Since 2020, the Belarusian Association of UNESCO Clubs has started implementing the Dance4Life program in Belarus. This project aims to enhance leadership qualities in young people, promote a healthy lifestyle, and prevent HIV infection and drug use among youth.
In the autumn of 2022, the Belarusian Association of UNESCO Clubs launched the second stage of the Dance4Life Belarus project (“Journey4Life”) and conducted training to prepare a new generation of Champions4Life. Champions are the young people who volunteer as facilitators to lead the modules within the project. As a result of the training, twenty-four participants from Brest, Gomel, Grodno, Mogilev, Molodechno, Minsk, Rogachev, and Slutsk received the Champion4Life status.
The training course began with an introductory seminar, where officials and program coordinators addressed the project participants with a welcoming speech. In addition, regional centers of the Dance4Life Belarus project were established in Brest, Gomel, Grodno, and Mogilev.
Then, over the course of six days, the participants received competent knowledge in the field of HIV prevention, youth health and well-being, development of life skills, and countering health risks. The champions’ training was carried out according to the “peer-to-peer” principle.
“Journey for Life” encompasses five stages of ten training modules of 1.5 hours each. The first stage, “Inspire,” focuses on creating a positive atmosphere and group dynamics. The second stage – “I,” is building personal confidence and self-esteem. The third one – “Me and You”- is about assessing one’s attitude towards others and developing interpersonal relationships. Then comes the segment – “Me and Society,” dedicated to existing social problems and the discovery of one’s role in society, the search for opportunities to change the world for the better. The final stage, “Celebrate,” is designed to celebrate the changes that have taken place and congratulate the new champions.
All participants successfully completed the training and received the right to conduct Journey4Life on behalf of the Belarusian Association of UNESCO Clubs. At the end of the training program, the participants were solemnly presented with T-shirts with the project logo and name badges. In addition, each Champion4Life will receive a certificate after putting the acquired knowledge into practice through leading a Journey4Life program in their city.
On the last evening, the participants, together with the project coordinator, summed up the training results and reflected on each champion’s personal growth. It was an opportunity to share their unique volunteer stories and takeaways from the program, as well as discuss further plans of action.
The project’s key partners were the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Belarus, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus, the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education, UNFPA, UNAIDS, and the FOCUS-MEDIA Foundation.