By Erin Anderson
Posted in The Real Deal, on October 29, 2012
I have been working with Africa Yoga Project as their graphic designer in a growing capacity for almost a year. I recognized an opportunity to give back to the organization using my marketing and design skills. I offered them up, despite the fact that I had lost my love for Graphic Design. It was AYP founder Paige Elenson who reignited that love.
It started November of 2011 when I visited Nairobi on my Africa Yoga Project Ambassador trip. I brought the very talented Whistler photographer Robin O'Neill with me knowing what an impact quality photos can have. She and I worked to develop a substantial image library in a short amount of time. My work started when we got home; how to effectively share that great body of work.
I happen to love Facebook. Spending time on social media is not a challenge for me, and Paige unleashed me! I began a campaign to reveal the images and it paid off. When we started, our on-line community was about 8,000 people, today we have 20,891! Coupling the story that the images tell with words of wisdom proved to be a potent combination.
The next task was a bigger one. The website. My first call was to my friend and ally in digital media, Jody Edgar. He had recently been bitten by the yoga bug and participated in my 40 Days to a Personal Revolution program where he made some HUGE shifts in his life. Watching his transformation through the power of yoga was nothing short of jaw dropping inspiration. I have very rarely seen anyone take themselves on the way Jody did, he was on fire! I watched him burn away so many layers that were binding him, some physical, some in his work and relationships. It was a short conversation when I asked him if he was ready to give back in a big way. He said a quick yes to donating all his valuable time to code the new AYP site. We set to work that day.
The design process was easy for me. I love this project with all my heart. I worked collaboratively with Paige (by FAR my most favourite client) who is clear, decisive and knows exactly when to push and when to let go. The rest of the AYP team all worked tirelessly to gather content and together we created a vibrant site.
"Work alone is your privilege, never the fruits thereof. Never let the fruits of action be your motive; and never cease to work." Bhagavad Gita
I can say that the fruits of this work will surely help build awareness for AYP and is a platform to honour the amazing men and women who DO work tirelessly each day. These 52 teachers are reaching 5,000 people a week in every corner of Nairobi. They work each day to be better teachers, to shine brighter for the good of all. They are my heroes.
Please visit www.africayogaproject.org and share!