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Red Cross Endorses Afiwi Dance Programs that Help Reach Youth Across Canada

Red Cross Endorses Afiwi Dance Programs that Help Reach Youth Across Canada

Toronto, ON October 30, 2020-  In partnership with the Canadian Red Cross and The Government of Canada, Afiwi Groove School (or Afiwi) has provided virtual programming that focuses on African dance to empower, educate and inspire black youth while taking measures to keep safe during COVID-19.

Afiwi is a non-profit organization in the Durham, Ontario Region that was founded to empower, inform, and encourage youth, adults and seniors through arts and culture. They are an award-winning performing arts school that centres around the artistic genres of the African Diaspora.

Like other non-profits, Afiwi Groove School was hit hard by the COVID-19 lockdown. Knowing that children and youth have been separated from their communities and peers, Afiwi founder, Sanaaj Mirrie knew she had to help so, she started a go fund me page to keep classes going virtually. She raised enough money to keep the classes going for a while but was then given money from the Canadian Red Cross’s COVID-19 Emergency Support for Community Organizations Granting Program. The Black community has been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and she hopes to offer some support during this time through virtual classes.

Afiwi offers three programs; Afiwi Roots & Revival Dance Program, Afiwi Roots & Revival Women’s Edition and Afiwi Roots & Revival Drum Workshops.

Afiwi Roots & Revival is offering a four-week online introductory dance program that began in October and will run for the month of November as well:

  •   Week One: Afro Beats
  •   Week Two: Traditional West African Ghanaian Dance
  •   Week Three: Traditional West African Malinke Dance
  •   Week Four: Afro Caribbean Dance

Alongside these classes, Afiwi is using some of the grant money towards programs to support mental health and speak on isolation amongst youth and women. The school is continuing to hold various virtual workshops throughout November on the topic of self-love and self-care through the power of movement. 

Sanaaj Mirrie hopes to continue to raise funds to continue these virtual classes. Her goal for the future is to eventually have a place where youth can walk in and connect with their roots. A place they know as a second home for them. 

To learn more about Afiwi Groove School programs, click here 


Caitlin Hughes

Afiwi Groove School 


[email protected]




About Afiwi: Afiwi Groove School was established in 2013 and became a non-profit organization in 2018. They aim to empower, educate and inspire all ages through African arts and culture. Their programs are made to encourage positivity, self-esteem and confidence while educating and connecting individuals to the arts and culture of the African Movement.



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