On the 14th of February, the week long international meeting kicked off in Amsterdam. dance4life representatives from 27 countries, and the dance4life youth council members spent 5 days planning, brainstorming and exchanging ideas. It was an inspiring week!
We were all very proud to have members of the youth council at the meeting for the first time. Their presence and input during the week brought a very valuable dimension to all the discussions. One of the youth council members, Zganga Taonga Mvula from Zambia, shared her experience of the first couple of days of the week with us :
“The Youth Council meeting kicked off with a wonderful feeling of excitement because everyone was happy to see everyone else. This was followed by an inspiring welcome from Eveline (Director of dance4life international), she started by stressing how important it was that we had attended the international meeting and how it was in
correspondence with one of the UNAIDS outlook Breaking news which said ‘young people are leading the HIV prevention revolution’. She mentioned how happy she was that we were being involved because as young people we have the greatest potential!
We started the meeting with a session in which Natasha facilitated on the dance4life platform, as a tool to help drive the movement (awesome!). This was met by a positive response from the youth council members (obviously), as mostof the youth council felt it was a great way to show- case activities by agents4change and other people involved/interested in dance4life(whether young or older) as well as exchange ideas and be heard. In the same discussion, for the purpose of reaching even agents for change who are unable to access the internet, an offline newsletter is to be developed as of this year (yet another brilliant idea). It will document stories of activities by agents 4change and dance4life activities that drive the movement.
With regards to evaluating, the NCO youth council relationships were analysed through the experience youth council members shared. To help us achieve our goal or even just our plans, we need to identify who the stakeholders are, and devise how best we can work with them to drive the movement. We wrapped up Monday with dinner as YC.
Today (Tuesday), we had an interesting day at dance4life International office. We had a photo shoot and a session about time management. Then we reviewed and re- worked on our individual country plans where possible. After that, we looked at the transition and changes made regarding the next youth council year. In the evening, we had a beautiful dinner at a pancake-restaurant(surprisingly dinner was not just pancakes), it also turned out to be an actual karaoke boat as well. Boy did we have an amazing time out there whilst singing The Final Countdown, Barbie Girl, Paradise By the Dashboard Light, Wannabe and other instant classics. Definitely memorable!”
Thank you Zganga, for sharing your story! And your wonderful voice during the karaoke!