Innovators, artists, poets, dreamers, activists, and inventors are all different perhaps in specialty, but in many ways one in the same. They recognize their inner light, consider their infinite potential, and creatively make a dent in the universe because they know they can.
Let’s Imagine empowers children in the developing world to create and recognize their inner light by engaging them in yoga and art. This unique nonprofit enables children to believe that they can have bright futures, that they can be tomorrow’s inventors, creators and world-changers, despite worries about where dinner might come from or whether school this year is a reality.
Kim Charnuska, the CEO and co-director of Let’s Imagine, was inspired to create Let’s Imagine while reflecting on children she encountered in Tanzania. As both a yogi and artist, Charnuska was inspired by their interest in drawing and her own child yoga teacher training. During her reflection she asked herself two questions:
- Can art and yoga provide a spark of hope and positively transform the lives of underprivileged children?
- Can these creative mediums create lasting change within communities?
Her answer was yes, and Let’s Imagine was her creative solution.
Why yoga and art?
Yoga promotes physical and mental health benefits including flexibility, balance, strength and quieting of the mind through breath in a non-competitive way. Most importantly, it provides the space for those practicing to acknowledge their inner light, as well as that light in others and in the natural world.
Art allows children to express themselves, celebrate multiple perspectives, and realize that problems can have more than one solution. Through self-expression, children can discover where their passion lies, and channel that energy to contribute to a greater good.
In 2015, Let’s Imagine’s completed their first project at Bristle Oak Academe, a local school in Bacoor Cavite in the Philippines. Kim and Karma Yoga Ambassador Matt Boardman taught yoga and art to over 100 students every day. The kids were engaged, grateful, and enthusiastic, saying they ‘loved yoga and art!’ Let’s Imagine will launch their next project in Tanzania.
Although bringing yoga and art to children in developing countries is Let’s Imagine’s primary objective, they have other humanitarian goals. In addition to collaborative art projects, yoga, and meditation, they aim to build a well, delivering clean and safe drinking water to a community in Tanzania.
Let’s Imagine envisions a world at peace, where humans, animals, and the planet are respected, and children are protected. Their mission video brings their work to life and you can check out their website, like their Facebook page, or follow them on Instagram to get involved and learn more.
Written by Mary Donovan
All pictures taken from letsimagine.org