Street Dance Against Drug & Abuse

Street Dance Against Drug Abuse (#StreetDADA) Project, a peer-led programme that aims to use performance to eradicate teen alcohol and drug misuse, mental abuse and stigmatizing behaviour.


Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse.


Offering 10,000 teenagers alternatives to drugs and crime


Serve as viable alternative to drug, abuse and associated high-risk lifestyles.

Street Dance Against Drug Abuse Project #StreetDADA

A peer-led programme that aims to use performance to eradicate teen alcohol and drug misuse, mental abuse and stigmatizing behaviour. It provides artistic alternatives to teenagers who have problems with drug abuse, mental health challenges, crime, education, their families or the community. Participants use music, art and dance to reach their recovery goals.

We are using the word performance loosely to cover a wide range of expressive art forms such as dance, theatre, drama, public speaking and music. In this broad sense, performance includes public showings of final products or, the primary emphasis may be on the process of creating without deliberate consideration of an outside audience. The common thread is that performance involves a leap out of the ordinary – a deliberate choice to express something in a creative or different way. This leap may be very natural for some people, but for others, it is indeed difficult to forsake usual, safe ways of doing things for creative and challenging endeavors.


TEENNATION’s devotion to evidence-based practice in building young people’s resilience and supporting their overall health and well-being has resulted in the development of the #StreetDADA Project, a peer-led programme that aims to use performance to eradicate teen  alcohol misuse and offending behavior. Young people have ownership over #StreetDADA; they will take on responsibility for delivering, developing and driving the project forward, generating a vitality and resonance that is only possible when young people are at the helm.

  • Vision – Africa’s leading campaign Using Performance for substance abuse and misuse, prevention among children and young people
  • Mission – Offering 10,000 teenagers alternatives to drugs and crime.
  • AIM – The project is designed to serve as viable alternatives to drug abuse and associated high-risk lifestyles. Teenagers have been targeted because of their extreme vulnerability to substance abuse, crime and violence.
  • Hashtags – #ProjectStreetDADA, #DoDanceNotDrugs, #GiveHopeNotDope, #TeenMentalHealth
  • Reach 10,000 teenagers through #STREETDADA by 2020
  • Reach 500 Mentors and 500 peer educators
  • Raise $500,000 in 3 Years to build Africa’s First Residential Drug & Mental Health Treatment Center for Adolescents.

In Africa, teen substance abuse and mental health challenge is on the rise. According to Statistics, 60% of illicit drug users in Africa are between 15 and 24. Some teens take drugs to demonstrate their independence. As a form of escapism or to cope with stress or boredom.

Drug abuse and mental health are leading causes of premature deaths. Teennation found that young people who use illegal drugs are 11 times more likely to commit suicide or overdose. According to our research, teenagers involved in drugs are likely to drop out of school or turn to truancy. These dropouts tend to become heavy users of illicit drugs compared to their peers in school. Drug use among dropouts was 31.4% higher than teens who continue studying.

The usual outcome for these young individuals is enormous frustration and definite failure. These teenagers have different types of mental disorders and behavioral problems and come from radically diverse backgrounds

We focus on ensuring young people have the right support at the right time as they are growing up. We invest in finding out what works and then share those findings with mentors who can use them positively. We look forward to raising a generation of African teenagers and young adults with the skills and self-confidence to thrive, regardless of the challenges they might face.

Our approach is rooted in building young people’s resilience, helping them develop the life skills they need in order to negotiate challenging situations. We provide children and young people with age-appropriate knowledge and skills coupled with positive health values to help them build the self-confidence to make their own decisions.

Behavioral addiction and seclusion has become a trademark among teenagers. Knowing this means there is a chance to address the issue more effectively.

Arts: #STREETDADA works by building a social movement around the natural highs, around people getting high on their own brain chemistry. Teens are looking to change their consciousness and if we can do this without drugs and other substances, the outcome will be far more positive. So we begin by arriving each city with a dance band to get their attention.

Training: Four Teennation Team Leaders will recruit young Mentors (aged 15-21) to undertake an initial 12-week training course, including the delivery of one-off alcohol workshops in schools and youth settings in their local area.

Delivery: Once they have gained experience of facilitating workshops, Mentors will be supported to deliver a six-week alcohol and health intervention to young people aged 14-17 with an aim to building confidence, developing group-work and communication skills, and improving knowledge around alcohol-related risk-taking behaviour.

Development: After the first six weeks, participants will have the opportunity to continue their development by undertaking a further four-week programme, which will focus on developing the knowledge, skills and confidence to become Peer Educators.

Leadership: Peer Educators will then shadow Mentors until they are fully prepared to deliver their own peer-led workshops to groups of young people in their local communities.

Evaluation: All our training and workshops are evaluated using tools developed by an independent evaluator during the #StreetDADA testrun project.

Why Use Performance to Combat Substance Abuse?
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 youth, 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. The organization benefits through using performance to accomplish its goals and ultimately, the whole community can become a safer, more supportive environment.

  • Young people, when given performance opportunities that encourage creative expression can: 
  • Grow and develop by trying new ways of doing things
  • Practice different responses to situations that help them learn how to react creatively to future situations or problems
  • Learn and practise the actual skills involved in their area of performance such as dancing, singing, acrobatics, juggling, design learn more about themselves
  • Learn and practise skills that are prized in the job market like creativity, communication skills and discipline. 
  • Meet new friends with common interests and goals
  • Learn how to work cooperatively with others to reach common goals achieve a feeling of success and accomplishment (this is especially true for young people who have difficulty succeeding in traditional learning environments or who have limited opportunities for success) increase self esteem and self-confidence connect with people from different age groups develop cultural and interpersonal sensitivity meaningful relationships with others including supportive adults and other role models be role models themselves for other young people experience and value activities that are not compatible with substance abuse

Blog about drug abuse & mental health

Sharing your story of drug abuse & mental health problems in a blog is a great way of getting people thinking and talking about mental health.

Negative attitudes stop people with mental health problems or dealing with drug abuse getting the help and support they need. STREETDADA champions use their experience of mental health problems to change the way people think and act about mental health. If we could but feel free to talk about the subject with other people, neighbors, at work, at sports clubs, or out and about generally; if we could talk about it without feeling judged, or worse, thought worthless by others, then we could together help people. – Folawe, STREETDADA Champion

What do Champions do? Being a champion is a flexible and voluntary commitment. You can do what you have time for, and what you’re comfortable doing. There are lots of ways to be a Champion, including:

  • Having conversations about mental health with the people around you – whether that’s your mum, a mate or the mentor – and talking about your experience.
  • Running a StepUp activity in your community.
  • Telling your story online or in the media.
  • Speaking up when people say stereotypical or damaging things about drug addicts or mental health.

Why be a champion? As a champion, you will be at the heart of our campaign to change people’s attitudes towards teenagers with drug addiction challenges and mental health problems.

  • It’s an opportunity to build skills and experience in areas like public speaking, planning events and using social media.
  • You’ll get the opportunity to meet and campaign alongside like-minded people in your community.
    Each region in Africa has a local STREETDADA Champion Coordinator who provides free training and support for Champions in performance, speaking out and sharing your story.

If you’ve still got questions then don’t hesitate to email us. We’d also love to share your experiences of and ideas for challenging stigma.

Teen Ambassadors are high school sophomore, junior and senior volunteers who represent TEENNATION and STREETDADA as an ambassador of goodwill.  As a representative of the county, ambassadors are public figures bringing the positive message of living a lifestyle free of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana use or mental health abuse. 

  • Ambassadors will have the option to receive training and education on the harmful effects of substance abuse to the community. 
  • Ambassadors will have the opportunity to represent the county on task force groups, at public events and/or provide friendship to elementary-aged children after school to deliver substance-free messages and help with homework. 
  • Teen Ambassadors will have photos taken at events to be used on the TEENNATION website, and their School website.  Photos may also be used on Facebook for these organizations as well.

Skills required

  • Serve as a positive role model for the county
  • Believe in and live a substance free lifestyle
  • Share the message of living a substance free lifestyle to prevent and reduce substance abuse in the county
  • Desire to make our community a better place to live
  • Champion groups of local organisations to help change the way people think and act about mental health in their communities.


Creating a network of StepUp Hubs. Combine the insights from the national campaign with local knowledge to support communities, workplaces and schools to help end the negative attitudes and behaviours towards teenagers experiencing mental health problems where they live.

To apply, fill out Teen Ambassador Application for 2017-2018 and contact IzzyOdigie@teennationafrica.org

For questions or additional information, contact IzzyOdigie@teennationafrica.org or +234 803 205 9661.

All Teen Ambassador Mentor applicants will be scheduled for an interview. Selected applicants will participate in training’s at the Teen General Assembly Nairobi, Kenya.

StepUp Hubs are local teen partnerships which demonstrate their commitment to bring local organisations and people together to challenge drug abuse and mental health stigma locally. 

– Putting people with personal experience of mental health problems (Champions) at the heart of their work.
– Embedding anti-stigma and discrimination work locally, whether that be local schools, workplaces or other community settings
– Proactively campaigning to improve people’s attitudes and behaviours towards mental health.

Attend one initial Teen Ambassador training during the Teen General Assembly
Participate in at least one of the service opportunity positions
Maintain ongoing contact with Teen Mental Health Ambassador and coordinators

  • Benefits
  • Free training’s
  • Certificate and letter of participation
  • Opportunity to work and serve with professionals within the county and state
  • Preventing substance abuse together

#STREETDADA Ambassador

A movement of people across African country’s who use their own experience of mental health problems to change the way we all think and act about mental health.


StepUp Hubs have developed all across African countrys. Young people are campaigning to change the way their peers and community think and act about mental health.

need help?

If you need support, there are people and organisations who can help you. If a person seems really unwell, and you are worried about their safety, you should encourage them to seek help. 

    Never has there been such weighty responsibility on the shoulders of young people. Never has there been the influence in the hands of young people like the influence they carry now. But for Africa to reap the dividends she has longed for, it is up to our generation to make sure that influence is channelled correctly and directed towards relevant issues that affect not only ourselves but generations after us. This can only be achieved if we come together as young people and begin to address the challenges before us as a continent.


    TEENNATION LTD, 21 Araromi Street, Lagos,


    +234 803 205 9661