Funding success for our dance programme
A core pillar of Afrocats work is delivering cultural dance and creative movement sessions because of the significant health and wellbeing benefits.
Through consultation with previous dance session participants, we realised that sessions help women feel more included, meet new friends and share their common interests with music and dances they can identify with culturally.
One woman told us:
'I don't want to be in the house because it is depressing to be alone at home.'
We surveyed the women who joined our sessions to find out about their experiences of isolation
45% said they are alone in their room; 'it is my first time here (UK), and I want to get out into the World.'
100% said they felt weak and tired of repetitive day-to-day depression and stress that led to a routine of just sleeping and waking. 'sleeping and waking up over and over again.'
60% said they did not want to eat or stopped eating
The women also shared their experiences of the dance classes
30% said I did not know anybody when I came, but I knew that we would meet people and dance.
90% said it distracts from the stress that you are going through in your life.
100% said it gives me something to look forward to.
100% said providing travel expenses enables them to leave their homes and attend a session with others who need to address mental and physical stress issues by providing a space to come out.
90% enjoyed having other people to talk
80% like getting to learn new things
95% said it helped them adapt to a new environment since travelling from their home country.
100% said sessions mentally helped them to get over their depression
92% said their social life has improved
50% said my doctors said that I have not complained since taking part in activities
100% said it improved their physical health
An important element of our work is providing much-needed volunteering and work-based experiences and we have been pleased to offer opportunities for women seeking sanctuary to volunteer at our dance sessions. One woman told us:
'Volunteering helps me to understand the activity better.'
Recently Mia, a participant in our dance classes told us, how the dance sessions were like her therapy.
With such a need for our sessions, we're delighted that The Charity Service will fund us to deliver cultural dance classes and workshops for forty-five socially isolated women as a result of their experiences with the immigration system and their inability to work as a result of mental and physical health reasons.
Through the dance sessions, we will tackle the issue of isolation by providing workshops in Manchester and Stockport in venues such as the Royal Exchange Theatre, Whitworth Art Gallery and Church of the Nazarene in Longsight. In warmer weather the classes will take place outdoors in parks and other spaces our partner organisations provide.
A huge thank you to The Charity Service for making this project possible.
Make sure you follow us on social media so you can see the progress of our project, and if you can make a small donation to our work we'll be able to keep tackling isolation.