactly, from my friend Arwa, who was an English teacher in Damascus. And who was my very first student. I have a very special relationship with her, not only because she has been there from the beginning, but also because we have become very close through the many conversations, joint visits to the authorities and yoga lessons. Which is why over time we started talking about difficult and unpleasant topics like the war, her situation here in Germany, and the prejudices she is exposed to. I thought for a long time whether I should write a book about our friendship or whether I would exploit the friendship. Ultimately, I decided on it in consultation with Arwa. Above all, to show that none of them voluntarily left their home, their family, their homeland, but that they simply had no other choice to save their lives.

"...but that they simply had no other choice to save their lives."

Now you have something very special planned with a new project. Citizen2be. What is this about? And most importantly, who do you want to help?

Bettina: At the beginning of this year, I founded the non-profit organization Citizen2be, whose aim is to promote the integration of refugees. Unfortunately, I always notice that very few refugees have contact with Germans. But if we really want to accept these people who have sought and found protection with us into our society, then we have to get in touch with them. Something that all refugees really want!

In order to realize this plan, you have now started a crowdfunding campaign, which we at OGNX support. Would you mind briefly explaining how it all works and how our readers can help?

Bettina: With the crowdfunding campaign we are trying to collect 20,000 euros in order to initially be able to rent a room for a year in which we want to help the refugees deal with their traumas by setting up a yoga trauma therapy. Because you can't even imagine what these people have seen and what fears they have experienced. And now they are here in Germany, have lost their homeland and have often lost confidence in themselves and their bodies due to the trauma and feel homeless both mentally and geographically. This is exactly where yoga trauma therapy comes in, trying to give people back their confidence in themselves and their bodies. Because only those who feel at home in their body can fully arrive in a new society. And all of us who practice yoga know how well it helps you find your way out of small or large crises. And of course it would be great if one or two people would support us by going to our Startnext page and securing one of the incredibly great thank you gifts that are available for little money thanks to our great partners like OGNX.

Do you also give readings for your book? Or are some dates already set?

Bettina: Yes, of course! A specific date has already been set: I will read from my book at Jivamukti Berlin on November 27th. And of course introduce my campaign. So anyone who would like to come by is warmly invited! Admission is free and all donations from the evening will benefit my organization Citizen2be.

Dear Bettina, we at OGNX wish you great success for your crowdfunding campaign!

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