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Pleased to meet: Koen Böhm
Koen! We’re kind of curious, what kind of work do you do for the dance4life
dance4life works with local partners to implement our model worldwide. My job is to collaborate with these partners to make sure we have great local impact, by ensuring that the dance4life program reaches young people and that these young people learn what they need to learn.
This means that for every country we define the problems of young people and see how our model can be adjusted in a way that it deals with those problems effectively. Together with the partner, I define the specific goals that dance4life has in a certain country, how those goals can be met and once we’ve started the program, we look at what works well and which aspects could improved.
What are the biggest problems in the countries you work with?
In a lot of countries HIV & AIDS is still a massive problem, especially for girls. Also, unplanned pregnancies are often a big problem; an important factor in most of these countries is the inequality between boys and girls. A lot of times it’s not even possible for girls to refuse sex, let alone for them to talk about safe sex or condom use!
You just came back from Zambia, could you tell us a bit more about the trip?
The aim of this trip was to show our dance4life friends, our network of donor entrepreneurs, how the program actually works and for them to see it with their own eyes. For me, it was also good to see what has changed since I last went to Zambia and to sit down with our partner to speak and plan for the future.
How is the dance4life program implemented in Zambia?
In Zambia, we work with Family Health Trust and they implement our dance4life 4 step model (Inspire, Educate, Activate and Celebrate) in 5 of 10 Zambian provinces. In the first step Inspire, young people are inspired to participate in our program through music, dance and personal stories. After Inspire they turn to Educate, in Zambia that consists of 7 classes in which peer-educators teach young people about HIV/AIDS, STD’s and birth control. They also learn about communication, self-worth and how to achieve future success. These classes are crucial because they teach young people how to deal with social pressure, how to talk to their girlfriend or boyfriend and when to use, or not use, a condom.
When you make this trip to Zambia and see the program with your own eyes, do you feel the impact dance4life has?
Of course! One of the first things you notice is how much fun young people have with the dance4life program. They look forward to it and during the class you can see how difficult topics like sex and condoms are successfully discussed in an interactive way.
Our awesome colleagues are the reason we get a step closer to our mission everyday: a healthy future for young people worldwide. Want to know more about our work in Zambia? Click here!
From the 29th of October untill the 31st of December, there will be an unprecedented 50% matching up to the first million dollars raised. If you make a (monthly) recurring donation, the amount will be doubled in December! This way you also support our chance to win a Global Giving Bonus prize!