So, with 27 countries already on board, dance4life is excited to be exploring new possibilities. As promised, I’d like to share with you some news. Next week, colleagues will be visiting Pakistan and Ethiopia to talk to local organisations about rolling out dance4life there. Exciting! New countries of course always offer challenges, both culturally and as each country/region has it’s own specific HIV and AIDS issues. In Ethiopia, for example, we will reaching out to young people from a nomadic background – a VERY new experience for dance4life! But it’s great that dance4life is going to be enriched by these new cultures and environments, and that we will be able to reach even more young people to create change, pushing back HIV on a global level.
My colleagues will be allowing us a glimpse into their experiences …so watch this blog next week to hear more from Jacquelien and Susan in Pakistan, and Colin and Kate in Ethiopia. It’s going to be great!
Thank you to everyone who has supported dance4life in 2010, in whatever way, shape or form. It was a great year. If you missed it in December, take a look at our “Greatest Hits of 2010” to get an idea of just some of the things dance4life achieved in 2010.
So, looking forward, what does 2011 have in store…
Coming up on the horizon in February is the annual dance4life international meeting in Amsterdam. A chance for representatives of all 27 dance4life countries to spend a week exchanging ideas, building on plans for the future, and, perhaps most importantly, connecting with each other face to face. In my experience, a wonderful, inspiring, energising week. A week that once again never fails to make me proud to be part of dance4life.
2011 will be a big year for dance4life in terms of nurturing and facilitating the dance4life movement. All these young people worldwide making a change in their communities and pushing back HIV need to be connected and showcased – to each other and to the outside world. So that’s what dance4life will be working hard to achieve through online platforms and offline projects. I’ll be sure to keep you all in the loop with developments as they happen…
And what else? Of course, the schools programme is at the heart of what we do – the creation of more and more youngpeople motivated and empowered to drive this movement. We will be concentrating on safeguarding the quality of the schools programme, whilst of course looking at growth both in existing countries and looking to new countries.
In short – there is enough to do! I’ll be sure to keep you updated during our journey through 2011! It’s going to be another exciting year!
In the meantime, if you want to know more, follow us on facebook to get daily news, updates and insights!
Things are hotting up here in the Netherlands. The new Dutch government are controversially planning a second round of budget cuts on international aid meant for entrepreneurial men and women living in developing countries, and the organisations supporting them. In reaction to this, Dutch development organisations have joined forces to stop further budget cuts.
ENOUGH = ENOUGH.
After a first round of budget cuts was announced in early November, the government is now planning to cut the budget even more. This would result in a net reduction of over a third of the total development budget.
By cutting the budget, the Dutch government is abandoning those who are seeking to make a decent living under difficult circumstances. It is abandoning brave individuals who dare to take up issues where their governments fail. And it is abandoning activists fighting for human rights, struggling against corruption and working to improve governance.
dance4life are one of the many organisations actively opposing the government plans. Eveline Aendekerk, director of dance4life international spoke to Vice Versa, about the cuts (article in dutch). We have also been tweeting, blogging, and using all our avenues to generate awareness for the ENOUGH is ENOUGH campaign. Because something needs to be done.
Today, in the Hague, members of the government from all parties are debating the budget cuts. This should prove interesting, with the majority of the cabinet opposing the cuts. I’m sure that I’ll be coming back to the results of this debate in the near future…
Join the action!
If you want to support the opposition to further budget cuts on international cooperation, you can! Go to the Genoeg is Genoeg website and see what you can do…every little bit helps!
What an amazing week it’s been.
The global dance4life event on the 27th November was a huge success! 21 countries were linked by satellite, with tens of thousands of young people united, celebrating their achievements in pushing back HIV and AIDS. From Russia to Argentina, and from Kenya to Barbados, young people danced together for life. What a moment.
Missed the live event? Click the image below to meet Sharon from dance4life Kenya. Hear her story…and experience the thrill of the live satellite link.
We’ve witnessed all these young people taking a stand for change. These young people demand that the World Leaders take responsibility. Today, on World AIDS Day, it’s time for all of us to come into action. So what can you do? Go to http://dance4life.com/en_4life_news_article/15974, sign the petition and DO SOMETHING TODAY! The Dutch government are the third largest financial contributor to the international fight against HIV and AIDS. They have now made it known that they no longer see the fight against HIV and AIDS as a priority and will be cutting their funding. THIS CANNOT HAPPEN. So, please, let your voice be heard – sign the petition. And make a difference on this World AIDS Day.
These young people have already made their voices heard. Will you?
(click image to see film)
This will be a quick one – as you can probably imagine, it’s all hands on deck as we start counting down the last 24 hours to the kick off of the dance4life event worldwide. This year, in order to allow for all the time differences, we are actually having 2 satellite links 6 hours apart. We kick off at 1pm CET with the first link up – so that’s less than 24 hours away now (deep breath…) The second one is at 7pm CET – and is available to view LIVE on www.dance4life.com.
I must admit, the butterflies are starting…
Please join us in celebrating the achievements of all these young people on Saturday 27th November!
And to get you in the mood for tomorrow: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-IzXf11oiE
..are you listening???
With only 3 days to go to the worldwide dance4life event, the adrenalin is definitely starting to kick in : it’s no mean feat connecting over 20 countries with each other live via satellite, not to mention the hard working local dance4life organisations who are also organising fantastic events in each country. Terms such as SNG vans, satellite coordinates, world feeds…once a foreign language, but now rolling with ease off the tongue of some of the dance4life team!
But let’s not forget WHY we are all working so hard to make this a special day : we are CELEBRATING. Young people all over the world are making a difference – taking the future in their own hands and creating change within their communities. In a week when UNAIDS released information about HIV infection rates having fallen in the last 10 years, and the Pope addressing condom use, change is becoming tangible. It’s up to young people to take this forward – youth are, after all, the most infected and affected by the pandemic. So let’s all take a moment on Saturday to salute these young people and recognise that their achievements, however small, are part of something much bigger.
Join us Saturday 27th November on http://www.dance4life.com and watch LIVE at 6-6.35 PM GMT / 7-7.35 PM CET (GMT+1).
It is now less than 6 days to go until the 27th November, when tens of thousands of young people worldwide will unite via satellite to celebrate their achievements in pushing back the spread of HIV and AIDS. From the USA to Vietnam, Zimbabwe to Germany, young people will have the experience of a lifetime on Saturday. And boy, do these young people deserve it. All around the world, they’ve been taking action to push back HIV and AIDS. Whether it be fundraising, lobbying, volunteering or simply talking to a friend about using a condom, every single one of these young people present on Saturday has made a contribution to halting HIV. What a fantastic gathering of creativity and determination. And of change makers.
You too can be part of this magical moment – the satellite link will be streamed LIVE on the dance4life website: www.dance4life.com at 6-6.35 PM GMT / 7-7.35 PM CET (GMT+1). And, until then, take a look at what Helena, Sharon, Felix and Stephen have to say about what’s coming up…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgOUYNG52v0