HELPING Rwandan massacre trauma victims by using clay therapy had such a profound healing effect that Hamilton Hill local Kym O’Meara has been invited to teach at the national university.
Ms O’Meara had volunteered in outlying villages after visiting the country to see gorillas.
A 10-day visit became three months, and as word spread about the remarkable success of clay therapy for people suffering horrendous trauma from the 1994 genocide, psychologists at the national university took note.
Fellow clay therapists Leah McLernon, Steve Dean and masseur Kasia Patzelt are also part of the team heading to Rwanda next month.
Ms O’Meara returned from Rwanda last year, setting up the Counselling Volunteers Club, which ran a close race for an international humanitarian award for groups working with Rwandan trauma victims.
Her hand crippled by an auto-immune disease, Ms O’Meara had been given three years to live in 2000.
More than 12 years on she puts her survival down to laughter yoga (laughing reduces the stress hormone cortisol and releases natural pain killers into the blood for up to three hours).
Now a qualified chuckle master, she plans to set up Rwanda’s first laughter yoga club while at the university.
In conjunction with Dr Patricia Sherwood, Ms O’Meara has written a book about her experience in Rwanda, and the healing benefits of clay therapy.
She’s holding an African Afternoon book launch/fundraiser at the Hidden Pantry, Gwillum Road Bibra Lake next Saturday (February 23) 2.30–6pm.
Along with organic food there’ll be an assortment of music, including Rhythm Fix, singing ensemble Tendera and A’Capella, plus didgeridoo and guitar playing, singing bowls, and laugher yoga.
Proceeds, including book sales, go towards Rwandan projects.
RSVP so chef Shona Hunter can ensure enough provisions by calling Kym on 0404 732 324.
by JENNY D’ANGER