South Africa Project

His Holiness the Dalai LamaProject Young Women Awake began as an online research assignment created by Imani Jade Powers while she attended Sarah Lawrence College in New York.

Our vision – to enrich young women between the ages of 16 and 24 in Self leadership through personal empowerment, self care, and Mindfulness/Awareness meditation methods. By offering yogic body/mind contemplative teachings and practices, we aim to inspire personal practice and career choices (such as becoming a yoga and meditation teacher), options different from those most women have been limited to in traditional societies. We hope to give young women the power to make a profound difference in how they live internally, and in the world.

In February of 2015, this idea was birthed into being when Sarah Powers and Tripti Mahendra traveled to Underberg, South Africa to teach a five-day residential retreat to fifteen young women at Dharmagiri with a curriculum rooted in the themes above.

The fifteen girls who attended the retreat were residents of the Kulungile Care Center and the local farming community of Underberg. Kulungile is run by Sister Abegail Ntleko – age 81. Sister Abegail trained as a nursing sister and is a matriarch in the community. She has worked tirelessly to advocate for those who are suffering from HIV/AIDS. She has personally adopted and fostered over 30 orphans – children who have lost their parents to the AIDS pandemic. She received the Unsung Hero Award from His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 2009 and has been tireless in her efforts to give these children an education so they may find their wings.

Please watch this video of our experience in South Africa when teaching a five-day residential retreat for fifteen young women in February 2015.


Nelly and AmandaIn the video, you were introduced to two young women awakening – Nelly and Amanda. At the end of the retreat, we asked each of the girls to write an essay about their experience. After reviewing the essays of Nelly and Amanda, Sarah opened two spaces at her Teacher Training Intensive in London at Triyoga December 5-12, 2015.

Nelly and Amanda had an incredible learning experience in traveling to London and participating in the training. We look forward to supporting their ongoing deepening and development of their practice.

We are so grateful to all who donated so that we could bring Nelly and Amanda to London and have them attend the Teacher Training.

As we continue to grow the Outreach Program as an extension of our Insight Yoga Institute, we will look to other parts of the globe to create a vibrant community of young women awakening to their unrealized potential. We look forward to sharing more about future locations.


Sarah and Tripti Teaching the GirlsWe are seeking your financial support (any amount is helpful) to support future young women awakening.
Please enter your donation amount to make your financial contribution.

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For any questions, please contact Tripti Mahendra – Outreach Director, Insight Yoga Institute.


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