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May 1, 2019

Thank you for your support!

Thank you so much to everyone for your support. Our recent fundraising campaign around International Women's Day raised almost £2,000 which means our new project in south London is now funded for the rest of 2019!

This innovative project brings together women from several different refuges in the area and gives them the joy of dance. Women who have escaped from violent partners, from war and conflict and women rescued from traffickers and the horror of modern day slavery are able to come together for the pure joy of dancing together to music.

We give everyone colourful hipscarves to wear and then teach them simple moves to world music. The women smile, shake their hips and laugh together - what could be more wonderful after what so many of them have been through?

Thank you again for your continued support - we couldn't possibly do it without you

Charlotte

Dec 20, 2018

Our new project - bringing victims of abuse and trafficking together

At this festive time of family and togetherness we're really excited to tell you about the success of our new project which brings together women from several different support groups to dance together.

Based in one of the most deprived boroughs of London - a borough that also has the one of the highest rates of domestic violence and sexual abuse in the UK - we have created our first project which is open to clients of all relevant support groups in the area. This means that any woman who can benefit from our classes can attend, rather than in the past when we only held classes in client venues and refuges.

Our primary partner agency is Migrant Help UK which has a refuge locally for people seeking asylum, many of whom are women escaping war, slavery and trafficking. But there is also a Women's Aid refuge nearby and women come from there to join the class. We are publicising the project to other agencies supporting victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence, and we are really pleased to see more women attending on a weekly basis.

Most of these women are isolated and very far from home. All are seriously traumatised. But there is a wonderful sense of joy when we put the music on and they start to move and dance together. Zahida who teaches the class is eternally positive and smiling, and her warmth and positivity rubs off on everyone. The women soon begin to smile and laugh as they dance to the music and learn new moves, and it's marvellous to see them chatting together after class.

At the end of the class Zahida always asks if anyone has any favourite music from home on their phone. Then she plugs it into the speaker and everyone dances together to the latest track from Eritrea or Albania!

Music and dance bringing people together and helping heal terrible trauma - that's what our work is all about and we feel very blessed and grateful to you all for helping make it happen. We will be launching a fundraiser next year specifically to raise funding for this project, and we really hope you will be able to support us.

Love and friendship to you all during the festive season

Charlotte

Sep 5, 2018

New classes for women fleeing war, trafficking and violence

We're very excited to let you know that, thanks to your generosity, in a few weeks we will be starting an innovative new weekly class for women affected by a variety of traumas. Until now we have always run our classes in very small groups in refuges or hostels, but thanks to the support of several local community groups, our new class will be open to a variety of different organisations providing support to women fleeing war, trafficking, rape and domestic violence.

We're calling these classes 'Dance Yourself Happy' because we've seen how happy women become during our classes, even if it's just for an hour or so each week.

We're particularly excited about bringing several groups together because isolation is one of the major problems for the women we work with. This will be an opportunity for women who have suffered so much to meet each other, dance together, and hopefully make friendships with others who understand what they have been through.

Thank you as always for your ongoing support. It really does mean so much.

 
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