Dance4life – Empowering young people through pop culture

Dance4life – Empowering young people through pop culture

Dancing has become part of the tradition and culture of the people in Indonesia. Each ethnic in the country has unique traditional dance. In order to create a beautiful work of art, a pianist taps his/her fingers on the piano and a guitarist strums his/her finger on the strings of a guitar, and a dancer moves his/her body parts and even moves his/her eyes or hair. The movements usually follow the rhythm of music or in certain dance the music follows the movements. Creativity has enabled people to create modern dance as well as modern music. A dance can be performed individually or with other people and can become colossal when performed by hundreds or even thousands of people.

In order to share knowledge on sexuality and reproductive health and healthy behavior, and to encourage youth to empower their peers, Rutgers WPF Indonesia adopts the dance4life  (pronounced asdance for life’) program. This program empowers youth to be free from HIV, sexual violence, and unplanned pregnancy in a favorable way among youth, i.e. dancing. We would like to thank the Red Zebra Foundation for creating such an energetic and fun dance to train youth to become friendly and educative facilitators. The dance4life has become an approach, rather than just a dance, which is preferable by young people and people of all ages.

Four-Step Approach to Empower Youth

The dance4life program consists of four steps, namely Inspire, Educate, Activate and Celebrate.

Inspire: this step inspires youth to make positive changes for themselves and for others.

Educate: this step provides youth with knowledge and necessary skills they need .

Activate: youth begin to apply what they have learned in the first two steps, organizing campaign projects/activities to inspire their peers to participate.

Celebrate: this final step celebrates youth’s achievement in organizing activities by dancing together usually during the world AIDS day.

All of the steps in the program are carried out to empower youth to have a productive life, free from violence, and keep them physically and mentally healthy. The program also helps them to understand and maintain their sexual and reproductive health, stay away from drugs abuse, criminal acts and other unhealthy behaviors. Youth are also encouraged to be good partners for people who are in the treatment process, such as people living with HIV/AIDS, drugs user, or other youth in the juvenile detention centers.

Yayasan Pelita Ilmu (YPI), Perkumpulan Keluarga Berencana Indonesia (PKBI) National level, PKBI North Sumatra, PKBI Riau, Ikatan Duta Mahasiwa Riau, Sentra Informasi dan Komunikasi Orang Kito (SIKOK) Jambi, PKBI Lampung, PKBI DKI Jakarta, PMI East Jakarta, PKBI Central Java, PKBI East Java, PKBI Bali, PKBI DI Yogyakarta and Youth Forum Papua are among other partners of Rutgers WPF Indonesia in implementating the dance4life program in the country. The dance4life program whose head quarter is in Amsterdam has worked with local partners in 30 countries around the world.

The program involves young people who have completed the training and agreed to become agents4change to continue the behavior change campaign and inspire their peers to participate. Thus, the spread of this good idea has become a behavioral change initiative for young people and by young people.

Every year, more than 14,000 young people take part in the program, representing 155 schools in five provinces in Indonesia; and some 4,823 young people agreed to become agents4change to reach out more youth in their community...while dancing.