a peek behind the scenes with the dance4life communications team…

Young people all over the world are taking action within their communities to contribute to halting HIV and AIDS. It really is quite awe inspiring. But how do we let the rest of the world in on this amazing collection of personal stories? And, how do we ensure that these young people, whether in Kenya, Peru or India feel part of a global movement : that they can draw inspiration from the power of the masses?

The communications team’s key task this year is to indeed give the agents4change vehicles to “showcase” their activities and to draw inspiration from others.  Hence, the development of a so-called ‘social platform’…a dance4life story book, written by, and for, young people worldwide.

So, where do we start?

Since we see internet as the best low cost channel for storytelling we’ve decided to develop an online platform. You can see this as a stand alone website which links to Facebook and other social networks like Hi5, Vkontakte , Hyves and Twitter. Young people can post their stories, share their experiences – and connect with the world.

So, problem solved! Or not…? In countries with low internet penetration and low computer access (which is the case in many dance4life countries) we cannot reach all young people through the online platform. That’s why we decided to look for alternatives…

Mobile technology

After the buzz around social networks the new buzz word seems to be mobile. Especially in the developing world. Mobile technology and mobile phone use in the developing world is quickly increasing. Young people are considered enthusiastic adopters of mobile phones and avid users of text messaging. By the end of 2008, Africa had 246 million mobile subscriptions -and mobile penetration has risen from just five per cent in 2003 to well over 30 percent in 2009 and still rising (with internet penetration around 10%).

So what are the next steps?

To start off we put together a task force to work out possibilities for specific countries and services. Those are numerous.. of course we can sum up all the possibilities etc. but why not ask the experts themselves? Our agents4change; the young people at the heart of what it is all about!

So, this will be our first (baby) step; we will set up a poll (possibly surveymonkey) and distribute it through our own social media channels. Talking about empowering young people…

Interested in the results? Have any tips? Keep checking this blog or contact Martine at m.keukenkamp@dance4life.com!



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