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
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.
How Street DADA works.
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.