By Vandana Hart
The UNHCR has reported that more than 1 million Syrian refugees have been registered in Lebanon since 2016. Many of these youth do not have access to education, arts, or sports activities in the camps. Through the power of dance, we seek to unite people, transform lives and promote social change. Offering dance classes and empowerment training would be a life-changing experience for the children inside the camp, and would allow them to move together, build confidence, and continue to hope for a better future.
In 2018 the documentary series We Speak Dance was released worldwide on Netflix. This documentary series aims to use dance as an international language to connect people across cultures. In our Beirut episode, we offered a dance class in a Syrian Refugee camp and taught dance to over 200 kids in the camp. Here is a clip from one of the classes we taught.
We are working with a local non-profit in Beirut, called Al-Jana (UNICEF affiliate), local dancers, and human rights experts to continue providing dance & empowerment workshops for the children in the refugee camps. We hope to continue this program and offer dance classes in refugee camps across Lebanon. We are currently running a crowdfunding campaign to bring dance classes to hundreds of young people who have no access to arts education. For every 100 dollars raised this, will cover one dance workshop.
Donations will be delivered directly to Al-Jana and the experienced local dance teachers who we have worked with.
Vandana Hart is the host of We Speak Dance, has a background in dance and worked for the UN and NGOs for 7 years in 30 countries on women’s rights and safety and youth empowerment.