While travellingtrolls.wordpress.com, is my personal blog, I have created a special section dedicated to my work on behalf of Promethean Spark International. PSI is an NGO that “teach(s) essential life skills to impoverished youth worldwide through training in the performing arts; (breaking the cycle of poverty by inspiring change from within).” PSI currently has programs in Costa Rica, Kenya (which they are currently making some amazing expansions too), and India.
In the words of Shaun Parry (President and Founder of PSI):
“Discipline, focus, concentration, respect, goal-setting, perseverance…these are the tools needed to succeed in school, a job or any endeavor in life. This is what we teach—through dance. Joining hands with Rising Star Outreach of India, Promethean Spark International has succeeded in establishing much needed outreach programs in the Tamil Nadu District of Southern India. Working with hundreds of individuals from various leprosy colonies and the leprosy-affected students at the Rising Star School in Thottanaval (a small village 2 hrs south of Chennai) we have been able to institute year-round programs teaching life skills through the arts. Besides working with the young people, we are thrilled to be able to reach out to the parents and grandparents in the leprosy colonies with a movement therapy program. You should see the joy and light in their faces as they discover themselves in ways they never dreamed possible.
In 2009 we created the first ever dance troupe created out of youth from leprosy colonies. This 20 member company, the LifeDance Troupe, are taking their motto “Heal the World~Leaders for Life” very seriously. On World Leprosy Day 2011, history was made when these courageous teens performed live at a luxury hotel (the Chennai Marriott) with David Archuleta (American Idol), Stacey Tookey (So You Think You Can Dance) and Shaun Parry (Broadway) in front of VIPs, paparazzi and news and media cameras. Never before in the history of the world has this happened. Since then they have performed for over 10,000, lifting the stigma of leprosy from the minds of the people. They are truly modern-day pioneers who are being the change they want to see in the world.”
I first traveled to India in 2010 and have thought of these children everyday since. I was so thrilled to return in 2013 for a few weeks to continue the work of PSI and to see how that program has inspired these children to greatness. The graduating class had tested higher than any other school in the region and since then many that I have worked with continue on to higher education and success. I hope I can go back sooner than later but in the meantime feel free to look back on my experiences in this section.
You can also get more information on the organization and how to become a volunteer at prometheanspark.org. If you would like to assist the work of Promethean Spark International financially, you can Donate Here as well.
Thank you for all of the support and love throughout this journey.