Yoga Sin Fronteras is one of the finalists and awarded organisations of the Fourth Edition of B-Value, the innovation programme for third sector leaders that we promote together with Ship2B. We talked to its founder, Meritxell Martorell, to find out more about what they do on a daily basis and also what their time on the programme has contributed to them.
What is Yoga Sin Fronteras? We are a non-profit association. We make yoga and meditation accessible to vulnerable groups or people at risk of social exclusion and share their benefits with them. We want all people, regardless of gender, age, social class or abilities to enjoy physical and mental well-being. Thanks to our network of volunteer yoga teachers, we travel weekly to offer free adapted classes to various social institutions in Barcelona and to reduce the physical and mental ailments of our users. We collaborate in mental health centres, with children at the Casal dels Infants, with refugees, with women and people with intellectual disabilities.
What has your time at B-Value contributed to your organisation? Before joining B-Value, we had no growth or funding strategy. With only 7 months in operation and practically no financial resources, we managed to set up volunteer programmes with 8 social institutions, reaching 100 users a week. To date, we have doubled these figures: Yoga Sin Fronteras has a network of 15 volunteers, reaching more than 200 users every week. Furthermore, thanks to the support of B-Value, we have defined our funding strategy and identified our value proposition: to offer formal and free training to our users so that they can become yoga teachers themselves. We have already trained a total of 23 young people in South Africa and 2 in Spain. In this way, we promote work inclusion and generate a greater social impact.
Has participating in B-Value been a turning point for you as an organisation? bsolutely, thanks to our participation in the programme, we have been able to believe in ourselves and promote our hybrid model, in which we are able to generate our own resources, so that we do not always depend on grants or subsidies. We have learned that depending on philanthropy is not a good thing. Therefore, we have reinvented ourselves. We offer specialised paid classes and workshops such as Yoga for Pregnant Women or Yoga for Beginners. The profits from these courses support and feed our social project.
What have you learned? And, what have you unlearned? Pffff. We have learned so many things that it is impossible for us to summarise it in one paragraph! It has been 8 months of continuous learning, webinars, and specific mentoring sessions with professionals who get involved and try to give you the best advice to improve your organisation and help you achieve your goals. We have learned that for a project to succeed, a lot of discipline is needed, a lot of structure but, above all, lots of enthusiasm and imagination! B-Value is not only a programme in which they make you work hard (they do), but it is also a place where you can dream, where you can turn things upside
down, the more times the better, only then you are able to evolve.
What do you think B-Value will bring to Yoga Sin Fronteras? Yoga Sin Fronteras
has grown thanks to B-Value. We have become more professional and, most importantly, we now believe in ourselves and in our project –something that is very difficult when you don’t have your own resources and when, as is our case, you are still a very young organisation. This programme trusted our initiative from the beginning, supported us and made it clear that to grow you need enthusiasm, ideas and a lot of hard work. We were assured that we were going to grow, and we have. Yoga Sin Fronteras is today a sustainable organisation, with its own courses and workshops, with volunteer programmes and with many other ideas to continue fulfilling our mission: that physical and mental well-being should be accessible to all people.
Would you recommend other organisations to participate in B-Value? And if so,
what would you recommend to them to make the most of their time on the programme? Of course! Thanks to this programme, you are going to learn a lot about the third sector. You are going to become more professional; you are going to have new ideas and you are going to turn your project or organisation upside down. You will learn that synergies and partnerships are extremely important. You will realise that everything matters, that it is necessary to have clear goals. You will know the impact behind every action and the value proposition that differentiates your organisation from the rest. It is necessary to innovate. It is crucial to be sustainable in order to evolve. Our advice would be to make the most of every webinar, every mentoring session and every
working day. We must acknowledge that there are also difficult days when you doubt everything and do not see anything clearly. There are times when it is difficult to reconcile your work and your partnership with the programme, as it requires effort and discipline. But it is really worth it, although there are days when this is hard to see. This programme provides a wide range of possibilities. Thank you B-Value for the opportunity!