Our immigrant community experiences deep suffering, which encompasses physical and emotional pain from the traumas they endured in their home country, the loss of their homeland, and the many struggles of adapting to a foreign country and culture. This community, comprised mainly of refugees from Somalia, Iraq, and Syria, have unmeasurable limitations to their health and are often unable to participate in traditional wellness resources due to barriers such as cost (most families survive on about $500 per month for a family of four), lack of transportation, and childcare needs.

Courtesy of Katie Rizzolo
Courtesy of New Mainers Initiative

With this in mind, medical residents in Portland started a trauma-sensitive yoga class for refugee and immigrant women hoping to eliminate some of these barriers to traditional care. Their first class ran for seven weeks this winter and the women enrolled gave glowing reviews.

"This class makes me happy, and it makes me feel important. It makes me feel like I have a reason to put on clothes in the morning. I have friends here... and it's helped my pain," one attendant said.

In order to continue the class through the rest of winter, SeaChange Yoga contributed funding and the group plans on applying for grant funding and 501c3 status to continue the good fight.

Donations to the class' GoFundMe account will offset costs of transportation, childcare, community outreach, and continue funding the yoga teacher.

If you live in Maine and you'd prefer to volunteer your time, contact newmainersinitiative@gmail.com or call (207) 370-1443. You can also Venmo them directly at @newmainersinitiative. 


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