When elder refugees arrive in America they leave behind violence or religious persecution, as well as family, culture and their native language. A program in Louisville, Kentucky helps refugees who are 60 and older transition to American life and avoid isolation.
This is a protection against isolation – a social hall alive with music that inspires clapping and dancing among refugees in their 60s, 70s, 80s and early 90s. It’s part of the Louisville Refugee Elder Program that serves arrivals from countries including Bhutan, Congo, Cuba, Iraq and Sudan.
The musician is 31-year-old Leiser Tito, a refugee from Cuba who came to the U.S. two years ago. One of the elder refugees comes up and enthusiastically introduces herself.