The dance4life programme started as a pilot in 2010 in two districts of Nepal and it proved to be successful as young people reacted extremely well to the attraction of dance and music as a medium to talk about important issues. These sessions included HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive health, and other key life skills and it was not just the participants who appreciated this but also stakeholders such as school teachers and parents.
Nepal dance4lifeDance itself has proved as a very diverse and therefore effective medium to discuss serious issues as it can attract such a wide audience, and this was demonstrated through dance4life dance routine and traditional Nepali dance at one extreme and break dancing by B-Boys, at the other.
The programme operates in 4 stages: firstly there is an 'Inspire' phase where a select group of young people are trained by Restless Development to deliver information of HIV and AIDS through dance and music.
Secondly if the 'educate' phase of the programme which offer 'skills4life' taught by a new set of volunteers named 'volunteer peer educators'. This is a curriculum that is localized by Restless Development to address and educate participants about Sexual and Reproductive Health topics that may be current in their community.
Thirdly is the 'activate' phase named 'act4life': now that participants are inspired and educated, Restless Development encourages them to share their knowledge in their communities. They will act as an 'agent4change' offering social activities through 'Act4life' clubs in their schools and communities which are supported by Restless Development financially and through mentoring.
Finally, there is a celebration - a big event that is conducted every two years on World AIDS Day where 'agents4change', Peer Educators, HCT facilitators and other stakeholders are invited to celebrate the success of the programme in the presence of various celebrities, Partner organizations and talk about HIV and AIDS.
A unique event that took place was a 'Dance Marathon' which unsurprisingly was the first ever in Nepal. This consisted of a group of one hundred youths partaking in a non-stop dance effort that lasted eight hours, eight minutes and eight seconds. The purpose was to raise funds for an ethnic group called the Chepang who are facing a serious decline in their population due to neglect.
The growth of Dance4life can be seen by the programmes increase in popularity in different regions of Nepal. After its initial success, Dance4life expanded further and reached out to more young people of four development regions of Nepal which even included the isolated Far Western region where concepts like this were seen as unimaginable before.
WATCH HERE AN INFOGRAPHIC SUMMARY OF THE FINAL EVALUATION OF THIS PROGRAMME.