Celebrating World Health Day with Heal One World – A Nonprofit Helping Students through Preventive, Holistic Healthcare
7th April is celebrated as World Health Day. It is a day to raise global health awareness. Each year, a theme is selected by the World Health Organization to highlight a priority area of public health concern in the world. This year, the theme is – #UniversalHealthCoverage.
We had a conversation with Skye Kelly, the Executive Director of Heal One World. It offers a wide range of classes, and a community resource, from yoga to tai chi to self-hypnosis. The goal is to build a foundation for students to help and heal themselves.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what encouraged you to start a nonprofit?
Skye Kelly – It started when I was 19 years old. I had met with a car accident, and it was a debilitating one. So I went through two years of surgeries, and by the time I was 21 years old, they told me that I would be permanently disabled.
I didn’t take well to that news and sought out alternative health options like complementary care. I began looking for a nonprofit that would offer some less known but highly effective techniques that are not readily available here in the US. Luckily, I found some people who donated their time and gave me those treatments. It was life-changing.
I went from being 90% rated disabled to functional. I decided to make a world trip and become a scuba divemaster. It was terrific, so I kind of lived a lot of life in the few years after I got better.
In 2009, I attended a course through a nonprofit called Public Council here in the US, and they gave me resources to start a nonprofit organization. And that was the beginning of Heal One World.
How did the pandemic affect your nonprofit, and how did you cope with it?
Skye Kelly – When the pandemic hit, we started doing online classes right away. We wanted to continue being a resource to our Community. However, it was disheartening when we realized that things would not get back to normal soon. Because initially, it was a couple of weeks, then a month, then two months and so on.
We’re a volunteer Community-based organization. Because of Zoom, we figured we could be anywhere. As a result, we started opening up teacher slots from anywhere in the world.
So it was a beautiful thing that came together and we sort of planned for 2021 ahead. We now have teachers from across the time zones. We have teachers from India, Malaysia, Greece and the Netherlands.
It’s been amazing. Again it wasn’t expected, so it wasn’t like we had these trusted plans in place. But once we realized the opportunity, we kind of jumped on that.
What are some operational challenges that your nonprofit faces?
Skye Kelly – The biggest key to our success is the low overhead. And so we’re able to kind of fund our passion – which is giving back to people. Some of our teachers start with us because they’re new to this profession, so they get good experience to bring to their practice.
Another challenge to our success, I would say, is we do have a studio in Los Angeles that we’ve still been having to pay for. When we had in-person classes, we had a donation option. So some people would help us monetarily. So we could make it work, and we did get grants as well.
How can potential supporters lend a helping hand to your nonprofit?
Skyekelly – We have a film festival called Awareness Festival. It’s our fundraiser campaign. I have a film background, and I am very interested in making films. I also am a strong advocate of empathy and awareness of other people’s plates. So I wanted to make films that enlightened people. That’s how the awareness festival came about.
This is one of the many ways you can help and support us. It takes place in October every year. Post pandemic, we also conduct it virtually. So people from around the world can now take part and watch films online. We usually show about 150 films. By watching these films, you can help us spread the word about ourselves.
Another way to support this is through donations. We are looking for volunteers as well. If you are interested in volunteering, you can be anywhere and join our team. You can offer a skill by taking a look at our website.