Dear friends, family and supporters,
Many of you are aware that I’ve spent over 35 years advocating for and helping improve quality of life of older adults and their families. It has been an exciting, rewarding, amazing, and sometimes challenging experience.
In 2009, I founded Global Music & Wellness (GMW), a 501 (c) (3) non-profit, to promote a culture of wellness by actively engaging individuals in music, art, dance, and whole person-wellness. Check us out at: www.musicandwellness.net or Facebook: Cincinnati Music & Wellness Coalition.
In 2013, the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services designated GMW administrator and fiscal agent of the older refugee program in Southwestern Ohio. Our board and I welcomed the new responsibility of helping to make a positive impact in the lives of these vulnerable individuals.
Refugees resettled in the US are legal permanent residents that have been displaced in their native lands due to war and/or religious persecution. Cultural norms and language barriers make it impossible for these individuals to assimilate to a new life in the US. The issue is compounded for older refugees who often suffer from depression, PTSD, anxiety, lack of self-esteem, loneliness and isolation.
During our first program year in 2013, we served 30 older refugees from Bhutan Burundi, Nepal, and Rwanda. Today (June 2017), we serve over 120 older refugees. And, our numbers are increasing!! Services provided include: meals, transportation, English classes, citizenship assistance, music, art, dance, and yoga.
On May 10th, 2017, we were informed that we will be losing $14,000 in transportation funds and $6000 for wellness services, effective July 1st. These funds are used to provide transportation for older refugees to attend English classes on Wednesdays and Fridays, and for monthly educational trips to local museums, Cincinnati Zoo, farmer’s market, and ethnic food and clothing stores.
This sudden loss in funding is a critical and devastating blow to us serving older refugees in the Greater Cincinnati community. Unfortunately, essential services will have to be suspended due to lack of resources. July 1st is fast approaching. Time is running out!
Won’t you join us in helping provide valuable services to keep these vulnerable older refugees safe and healthy? Please consider giving… Any amount is not too small. Your donation is tax deductible. Our goal is $22,000.
Thanks for listening! Arlene de Silva - CEO-Global Music & Wellness