Being Australian, living in Brisbane and doing what I love for a living, I realise that I am very fortunate. I have access to nutritous food, clean water and fresh air; with a roof over my head and a very comfortable bed. At my fingertips, there is access to health care, self care and of course yoga. I have two very loving parents, grew up in a safe and happy family home, went to good schools, am surrounded by wonderful family and friends and there is little I long for. With all this, I am very aware that not all share the same number of blessings.
Zephyr Education Inc is a Brisbane based charity whose sole purpose is to help children whose lives and education have been disrupted by domestic violence get back to school as quickly as possible by supplying:
- school uniforms and shoes
- textbooks and stationery specific to the year and school they will be attending
- school bags, lunch boxes, water bottles, headphones and other school items.
Zephyr also supplies swimming gear and pays resource levies (e.g. for eLearning), camp fees and sports fees to make sure the children don’t miss out on these important activities.
There are plenty of people less fortunate then myself and infinite amounts of charities that you and I can choose to support. So why Zephyr Education?
Like most things in life, I try not to push but rather hand over my trust to a greater force. I dedicate myself to practices that open my mind, my heart and my receptivity to the influences of the universe.
Isabella, a studio local, came to Amber Tree Yoga a few years ago and in her smily and unassuming way didn’t say much about what she was achieving outside of the yoga studio. Through various conversations, little details had dropped about how busy they were packing boxes etc and how many volunteers they had helping, so I asked what they were up to. To say I was shocked and in total admiration, is an understatement. Making the choice to support Zephyr Education both personally and as Amber Tree Yoga, is a no brainer, an all hearter. If the universe puts something into my field of awareness, then who am I to argue? It has served me very well up to now, I have no plans to change such co-operation.
“There are no great acts, only small acts done with great love” Mother Teresa
Isabella and her sister set up the charity after reading an article in the Courier Mail in 2013 pleading for essential items for school aged kids affected by domestic violence.
Many of these children arrive at domestic violence shelters with just the clothes they are wearing. It is vital for their self-esteem and continuing education that they fit in at their new school by having the same uniform, books and equipment as the other children. It is also an unfortunate fact of school life that children who stand out because they don’t have the correct uniform have a higher risk of being bullied
Zephyr was established in April 2013, originally under the name Zephyr Foundation, and is currently supporting the educational needs of children in 78shelters and family services organisations throughout Queensland from the Gold Coast to Weipa and west to Mt Isa. Eleven of these are indigenous shelters and one supports immigrant families.
Since February 2017, Zephyr has also been supplying school gear to children in all 7 DV shelters operating in Tasmania. In September 2018, Zephyr started helping children in 2 shelters in Perth with the intention of increasing that number as resources permit. A third shelter recently registered with us for support.
Zephyr is run by volunteers and no one receives any remuneration or expenses for their work.
In the 2017-18 financial year, our volunteers:
- approved requests to help more than 2400 children
- distributed school items with a wholesale value of more than $180,000, and
- paid for school uniforms totalling more than $60,000.
Zephyr receives no government funding and is funded through community grants and general fund-raising. On average, it costs $4000 – $5000 to support the school-related needs of children at one shelter for one year.
Yoga is a lifestyle; a mindset; a way of being. Patanjali spoke of Ahimsa (non- harm) and for me to sit and do nothing, feels like it is harm. By getting behind the projects of Zephyr, I feel like I’m preventing potential further harm to these children. He also spoke of compassion and seva (service), so I am in full support and asking you to do the same.
“The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others” Mahatma Gandhi
On 13 January 2015, Zephyr received endorsement by the Australian Taxation Office as a deductible gift recipient as well as endorsement for charity tax concessions, namely, income tax concessions, GST concessions and FBT exemption.
Incorporation and ASIC registration
In August 2016, Zephyr Foundation became an incorporated association under the Associations Incorporation Act 1981 (Qld). This necessitated a change of name and we chose the name Zephyr Education Inc to better describe our core purpose.
On 20 October 2016, Zephyr was registered by ASIC as a Registrable Australian body (No.615454227).