Philipa von Kerckerinck

2011, Development Concentration

Founder and President of Roots Tribe Yoga (Yoga for International Development)

Philipa garnered a strong interest in impact measurement of non-profits while working on the Index of Social and Economic Rights Fulfillment (SERF) as a research assistant to Professor Sakiko Fukuda-Parr.

Philipa_vonKerckerinckHow SGPIA Supported Philipa to Start Her Own Non-Profit Organization: After personally discovering the positive benefits of yoga, Philipa realized she wanted to apply its tools to international development, and moved to South Africa shortly after graduating from SGPIA. She started the non-profit Roots Tribe Yoga, and designed a yoga-based empowerment curriculum that teaches children in underserved communities to connect with their bodies, reduce stress, examine habits and relationships, and tap into their fullest potential—the curriculum’s broader objective is to support youth in  envisioning and implementing the changes they wish to see in their own lives and communities.

Philipa lists the following New School courses as being most supportive in establishing the curriculum through Roots Tribe Yoga: Project Management; Strategy for Non-Profits; Children, Rights, Poverty and Equality; and Health, Inequality and Development. Professor Sakiko-Fukuda-Parr also serves on Roots Tribe Yoga’s Board of Directors.

Practice-Based Work During SGPIA: Philipa intered with the Knowledge Management Group of the United Nations Development Progamme (UNDP) and produced a Refugee and Immigrant Resettlement Database for the International Rescue Committee with a group of student peers participating in the Practicum in International Affairs.

In Her Own Words: “One of the important and valuable aspects of SGPIA is the high percentage of international students. As an academic hub for students from around the world, SGPIA acts as a particularly fertile ground for relevant discussions around myriad topics within International Affairs. In my time as a graduate student, I met people from an array of countries, and had a chance to become personally acquainted and gain familiarity with their diverse perspectives on issues of global discourse.”


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