Off the Mat and The Global Seva Challenge

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Off The Mat, Into the World (OTM) is an organization founded in 2007 by a team of three conscious activists: Seane Corn, Hala Kouri, and Suzanne Sterling. With the support and oversight of the parent non-profit The Engage Network, OTM’s mission is to “use the power of yoga to inspire conscious, sustainable activism and ignite grassroots social change.” Since its beginning, OTM has developed leadership trainings, Yoga in Action groups, Yoga Votes, Springboard projects, The Empowered Youth Initiative and The Global Seva Challenge.

The Global Seva Challenge (GSC) is an international service project as well as a transformational journey that builds community, awareness and action around global issues, and raises significant funds to support communities in crisis. Since 2007, GSC has raised over two million dollars for projects in Cambodia, Uganda, South Africa and Haiti. GSC 2012 aims to raise awareness of the root causes and impact of the global sex trafficking industry, support organizations in India that are providing refuge, rehabilitation and economic opportunities to survivors, and empower survivors to lead lives with dignity and respect.

OTM will partner with organizations in India that not only rescue victims of sex trafficking but are actively working to rehabilitate and provide a healing process for survivors. In addition, Off the Mat will provide support for women and children living in rural communities as well as projects working to preserve the sanctity, beauty, and cleanliness of the Ganges and Himalayas.* OTM empowers and challenges GSC participants to raise $20,000 by collaborating with their local communities. Those challengers that meet the fundraising goal are able to participate in the Bare Witness Tour, a two week journey to India working directly with the organizations their funds have helped to support.

OTM will work on projects with the following organizations.

Apne Aap, based in Delhi, India, helps marginalized women and girls work collectively to lift themselves out of the sex industry as well as to advocate for policy change to stem the demand for purchased sex. Read more…

Kolkata Sanved, in Kolkata, India, was founded in 2004 on the belief that body movement, when used sensitively, could become a powerful tool for rehabilitation and advocacy. Read more…

Made by Survivors, based in Kolkata, India, aims to end slavery through economic empowerment and education, giving survivors the tools they need to build safe, independent, and slavery-free lives. Read more…

Sanlaap, based in Kolkata, India, works against the trafficking of women and children for sexual purposes. They have established rescue shelters for survivors of trafficking, which provide education, mental health services, vocational training and economic initiatives, and legal aid. Click here for more information. Read more…

Clean Himalaya, based in Rishikesh, India, works to preserve the sanctity, beauty, and cleanliness of the Ganges and Himalayas. Click here for more information. Read more…

Ramana’s Garden, based in Rishikesh, India, is a grassroots rural development assistance project to help empower women and children living in remote mountain villages in India. Read more…

 

To learn more about the amazing work being done by OTM please visit:

 

*italicized copy taken directly from the Off the Mat, Into the World website