Updated: Oct 5, 2018
We've experienced such a dope summer traveling, networking and building new partnerships. This Fall we will be taking our work to the next level as we continue to hold intentional spaces for girls to show up in and be themselves- UNAPOLOGETICALLY. We appreciate you all for your love, support and partnership as we continue to build this social enterprise.
BREATHE in Kenya
The Kamae Girls Borstal Institution
BREATHE's Founders & Co-Keepers, Ashley and Quandisha, traveled to Kenya in July after being invited by Sista-Yogi Khadijah Abdul-Mateen, of OM in Africa,to visit and build with girls housed at The Kamae Girls Borstal Instituton We partnered with Om in Africa and Peace within Prison Yogato facilitated healing workshops with girls about the "Masks We Wear". It was a deep discussion about the pieces of ourselves we most often have to hide from others to protect our authentic selves. We created a safe space for them to get free and do some storytelling about the times they had to wear a mask. We laughed with each other in all of our black girl joy, danced through the pain, and sang in the storm. After we all shared it was clear that we've all been using the mask as a way to simply survive. The idea that we all wear mask, is not specific to regions and nationalities but it is a survival mechanism we as people of color use globally. Khadijah Abdul-Mateen (Om in Africa) closed out the space with meditation and powerful yoga poses to allow ourselves to be courageous and free. It was an eye opening experience for us, we began to deeply understand the correlation of our girls in the U.S. and Kenya are not different but sacredly similar.
BREATHE N KenyaGlobal United Diaspora
We also had the opportunity to connect with Global United Diasporafor their Youth Empowerment Camp in partnership with Camp for Kibera. Kibera is a division and neighborhood in the city of Nairobi. It is the largest slum in Nairobi and the largest urban slum in Africa.
We created space for a Mental Health Healing Circle with teen mothers in Kibera. We checked-in with them about how they are caring for themselves mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We shared the areas we felt we were caring for the most, and the areas we could use extra support. The young women shared the common challenges they face being young single mothers and living in their community. They also found joy through music, dance, singing, sports, etc. Many of the young women expressed mental health is not a common topic but they were appreciative of the tools they received during our circle. We intentionally closed out the space affirming and grounding ourselves in we have all and everything we need within to heal and care for our minds, bodies, and souls. We shared one of the ways we close our circles, with
" I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides, I honor the place in you of love, light, peace,and truth, because if you are in that place in you, and i am in this place in me, then we are one. -Namaste
BREATHE N' BROOKLYNSUMMER SATURDAYZ
Back in August, we were blessed to partner with Kings Against Violence Initiative (KAVI) to create Healing circles for girls and young women on Saturdays! Over the course of four weeks we co-created brave, courageous, sacred, loving spaces with one another. As we co-journed, we built authentic relationships and sibling hood. Learning parts of ourselves and each other in community. Together we explored the question "Who am I"?, collectively and individually we used art to create self-portraits that mirrored affirmations and reminders of who we are at our core. We explored our connection to life, time, and our relationship to generations before us and those who are to come after us as we wrote letters to our past, present,&future selves. We wrapped up our sessions together as we closed out and reflected on a powerful question most take for granted and that was: "What does it mean to BREATHE?" Wow! How these young sistas truly showed up with depth and breath! We have to send a thank you to Brooklyn Community Foundation for hosting us in their space!
Annnnnnnnd Much gratitude to our very own BREATHE CAFE for curating the space and opportunity to enjoy fresh, hot and delicious meals! Mmmm MMM MMMM!!
It was a powerful building experience and we are grateful for the partnership with KAVI and looking forward to it's expansion in the future.
SOMEBODY SHINE A LIGHT ON HER!!
Our lil sis Alisha Keitt has played an integral role in both BREATHE Circles and Breathe Cafe. She embodies all of what it means to BREATHE. Her commitment to BREATHE has created opportunities to model sisterhood and be in community with other lil Sistas who are connected to us. Her impact has been moving and inspiring to all of us and we are grateful for her.
We ask that you take a moment to send her love, healing, and positive energy as she continues to complete her Bachelor's Degree at SUNY Potsdamn University. Alisha is majoring Sociology with a minor in Community and Sexual Health. Her dream is to become a epidemiologist. Alisha is interested in understanding the correlation between public health and social/community issues with intentions to create healing using restorative practices.
Keep pushing though and remember to be gentle with yourself. You have a community of people open willing to support you. Ask for what you need. Thank you for all that you contribute to BREATHE. We love you.
Book BREATHE CAFE for your next event!
BREATHE Cafe caters community and corporate events!! All proceeds of the earned are reinvested into BREATHE Circles for My Sistas. We offer an array of delicious cuisine for every occasion . Email Quandisha at BreatheCircles@gmail.com to inquiry about booking event!
Much gratitude and love to our community supporters and partnerships.We appreciate you for believing in the mission and vision of BREATHE Circles and Breathe Cafe. The success of BREATHE is surely the hard work of both Ashley and Quandisha. We also believe in community and the power of the collective. BREATHE has been able to thrive due to your support. Continue to invest in the lives of the young people we serve through a one- time donation or become a monthly supporter!
Much Light & Love!