Over the past 13 years, the Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows Program has supported more than 350 service projects throughout Chicago and DuPage County — equaling over 70,000 hours of service to communities in need.
Yesterday, they posted a video providing an up-close glimpse of one of those Schweitzer service projects: 2009-10 Fellow Sara VanKoningsveld’s therapeutic movement and exercise-based program for homeless women in the Chicago area.
VanKoningsveld, a Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling student at Columbia College Chicago, wanted to bring the therapeutic benefits of dance to Chicago women who are experiencing homelessness. So for her Schweitzer project, VanKoningsveld partnered with Rebecca Johnson Apartments, part of the Deborah’s Place organization.
“They’re experiencing homelessness for various reasons, whether it’s poverty, loss of employment, they’re displaced from their home because of domestic abuse,” VanKoningsveld says. “Through dance movement therapy, the women are offered an opportunity to not only be physically active, but also to express different emotions and feelings, and possibly to build a stronger community here, as well as feel more empowered as individuals.”
Watch the video by clicking the screenshot below. All of the featured women are remarkable, but we’re especially taken with with Rosemary at 3:08!