PROJECT #STREETDADA — MENTOR KAFFY
The United Nations Office On Drugs and Crime UNODC states that “Performance is very captivating and beneficial to both participants and audiences. Choosing to do something in a different and creative way, to take on a role that you might not do in your ordinary life, to take a public risk by expressing yourself in a personal way often involves diligent rehearsal of complex skills, self-examination, and self-assurance. It usually involves interpersonal skills such as working cooperatively in a group to reach a common goal, accepting others and communicating effectively.”
The development and practice of these characteristics along with others make for resilient teenagers, better able to withstand problems that can lead to substance abuse. But audiences can benefit as well, by being exposed to the accomplishments of young people, by learning more about substance abuse, and perhaps by participating in some solution building.
Teennation benefits from using performance to accomplish its goals and ultimately, the whole community can become a safer, more supportive environment.
Mentor Kafayat Shafau-Ameh shared African teen are the driving force of the continent’s future.
Patterns of drug abuse among teens suggest that physical activity can strengthen resistance to addiction. Results from the NIDA-funded Monitoring the Future survey, for example, indicate that high school students who exercise regularly are less likely than sedentary teens to smoke cigarettes or abuse marijuana (“Lower Rates of Cigarette and Marijuana Smoking Among Exercising Teens”). The relationship between drugs and exercise, however, may be indirect. Perhaps students who choose to exercise tend to make healthy decisions in general. Initiation of substance abuse may also be countered by the support of teammates, coaches, and family; by other social aspects of participation in organized activities; and by the time management skills that active teens develop.
Apart from improving the health of the developing brain, there are many reasons to think that physical activity can be a useful means for preventing substance abuse among young people. The best way to grab the attention of children and teens is often to offer them a range of appealing challenges. Physical activities — particularly in natural environments — offer youth healthy opportunities to learn skills, take risks, and achieve goals.
STREET DADA is a Dance Movement Therapy, that employs dance as a remedy for teen drug abuse, depression, low self esteem and psychological trauma. STREET DADA allows for physical, rather than verbal, expression of emotions and thoughts. This deviation from traditional talk therapy offers a solution to teenagers who have difficulty articulating and verbally sharing their feelings. Further, the combination of physical movement with emotional therapy allows for a restorative connection between the body and mind to be formed.
STREET DADA #DanceNotDrugs
The underlying cause of many addictions is rooted in trauma. As such, in order to achieve a holistic recovery from addiction the trauma must be treated. Dance Movement Therapy offers an opportunity to heal through alternative mechanisms. By incorporating dance and movement into the traditional treatment process, individuals are able to develop their self-awareness, achieve a greater sense of calm, and build their self-confidence, thereby increasing the likelihood of a successful recovery. By combining a variety of treatment options, such as traditional psychotherapies, as well as Dance Movement Therapy, individuals are offered many avenues to explore their thoughts and feelings, and address the underlying causes of their drug addiction.
Dancing isn’t about giving yourself to someone else — it was about giving something to yourself. It isn’t about abandoning your body, but finding it. It is about a better high than you’d ever find in drugs. There aren’t a lot of true behavioral changes that we can make overnight. Willful change is a slow, arduous process that requires courage, commitment and the help of other people.
It is medicine and can become a hobby, the thing you do for love, not mastery.
In an inspiring response Mmanti Umoh invoked the African teen leaders to think out of the box for the betterment of their countries “You must be better than us, and better than your fathers and grandfathers. This is not an option, you must do this. You are the hope of your nation, you are the future of this continent”.