RISSE: DFO program grant recipient

2015-03-09 10:48:13

The non-profit RISSE (Refugee and Immigrant Support Services of Emmaus, Inc) organization received a DFO program grant to support their refugee women's dance circle group that meets weekly throughout the year. The purpose of the group is to help refugee women heal from the trauma of their relocation by connecting to their traditional forms of dance and teaching others in the process. The grant, in part, will go towards purchasing authentic forms of dress for the women to use at select performances. Shilpa Darivemula,a first year student at Albany medical college, created and leads the group. This project is a follow up to her deep interest in how traditional dances can heal and strengthen women. "This group is important," says director of RISSE Rifat Filkins, "because many of the women have experienced significant difficulties and continue to struggle to live in a new country where they do not know the language." Some of the women were never in formal schooling in their home countries so it can be difficult to adapt to life in America. DFO is proud to support such a noble cause and hopes it helps the women, their families, and their communities through the healing power of traditional music and dance.