Christel House School, Robert Fortune, Principal

It is with pleasure that I write on behalf of Philipa von Kerckerinck who introduced Roots Tribe Yoga (RTY) to Christel House South Africa in 2013. The concept of yoga to school children in a school set-up was an unusual phenomenon to me as a long standing principal. It was such a successful venture at my school that I would like to recommend it to my fellow colleagues in South Africa. The South African school environment and especially poor disadvantaged schools are faced with many misbehaved students who are not focused on the demands of a rigid high school program. RTY started this program with two of our grade eight classes and managed through their program to focus our students in such a way that our teachers noticed the difference in the classrooms. We decided to venture into the program with RTY because our students have very disruptive lives, which impacts on their individual resilience factors so desperately needed in a school environment. Some of the shortcomings (among most of our students) in resilience to succeed at school include among other

A lack of learning orientation at their homes

A lack of community safety

A lack of self-reliance

A lack of team cohesion

A lack of interdependent realisation

Our expectation from Philipa was to motivate through her program a way to get our children calm and focus to look beyond the primary needs and still be calm enough to deal with the demands of normal school. I am proud to mention that Philipa could handle the demands and focused and calmed our students down to the extent where they are more manageable to be taught in a class of 30 students. It must be added that grade eight students are not easy to teach, yet Philipa manages to deal with our students and get them through her routines with such comfort and no incidence that I am even more convince that our students realize the value of yoga in their lives. I am convinced and have the fullest confidence that Philipa von Kerckerinck has the ability to translate her experience at Christel House South Africa to any school requiring her expertise and commitment. It is therefore, with unreserved enthusiasm that I support RTY in their expansion plans to organizations and individuals requiring such talents. Should you have any further information, do not hesitate to contact me.

Ronald Fortune

Ubuntu Africa, Whitney Johnson, Founder

We are so grateful to RTY – in addition to dealing with physical and emotional challenges associated with HIV infection many of the children UBA work with also have been orphaned, and face abuse, neglect, or bullying – I have seen how yoga has helped to strengthen both their bodies and their spirits. It was clear to me by their smiles and excitement how much the children loved the yoga classes. The yoga classes encouraged the children to appreciate themselves and boosted their confidence, and gave them new tools to handle stress and challenging situations. Thank you RTY for helping these children to see their own beauty, and blossom and grow.

Whitney Johnson
CEO of Ubuntu Africa.

Thuso, Student

Yoga helps me calm myself when I am angry or sad.

Thuso, 9

Memi Miscally, RTY Ambassador the Gambia


If students don’t have confidence, when it comes down it they won’t act, RTY actually builds confidence where other programs miss the confidence building piece.

I keep coming back to the fact that it (the camp) gives the girls a perhaps once in a lifetime opportunity to focus on themselves.  They get to express themselves—through yoga, writing, art, and discussion.  In the process, they get to realize their own strengths.  It all ends up in a positive self image.  In an environment in which they are constantly devalued, it is imperative that they have time to recognize that they are strong, beautiful women who deserve nothing but the best in life.

Memi Miscally
RTY Ambassador the Gambia

Aimee Cunning, RTY PVC Gambia 2016


I could see visible results with my girls in this camp.

Aimee Cunning
RTY Ambassador the Gambia

Katrina Alber, RTY Ambassador the Gambia 2016

We all had some doubts about teaching yoga in Africa, but the skills we taught were extremely well received. The girls were always asking for more.

Katrina Alber
RTY Ambassador the Gambia

Kerry McPhee, RTY Ambassador South Africa

I would recommend becoming a RTY Ambassador because RTY is such a unique curriculum. It is the only organization working on empowering children to be the change they wish to see through the practice of yoga. Taking both physical and emotional well being into account, the work that RTY is accomplishing through its ambassadors is astounding for local communities around the world. I cannot wait until I start to teach my next RTY curriculum, this time for my grade 5 learners!

Kerry McPhee
RTY Ambassador South Africa

Anonymous reflection

I loved it all! My best Peace Corps Training to date. I would highly recommend this training. I have gained the skills to bring RTY to my community.

RTY Ambassador training reflection – Swaziland