MOVE Foundation introduces mindfulness workshops in local schools | 07 February 2020
The ‘Mindfulness – Openness – Vitality – Evolution’ (MOVE) Foundation – a non-government organisation (NGO) in Seychelles – has begun introducing mindfulness workshops in two private schools, with the primary objective of gradually bringing mindfulness into every school in Seychelles, in an effort to make health and wellness more accessible.
The MOVE Foundation, which was launched last year, is a network of holistic health experts, wellness practitioners and fitness coaches in Seychelles who exchange knowledge and work together to help improve the wellbeing of the society.
Following, is an interview with the creator and founder of the foundation, Lucie Harter, explaining what the workshops are about and their related benefits for those involved.
Seychelles NATION: Tell us about the mindfulness workshops that the MOVE Foundation has started.
Lucie Harter: I have an amazing team working with me to make our vision come true. In January, we went into Montessori and Independent schools to carry out a two-day intensive mindfulness course for each school.
This is the first step – introduce the concept, explore the scientific research behind it and its benefits, and then create a system to integrate the exercises into the schools’ daily curriculum.
The workshop was mandatory for all the teachers and each school created a plan to start implementing right away. Each school has a term to implement the techniques and to collect feedback.
The next phase happens in the second term where MOVE foundation comes back to the schools to help them work through the issues that might have come up, to answer any questions and clear up any confusion.
I am the course facilitator and I am currently training other members of the NGO to start carrying out the trainings as more schools come on board.
The workshop is separated into two days; the first day is about understanding mindfulness and why it’s so important. We cover stress and the impact of chronic stress on the society. We focus on the science and emphasise that we are not challenging any belief systems or asking anyone to subscribe to any religion or belief.
We focus purely on scientifically proven techniques that help children focus better at school, find out how to learn more optimally, centre themselves to become aware of their emotions, regulate their emotional states, as well as learn how to cope with the stress that most kids face at school on a daily basis.
The second day is all about creating a plan for each school. We want the integration to be as smooth and easy to incorporate as possible, so we offer the teachers various tools and techniques that they can use. It is up to the teachers to decide which methods they prefer and how they will apply it to each class. Every programme is tailor-made and is an interactive programme.
We work with the teachers as they can make a difference in these kids’ lives. There are various techniques for all age groups so we have everyone covered.
Seychelles NATION: What are some of the related benefits of this mindfulness workshop?
Lucie Harter: We want to create a positive wave of change in Seychelles. This starts with our mindset and mental health. Most people spend more time maintaining their toe nails than their brains. But once you start to understand how your brain functions, you can start to understand yourself and become more in control of your life and your reactions.
We want to equip the schools and teachers in Seychelles with the tools and resources to help themselves and the kids to take pauses so they can better function in class and in life.
Mindfulness milestones works by introducing pauses into the daily routine of the school kids to help them – a breath, a moment of silence and many other techniques to help them focus, and be in the present moment.
There is so much scientific research coming out at the moment on the benefits of mindfulness and how important it is to take care of your brain! Work out your brain!
Currently, the rate of mental health issues is rising throughout the world and a big portion of the global population is taking some sort of medication for diagnosis relating to mental states. This is why mindfulness in schools is becoming a big thing and starting to spread rapidly throughout the world.
If we can start combating mental health issues by educating our people and giving them the tools to build strength, awareness, resilience and mental focus/clarity, we can avoid a lot of future social problems. We start to create a conscious society.
Seychelles NATION: What are some of the foundation’s hopes and plans for this year?
Lucie Harter: We hope that more schools come on board and start to take mental health as seriously as it should be taken. One thing to mention is that these workshops are completely free for the schools so what do they have to lose? These are tools for life!
We are starting our first parent mindfulness workshop as well next week which is also free and we want as many people to have access to this as possible.
We are also working on creating a healing garden where people can join various health-oriented activities and our first alternative health festival is coming up this year.
This year we will focus on more social events and keep pushing forward with the mindful milestones movement.
For further information:
- Telephone: 2 509 040
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Visit: www.moveseychelles.com
- Follow: ‘Move Foundation Seychelles’ on Facebook