Such an exciting season, a season of change of new life and fresh starts, of growth and blossoming. This winter has been fairly quiet for us. However the onset of spring has already brought about change and exciting prospects for the YEPT team, both positive and negative.
On the 4th of September we sadly received resignation from our chairperson Heather Cunningham. Heather has worked tirelessly for YEPT since its inception in 2009. Her decisive management and support will be sorely missed by the YEPT Trustees. Heather however needs to focus on herself and the needs of her family at this time and our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Cunningham family at what is a difficult time for her.
On a positive note we are increasing momentum in our prison classes. Winter saw some of our teachers taking leave and we are now excited to have classes starting up again, including some new units.
Our research project is going well. Elizabeth St John Ives has made some exciting progress and we are offering a summer scholorship through Victoria University.
Gyananidhi had to take leave over winter to return to the UK to nurse her sick father who recently passed. At the end of August she returned to NZ and is planning to return to Christchurch Men’s Prison this coming term
Yogeshwaran also took leave over winter. He is currently negotiating to go in to work at a new drug treatment unit at Paremoremo Prison in Auckland.
Tracy Collins is taking a monthly class at Wanganui and is seeking funding to take weekly classes but the reality is we would need to increase her funding per class. We are budgeting to be able to realise this goal for Tracy.
Will Fenton is a teacher who has worked for us in the past at Rimutaka is planning to start at Waikeria Prison in the New Year. We endeavour to secure some funding for this from Trust Waikato, if this is not successful he will require our support to ensure this is sustainable for him long term.
We are also making progress to place a new teacher at Wiri Prison in South Auckland. At times it feels we are riding a wild horse and all we can do is hold on. The inspiration for this work is certainly catchy.
Peace to all. On behalf of Yoga Education in Prisons Trust.