What is dance4life?
dance4life inspires, mobilises and unites young people to push back HIV and AIDS 4life!
Half of the new HIV infections every day are among young people under 25 years old. Not only are they the most affected by HIV, but they have never known a world without HIV. dance4life is an international initiative set up to involve and empower young people all around the world to push back the spread of HIV and AIDS. Young people are the future and they have the power to halt the spread of HIV and AIDS. By uniting all over the world and demanding change, they can make a difference.
dance4life provides them with this opportunity. It teaches them the important life skills they need to protect themselves but more than this, it inspires them to go out there and actually do something about it, to become actively involved – an agent of change. And our mission is to create a movement of one million agents of change by 2014.
An agent of change is a young person who takes part in at least two of the first three schools4life activities. Schools4life isn’t about boring books, preaching or homework – it’s about dance, music, media, events, drumming, videos and taking responsibility for yourself and others. Using the language of young people involves them in dance4life.
Schools4life is made up of four parts:
• We kick off with the heart connection tour. This is where each school is visited by the dance4life tour team – which is no ordinary team, we're talking dancers, musicians, peer educators and young people living with HIV. The heart connection tour is a fun, interactive experience that educates young people and energizes them with enthusiasm to take responsibility in the response to HIV and AIDS.
• Next they have the opportunity to learn in more detail how to take responsibility by participating in skills4life. This is an in-depth programme where they learn more about HIV including: reproductive health, prevention, sexuality, drug abuse, and their rights. They also pick up valuable skills about negotiation (No means No), communication and decision making, which they can apply in their daily lives.
• Once they're fired up they're ready for the third part: act4life. As the name suggests this is all about taking action. This can mean anything from becoming a volunteer, fundraising or simply spreading awareness. The young people organise their own actions and become really involved in dance4life and the cause. Active young people will become agent4change after act4life.
The grand finale of schools4life is the worldwide dance4life event - every two years on the Saturday before World AIDS Day. Agents of change (who have taken part in schools4life) are invited to use their voice and feet. United by one cause and connected live via satellite, they dance together for life in front of each other and the world. They demonstrate what they believe in and what they have achieved as part of dance4life. They dance to inspire the world, to gain their support, and to remind the world leaders of the promises they made regarding the Millennium Development Goals.
Xuan Bac, a well-known television celebrity has been a supporter of the dance4life programme since 2006 said, “HIV and AIDS don’t discriminate. Anyone – me, you, every one can suffer from it. So I realise that I myself need to live healthy life and so do you.”