The Healing Dance Program - Refugees
Empowering trauma survivors, impacting lives and transforming the world through dance.
Though this program we can support our global community to thrive.
We are now facing the worst humanitarian and refugee crisis since World War II. There are 70 million displaced people as a result of the ongoing conflicts which severely violate human rights.
Refugees frequently exhibit a high level of physical, emotional stress and trauma, the consequence of this can be depression or impulsivity, feelings of hopeless as well as social isolation, no perspective in future, very low self-esteem and a sense of worthlessness.
If this issue is not appropriately addressed, we will potentially have to face and deal with a humanitarian emergency. Programs focused on mental health improvement and empowerment will support refugees and trauma survivors to improve their lives and will also help to prevent future socials problems.
The Healing Dance Program (THDP) uses dance and the body to release, transform and heal the wounds left over from traumatic experiences to empowers trauma survivors and refugees supporting them to connect with the best in themselves to move from a place of confidence and integrity to engage with the host community. It also provides a teacher training for an ongoing practice and long term healing.
So far, THDP has successfully supported 4 ethnic groups in 3 continents in differing settlement contexts.
It has qualified 6 new dance facilitators and brought up millions of smiles.
NEXT PHASE: BRAZIL
I create this program to support Refugees and Trauma survivors because, freedom is our birthright. I believe that every being on Earth deserves to live a meaningful and fulfilling life.
Also, this cause for me is an ancestral call. I am the third generation of Syrian couple
that migrated to Brazil from Hamas - Syria due to the Franco - Syrian war in 1920.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
The Healing Dance Program – refugees is an ongoing program acting globally divided into phases by country. This program uses dance and the body to release, transform and heal the wounds left over from traumatic experiences. Dance increases blood flow and serotonin production, which is an essential chemical for wellbeing. This expression of art relaxes the body, promotes satisfaction, happiness and confidence. Dance also improves neuroplasticity, which is responsible for the ability of the brain to learn, grow, and facilitate creativity.
This program has holistic approach with an immediate impact and relief in people's lives from the first class, but it also requires ongoing practice to transform old patterns and limited believes opening the space for long term empowerment and mental health improvements. To do so, The Healing Dance Program also provides training for people in the communities and organizations we partner up with to become teachers, ensuring ongoing practice can be facilitated.
The Healing Dance Program is quick and easy for facilitators to set up and for participants to get involved while it is potent in its ability to provide trauma relief and empowerment. It is flexible as it can be implemented in different contexts and can continue indefinitely once local community members become qualified teachers through the program prepared to be ahead of the community program. The benefits spread through to the host community too by allowing more positive interactions with an energized and confident refugee community. Former participants in the program reported that they feel more valuable and have the confidence they need to engage with their host society, share their skills and contribute to the local economy.
Dance goes beyond the physical benefits. The dance session delivered was a place for connection, for expression, for release, for empowerment, a place of healing, of joy and finally a place of freedom.
Our primary goal is to encourage people to embrace life, to honour their stories; we believe that when people decide to embrace themselves, to express their gifts and skills the whole world gets the benefits of it. With that in mind, our mission is to:
Empower refugees and traumas survivors.
Bring happiness to people’s lives: happy people have a positive effect on the community and world around them.
Support refugees and trauma survivors to tap into their creativity and to develop a more positive approach to life.
Encourage refugees and trauma survivors to re-frame their reality into a new and positive one.
Support refugees and trauma survivors to release the old patterns of stress and trauma accumulated and held within their bodies.
Ignite a sense of community through the group dynamic of the classes
Through all the above, the overarching goal of improving the mental health of refugees and trauma survivors.
Implement “training the trainer” in the community to keep the classes and the healing process going after the conclusion of the program.
You can support The Healing Dance Program and be part of this mission by
Sharing this campaign
Donating - crowdfunding campaign
Joining me in any service I offer - a percentage of all sales goes to THDP
Being a Volunteer or Intern - use the application form.
Partnering up with us - use the application form.
THE HEALING DANCE PROGRAM - REFUGEES
AUSTRALIA - THAILAND - GREECE
My body my dance
Many refugees are currently in Greece, which is a transit and destination country for many displaced people. Due to the excellent results of The Healing Dance Program in the first year, we decided to keep moving forward and support refugees women from Syrian and Nigerian in Greece.
The pictures at this stage of the program only shows their feet for safety reasons and as a symbol that the same feet that have walked a hard path can also dance through the journey.
Unique and expressive
The Healing Dance Program -Refugees in Mae Hong Son in Thailand was in partnership with AKAMAE, which is a co-created fashion brand that have been empowering refugees through their traditional skills and connecting them to the global community. We have supported the Kayan people living in a village called Kayan Tayar next to the temporary shelter BAAN MAI NAISOI in Mae Hong Son. Kayan people are an ethnic minority group from Myanmar also known as the "Long neck" tribe.
Many of them migrated to Thailand in 1988 to escape from war and persecution; moving to temporary settlements. Currently, there are approximately 9,926 people (reliefweb.int/may2017) living in BAAN MAI NAISOI, and some of them were relocated to small villages next to the camp by the Thai government which saw tourism opportunities. These were mostly women and children and even now, they still have restricted freedom of movement.
In Thailand, the Kayan people live in small villages and since their movement is restricted, have a strong community bond. However, they are missing autonomy and agency. In this context the individual and collective are mixed and they want to have more space to express themselves as an individual.
The Healing Dance Program has supported them to connect to their uniqueness and encourage them to express as an individual.
The Healing Dance Program -Refugees in Perth Australia was in partnership with ASETTS (Association for Services to Torture and Trauma Survivors) that provides holistic services to assist refugee survivors of torture and trauma to rebuild their lives.
We have supported two ethnic groups, one from Myanmar (Siyan group from Chin State) and another one from Syria.
Most of them have a permanent visa, and a few of them are now Australian citizens but are still struggling with inclusion and engagement within their new host country. These groups have freedom of movement, but they have lost the social and family connections which were leading them to social isolation, depression and the feelings of hopelessness. The Healing Dance Program was very effective in address those issues. They are feeling happier and more confident to engage with the host community.
I would like to express my gratitude for the collaborators and donors, for joining this mission in empowering trauma survivors and refugees, to spread love and harmony while seeding new dancing places in the world. We do appreciate all support, all care dedicated to our global community and for warming the refugees' hearts.
Your support was essential to make this program possible.