“It has always struck me that it is hard enough to leave your own country, to make a dangerous journey, and then arrive in an unfamiliar place. The least that can be done is to offer help in learning the new language so people can empower themselves and create a life of dignity for themselves and their families,” says Daria.
Inspiration from the Past
Daria, inspired by her grandfather’s immigrant journey, uses her musical skills in service of refugees, including making bilingual resources for refugees aimed at English learning.
“My grandfather immigrated in the late 1920s here to the U.S. and never learned English,” she recalls. “He had few choices in work and ended up in the anthracite coal mines. Sadly, he died an early death of black lung.” She dedicated her last album to her grandparent’s memory.
Resources for the Future
She created a resource for Ukrainian refugees seeking to learn English, using music to make the process easier.
“I realized that I should also create a version for Spanish speakers, so that there would be free “accessible anywhere” language tools to offer people a way to gain confidence in English,” she says. She also worked with refugee children in Australia during the pandemic to create a song that won a Global Music Award.
“My desire is to create a welcoming climate for all who have made the difficult journey to our shores,” Dara says about her motivation to use her talents for vulnerable communities. “I pray one day we may all live in a world that more closely reflects and resembles the beautiful compassion and deep care that is the true nature of our loving God”