_DSC5664“I want to create a sense of belonging through dance.”

Nikita Kharel is in her last year of college at Fryshuset Gymnasium where she’s studying the Social Studies Programme, majoring in dance. When it was time for her main project, she wanted to combine her interest in dance with doing something positive for others. Now, she leads a dance group for asylum seekers once a week.

 How did you come up with the idea for this project?

“The idea struck me when I was working as a dance instructor for asylum seeking students at Blackebergs Gymnasium last summer. I was asked several times if there were any hiphop/street dance classes that aren’t too expensive. I had to say no, since most courses in Stockholm cost quite a lot. That’s when I had the idea to give asylum seekers and unaccompanied minors the opportunity to develop their interest, in this case dance, without having to pay for it.”

What do you hope to achieve through this project?

“The idea behind this project is to create a sense of belonging, and in some way lead the group in becoming an integrated part of society by giving them something they can make use of in the future. I think it’s important for everyone to be given the opportunity to take part in some sort of activity in their spare time so they can feel like a part of society and also discover who they are and what they want to do in the future.”

 What advice do you have for someone who wants to get involved in something that helps people feel included in society?

“Start with something you’re interested in yourself and is important to you, because that will help you to reach other people and spread energy to them. It’s also important to be flexible and prepared to adapt your project so that everyone can take part and be involved in making decisions, because that gives them a sense of ownership which usually means they get even more involved, which benefits everyone.”

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