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dance4life Russia Newsletter No. 11 (April-June, 2011)

S I H T IN : E U S S I


is cele What holiday on April 7?

What did dance4life ambassador Vladim ir Pozner say, live on “Rain” TV, on the eve of the the Inte rnational AIDS Memorial Day? muc… and h mo re

Interview with Zoya Shabarova, Chief of Eastern Europe and Central Asia Bureau, AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

festival ion electronic music world. at ns Se e th at life e4 the danc in Russia and all over News of agents4chan

ge and project volunt

eers in the Russian re



All news in this issue are presented by the direct participants of the dance4life events held in Russia from April to June, 2011.

Russian people love holidays and enjoy celebrating them. However, only a few are aware of a rather unusual holiday – World Health Day. World Health Day is celebrated annually on April 7 – the day when the World Health Organization was established in 1948. Since that historic moment, 191 states around the world, including Russia, have become members of the World Health Organization (WHO). Since 1950, it has become a tradition to celebrate World Health Day. Annually, events are organized to spread awareness amongst people of the importance of health in their lives.

April 7 – a unique holiday! In Udmurtia, volunteers from dance4life Udmurtia marked April 7 by organizing a preventive event in the city trams- what a unique idea!

residence, and thus it is important to be tested for TB annually. Tram passengers were initially surprised, but be-

The event was supported by the Udmurt Ministry

came really interested in participating. They enjoyed

of Youth Affairs and the Children and Youth NGO,

engaging in dialogues and discussions on serious

“Volunteers of Udmurtia” Republican.

issues. Some of them posed questions to the vol-

The dance4life Udmurtia team worked in trams

unteers, taking them to be the competent experts

as part of the “Be Informed4life!” mass media cam-

that they are. The most engaged passengers were

paign. White daisies – symbols of the fight against tu-

presented with white daisies, informational booklets

berculosis - bloomed in the tram compartments. The

and souvenirs.

initiative sought to draw attention to the simple fact

Finally, all campaign participants exchanged

that tuberculosis can affect everybody, regardless

wishes of health, happiness, success, and smiled at

of gender, ethnicity, age, social status and place of

each other in the hope of meeting again! Lera Lavrova, dance4life coordinator in the Republic of Udmurtia P.S.

The “Be Informed4life!” campaign is part

of the mass media campaign implemented by dance4life with the support and active participation of the Lilly Partnership and the Russian Red Cross to fight multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB).

8 faces of good mood On the 26th of April, the annual dance4life part-

Eveline Aendekerk, Director of the dance4life In-

ners’ event was held in the Moscow Stakan (glass)

ternational, was one of the guests at the event. She

restaurant! As always, we had a wonderful time with

had come to Russia for a few days in late April. Dur-

our friends and colleagues, relaxing in an informal

ing her stay in Moscow, we worked productively and


discussed our plans for the future with Eveline. She

All the participants were invited to design their

also gave us some valuable advice.

own glasses, to learn about the achievements and plans of the dance4life Russia, to network and to

Valentina Agafonova,

have fun! DJ Trojan – d4l Moscow ambassador – cre-

coordinator of dance4life

ated the perfect ambience throughout the evening.

events and ambassadors

New faces in the dance4life Russia team In April and May, two wonderful people joined our team. Let’s get to know them better!

Yulia Koval-Molodtsova -

Polina Vasileva - coordi-

PR Manager of the project

nator of the Moscow team


of volunteers, and from


July 1 - coordinator of re-

with the AIDS Healthcare

gional dance4life teams.

Foundation, we were able

Polina has rich experi-

to add a PR-manager to

ence in working with the

our team, and this position

student union movement

is now occupied by a per-

and with orphanages, in

son well familiar to many of

terms of providing support

us - the first coordinator of

and organizing events. She

the dance4life Russia (2005-

likes music and is an excellent dancer. Since April 2011, she has been responsible for

2006) Yulia Koval-Molodtsova (formerly known as Yulia Molodtsova). Do make her feel welcome!

engaging the Moscow team of volunteers and for

She helps us promote our projects on the Inter-

developing the school component of dance4life

net, in social networks and in the media, and also

Moscow. Now, important responsibilities rest on her

covers our project activities.

shoulders- coordinating and monitoring the work of regional dance4life teams, collecting reports

Tatiana Evlampieva,

from the regional teams and making consolidated

Director of dance4life Russia

reports, as well as providing support to the regional teams in their engagement with the country team.

A few figures about dance4life in Russia 45 minutes

– the duration of the dance4life tour (heart connection tour) in Russian schools

444 schools

– participated in the project

in 2010



– the number of active dance4life volunteers in Russia (early 2011)

36 560 people – participated in dance4life tours in Russia in 2010



– became agents4change in Russia in 2010

39 regions


– the total number of Russian regions that our dance4life participants in Russia represent

Events commemorating the International AIDS Memorial Day

“I know. I support. I join.” May 15, 2011 More than 4,000 people in various parts of Russia were involved in the survey on “How to stop the rapid spread of sexually transmitted HIV infection”, carried out by dance4life participants as part of the “I know. I support. I join” campaign for the International AIDS Memorial Day the15th of May, 2011. Most respondents believe that in order to reduce the rates of HIV infection through sexual contact, it is not enough to promote abstinence from sexual intercourse until marriage, or to promote fidelity to one’s partner. It is also necessary to provide information on safer sex and condoms. The survey questions were directly related to the “Concept of preventing a disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the Russian Federation in 2011-2015”. Representatives of NGOs working on HIV prevention in different regions of Russia have expressed their concern that current prevention strategies do not pay attention to providing information about safer sex. That is, the concept of “abstinence-fidelity” is proposed.

Diagram 1 – Question: What do you think the information of HIV/AIDS prevention should be aimed at?

Diagram 2 – Regional distribution of online respondents

Evidence from all around the globe show that, in order to significantly reduce the spread of sexually transmitted HIV infections amongst the population,

“Now young people begin their sexual life at a very early age, and it is very difficult to control this. So, let their sexual debut be safe.“

it is necessary to provide comprehensive, reliable information about how to protect oneself - the concept of “abstinence-fidelity-condom”. In parallel with the street survey, an online survey with 500 respondents was carried out, which garnered the same results.

A woman of 26, Naberezhnye Chelny

The participants gave different comments on their choices: “If the country accepts the ‘fidelity-abstinence’ concept, the HIV epidemic will loom large for the health of the nation in 5 to10 years. A condom is the only means to slow the rapid spread of HIV infection.“ A man of 34, Moscow

“I think, if you do not discuss safer sexual behavior with people, they will be infected with HIV, STIs, and there will be more early pregnancies and thereby abortions.” A woman of 45, Orenburg “Abstinence is useless, only fidelity and safer sexual behavior will be useful.” A man of 25, St. Petersburg “To ask young people not to have sex before marriage is at best stupid! A more effective way would be to provide them with information about safer sex and how to protect themselves. “ Man of 18, Northwest Federal District, A town with a population of less than 100 thousand (online respondent) Detailed survey results and the report on the campaign are available at request: Yulia Koval-Molodtsova, PR Manager of the project

Pozner and Grishankov about the fight against AIDS On the eve of the International AIDS Memorial Day, well-known journalist Vladimir Pozner, dance4life ambassador, and Mikhail Grishankov, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Security, spoke live on “Rain” TV for 30 minutes about the status of the fight against AIDS in Russia. Notable excerpts:

delity. I am for it. But it would be completely pointless

Presenter: How would you assess the situation of

to tell a 14-year-old kid that he should abstain and be

HIV in Russia and what is being done about it?

faithful, when he is struck with everything that happens

Vladimir Pozner, “I would say that the situation as

around him ... we must teach them. We need to explain

alarming. In my opinion, the work on combating HIV

how dangerous their behavior can be. We need to talk

/ AIDS is not successful, and the number of patients

about condoms and how to behave. But these issues

and deaths keeps growing...”

are now a taboo, not to be discussed at schools!“

“The main thing here is treatment - this is one

Mikhail Grishankov: “I am Colonel of the Federal

aspect. This is a problem of medicines, a medical

Security Service, and have been awarded several

problem. And, to my mind, there is a more important

medals; all my life I have been fighting for people’s

question: what should be done to prevent the dis-

lives. So, when some unwise politicians are not even

ease? This requires information about how not to be

willing to recognize the problem - it is a very serious

infected and what people should not do. This infor-

threat for all of us. You know why? Because today,

mation should be provided to people at a very early

more than 10 billion rubles are spent on the HIV / AIDS

age. Because, as we know, there is a sexual way of

treatment program. Patients should be treated, I un-

transmission – it is related primarily to youth; drugs ad-

derstand this, but our aim is to stop the epidemic. “

diction is also related mainly to young people. There are other ways, less often. “

“We started to address the issue at about the same time with Vladimir Pozner. I cannot say that I

“In recent years, we are faced with the official po-

love this issue, it is quite a painful problem for the soci-

sition, in this case from the Ministry of Health. I talked

ety and for politicians – hence, many of them avoid

about this in detail with Minister Golikova. The position

it. But, as a politician responsible for what is happen-

is that it is necessary to work on promoting abstinence

ing in the country, I must do this work, because we

and fidelity. I have nothing against abstinence and fi-

have, by various estimates, about 1.5 million drug

addicts. The epidemic growth rate is mainly due to

Mikhail Grishankov: “You know, if possible, I will

heroin addicts. Nobody works with them. Neither the

tell the audience that HIV is not a death sentence.

State Drug Control Service nor the Ministry of Health

If you ask yourself: “Is there a person or a fam-

gives any answer to the simple question: “How will

ily around you who has been affected by drugs?”,

you work with them? Will you, as doctors, be respon-

and answer honestly: “Yes, there is.” This means that

sible for them?” Instead, they block the efforts that

some of them could have been infected with HIV.

had been earlier initiated. In reality, no prevention

But they live, they are normal, they can do a lot, and

work is currently being done. “

they can give birth to normal children. First, do not

Vladimir Pozner, “I may sign off all that Mr. Gris-

be afraid of them. Learn about the ways of HIV trans-

hankov has said. The situation is bad. The 15th is the

mission, protect yourself and, if you can, do support

Memorial Day of People Who Died from AIDS – and

those people who are part of the society.”

their number is growing. Finally, it will affect the RusQuoted from the “Rain” TV website:

sian armed forces and labor force, which are be-

coming sparser and sparser.

On the cooperation between dance4life and AIDS Healthcare Foundation, an interview with Zoya Shabarova, Chief of Eastern Europe and Central Asia Bureau, Aids Healthcare Foundation

- What does the AIDS Healthcare Foundation work on? What is your mission?

ability to pay. The organization was founded in 1987 in Los Angeles (USA). Initially, it was a hospice seeking to en-

Our mission is to provide advanced treatment

sure decent living conditions for people living with

and advocacy for HIV people, regardless of their

HIV or dying of AIDS. In the late ‘90s, when treatment became available, our organization began to provide medical care to people living with HIV, and opened our first clinics. To date we have over 15 clinics in California and Florida. At the same time we changed the word “hospice” to “foundation” in the name of the organization. We





projects: Now, we work in more than 20 countries around the world, in four continents: Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia. Our work is related to medical care and advocacy. Our advocacy is aimed at helping people learn about their HIV status. In the case of a negative status, we help people conserve their health. In the case of a positive status, we aim to help a person receive proper medical care and treatment as soon as possible.

always remember the flash mob which you organized in St. Petersburg’s Palace Square - it was such a large-scale, bright and unique event! We like your clarity of thinking applied in youth work, and your dedication to your mission. - Which of our recent partnership initiatives do you particularly like and why? The video of the HIV epidemic in Russia using infographics, which has been seen by a lot of people on YouTube. I hope that the video will help everyone who has seen it make the right choices and change his or her attitude to the problem. Today, HIV is considered a chronic disease rather than a death sentence. With timely and proper treatment, people with HIV can live a full life, work

- Why do you think sexual education for young people is important?

and be full members of society. Sex relations, like it or not, are part of young peo- How long have you been involved in the dance4life project and when did you first learn it?

ple’s lives. We should not treat this in a sanctimonious way. Instead, our goal is to help young people make these relations safer for themselves and for

Several years ago, the Russian dance4life team

others. It is difficult to see people destroy their lives at

turned to us with a proposal to collaborate to pro-

a young age. Silence leads nowhere – we need to

mote safer sexual behavior, raising the possibility of

educate young people in order to prevent danger-

us distributing our love condoms at youth events.

ous infections, teenage pregnancy, early abortions,

Thus, our collaboration began, and we are very

abandoned children and many other unfortunate

happy about it.


- What is the origin of the name ‘love condoms’?

- Please tell us about other examples of successful cooperation, similar to ours.

As I said, one of our aims is to help people stay healthy and HIV-free. According to the World Health Organization and the Joint UN Programme on HIV / AIDS (UNAIDS), the most reliable means of protecting against HIV infection through sexual contact is a condom. We believe that people should have free access to condoms. A couple of years ago, we launched a campaign with the slogan «Love yourself, love your partner, use condoms». Distributing condoms was part of the campaign, and we called them ‘love condoms’. Love is the keyword of our slogan. - What do you think like most about collaborating with dance4life? We appreciate your innovative spirit that reflects the very essence of the youth movement. We shall

You are unique:).

Celebration of life at the Sensation Festival 2011

On the evening of 18/19 June 2011, dance4life Russia, with the support of ROSDANCE, was repre-

ing of volunteers from Moscow, St. Petersburg and Veliky Novgorod.

sented for the second time at the Sensation Festival of Electronic Music in St. Petersburg. Over 20,000

Anna Bezrukova, dance4life volunteer: “The

people from all over the country attended the fes-

participants were really beautiful and intelligent.

tival! A pyramid was built in the “Petersburg” Sports

They rejoiced like children when they answered our

and Concert Center. On top of it, there was a floor

questions correctly and won prizes. Also, they sur-

for DJs, with its sides filled with festival-goers dressed

prised us when they asked us for additional details

in white.

about the project. They wanted to know how we

Similar to last year’s festival, Sensation organ-

had become volunteers, and what it was like to be

izers donated 50 eurocents of every ticket sold to

in the position of “wanting to help everyone under-

dance4life Russia. Many visitors to Sensation in 2011

stand.” Since people are asking, it means that we

took an active part in the info-tainment program

have a target audience- there are many people

on personal health issues, which was presented at

who understand and will provide reliable informa-

the festival by the dance4life Russia team, consist-

tion to others!”

Daria Shpitzer, dance4life volunteer: “This year’s

team. Most of all, I liked the feeling of hard work -

scope seemed enormous! I really liked the storm of

“Say no to rest and feel hyper-useful! Long live posi-

positive emotions and interest in the eyes of the par-

tive thinking and active living!”

ticipants. It was great working in a well-coordinated

This year’s show was called CELEBRATE LIFE! This name came about due to previous successful col-

tion list and engage guests, to draft descriptions of the lots and to sell lottery tickets.

laborations between dance4life and the Festival on the international level.

- Who first envisioned organizing the activity?

Here are excerpts from an interview with Mirjam

It all started when Duncan offered us free tickets

Boom, representative of the dance4life Internation-

to the Sensation VIP box. Then we came up with the

al: this year, she developed joint activities between

whole concept of the project - friends4life. A friend-

dance4life and Sensation in the Netherlands.

4life pays 2,500 euros for an opportunity to participate in an exclusive dinner at Duncan’s, and then

- Could you tell us about the format of the joint event organized by dance4life and Sensation in the

receives free entry into the Sensation VIP area along with other friends of the project.

Netherlands this year? We organized a charity dinner and auction at Sensation founder Duncan Stutterheim’s house right before the festival, after which the participants proceeded to the festival.

- How were project ambassadors involved in the event? We asked them to give us unique lots for the auction, and they were with us throughout the evening.

Preliminary work began 3 months prior to the event: we selected items for auction, wrote descriptions for the lots, contacted guests and sponsors,

- What difficulties did you encounter in the preliminary phase?

searched for a presenter ... We selected rare and

There were no difficulties before the event, but on

exclusive lots that are not widely available – hence,

the day of the festival itself there were some problems

the stakes were very high.

with the admission tickets that we quickly resolved.

- What was the role of volunteers before and at the event? Volunteers actively helped to compile the invita-

- What is your impression of this collaboration? It has brought significant funding and publicity for the project!

NEWS OF THE REGIONS Dance4life in Tver through the eyes of a volunteer Since the establishment of dance4life in Tver,

creasingly, empowering it to provide more people

project participants have achieved a lot. Youths

with helpful information and reduce the rate of new

have participated in many city events such as the

infections. Participants’ efforts have brought about

World TB Day, World Health Day, International Me-

a greater awareness dance4life and its objectives

morial Day of People Who Died from AIDS, City Day

and activities.


When I visited the first dance4life training semi-

The team also conducted dance4life tours

nars, I did not know what I would do in this project ...

in schools aimed at raising awareness among as

I did not understand why I was there. At that time I

many people as possible, especially young peo-

just started volunteering, because it was something

ple, telling them about HIV infections, promoting

new and I wanted to do everything at once. I only

a healthy lifestyle, and talking about tolerance.

partially understood the essence of the project at

After these events, more and more students who

the end of the second day of training. There were

are concerned about global problems have joined

still many questions in my mind...

the project. Hence, the team has been growing in-

When we conducted the first and most memorable tour in A.N. Konyayev college, I realized that I enjoyed myself and wanted to continue being involved in this project and to promote it. For a while, the project was taking over my life- I was dreaming about rehearsals, hoping that the VKontakte group would attract more and more members, but eventually I realized that things could not move so quickly... At first, I had so little experience that it was scary to be asked about HIV and AIDS, but now I am confident answering questions on this issue and can easily describe the project in a few sentences. I have a passionate desire to become a psychologist, and I am confident that this project will help me incredibly in my future career. This summer has been very meaningful for me thanks to dance4life, because we have conferences and meetings all the time, “Commonwealth”, new contacts and new dreams. Moreover, the project involved well-known celebrities such as rapper CARTERR, who devoted a soundtrack promoting a healthy lifestyle and combating HIV and AIDS to the project. For the project in Tver, this is only the beginning- we look forward to new achievements and new discoveries! Katya Fedotova, dance4life volunteer, Tver

From dance to health in Veliky Novgorod

The Red Cross organizes an interest club for old folks - Creative Longevity. In our city, the club works alongside the From Dance to Health project of another NGO- our grandmothers are actively dancing.

In early April, the director of school number 13 (a school for retarded and seriously ill children) asked Creative Longevity to organize a fun and engaging event for the children, for example, they could teach them Russian dances. The head of the Creative Longevity club offered to involve young people from dance4life. It was incredible - first, our grandmothers taught the children, and dance4life volunteers helped the children revise and repeat the movements. Then, the volunteers taught both young and old dancers some choreography to the song «Feel fine»! Elena Petrova, dance4life coordinator, Veliky Novgorod

Izhevsk: Theater - a powerful tool of prevention! Hurrah, comrades, it has happened! On 21-22 April, a Peer-to-Peer National Festival of Youth Social

and high emotionality of the two days, time passed quickly and the festival soon concluded.

Theaters took place in the Izhevsk National Center

The first Republican Festival of Youth Social Theat-

for Additional Education of Children. It was organ-

ers is a real breakthrough for the whole republic. We

ized by dance4life Udmurtia - “Light” Republican

are confident that the festival will be considerable

Volunteering Educational Team with the support of

impetus for the development of new methods of

the Udmurt Ministry of Education and Science.

preventive action amongst Udmurt volunteer asso-

The festival was attended by more than 10 teams


of children and youth associations, creative groups and theater companies working on preventing negative social phenomena among children, adolescents and young adults. Organizers and participants plunged into an atmosphere of unrestrained creativity and keen excitement for two days. From early morning till late evening, participants gave their all in presenting their own social performances, watching those of their colleagues and participating in master-classes on theater arts. All the performances were worthy of attention because they engaged with the most important social issues of the day. Each social performance ended with a facilitated discussion, with audience and performer participation, which is one of the most important and meaningful aspects of social theater. All groups showed a high level of knowledge of social theater techniques and fully demonstrated their acting skills. Despite the richness, productivity,

Aleksandra Tokareva, dance4life volunteer, Republic of Udmurtia

Samara: good music and interesting activites have done their job

28 April, Zvezda night club hosted a Slot band

everyone knows this Hawaiian activity with a pro-

concert. At the event, we set up an information

gressively lowered rope. The competition was held

booth, at which everyone could test their knowl-

under the deafening thunder of the drums. The par-

edge of and learn more about HIV infections and

ty was a great success! Good music and interesting

disease prevention. All participants were presented

activities did the trick. Our efforts will continue!

with small gifts - condoms, badges, stickers and brochures. A video about HIV and tuberculosis was

Natalia Chebotaeva,

shown all night on a large screen at the club. The

dance4life PR-manager, Samara

Limbo competition created the most excitement:

Dance marathon in Orenburg On May 25, 2011, the event, long awaited for

for exchanging experiences in youth health activ-

by all the project students of Orenburg, was organ-

ism. Six Orenburg school teams participated in the

ized in the Olympic Sports Center. It was the second

dance marathon. It consisted of four stages through

annual dance4life Dance Marathon timed to cel-

which children could show off their skills and knowl-

ebrate the Last school bell.

edge - a musical representation of the team, brain-

This was a rewarding event for the dance4life volunteers, as it created a conducive environment

ring, quad-dance and the dance4life drill.

“Be a friend of the project” campaign, Orenburg June 25, 2011: On Youth Day, we organized a dance4life campaign – “Be a friend of the project” – along the main street of the city. It comprised a friend4life charity event, a presentation of the project, a class teaching the FEEL FINE anti-smoking dance and a dance competition. Also, project-related prevention video clips were aired. It was an opportunity for young people to participate by solving puzzles and, in the process, to learn more about the project. For families with children, we provided coloring materials. We conducted a survey, asking “We dance4life, what do YOU do for life?”. The most popular answers were sports and dance. Galina Loschinina, dance4life coordinator, Orenburg Region

Now Kirov has joined the large-scale movement! In early June, Kirov joined the international dance4life project! Natalia Novikova, head of the volunteer team:

dance4life Russia representatives have promised that one of the celebrity project ambassadors will come to Kirov.

“For five days we drilled the dance routine, learnt how to conduct life skills lessons for children, how to involve people in HIV prevention activities and in any other social activities, and how to celebrate – these are four basic phases of the project. One of the most powerful elements of the project is youth culture and dance as a symbol of youth culture. “ Project representatives paid a special visit to Kirov: after long discussions and a warm invitation from our volunteers, dance4life just could not help but come to our city! Elena Bydanova, volunteer: “Even if you’re out of shape, when the music calls, energy comes out of you, and you want to move, to dance, you want to carry this idea!”

According to materials from MTV-Kirov

Moscow: “We will surely tell our friends about it” On June 23, the dance4life Moscow team held an informational event on HIV and tuberculosis issues at the concert of the Boombox group in the Green Theatre at Gorky Central Park, and on 24 June, at the concert of the Dog Log group in Milk club. Tatiana Evlampieva, director of dance4life Russia: “It should be noted that event participants showed rather incomplete knowledge about HIV and held a reckless position: it’s not my business”. Most of the audience was working young people over 25 years old. Many of them were learning, for the first time, about the epidemic of sexually transmitted HIV in our country and that adults could also be infected. It was evident that the information created a profound impression, setting many thinking. Many people who were initially skeptical eventually told me personally that “You are doing a very important thing!” One guy learnt about the window period from me and fell into deep thought. Two married couples, who initially said: “We are not in danger, since we are faithful to each other.”, left with the words: “We will surely tell our friends about it”.

ANNOUNCEMENTS In the next issue: • Notable dance4life events in Russia from July to September, 2011

If you want your news hit the next issue of the newsletter, please send your information and illustrations to, with BULLETIN in the subject field, by October 31, 2011!

• dance4life positive spirit and important knowledge for Seliger • Plus 1 from dance4life at Kubana music festival • Conference “Preventing social diseases among young people: best practices” (26-27 September 2011, Moscow) and more!

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To be distributed for free When reprinting reference is obligatory

© Public Health and Social Development Foundation FOCUS-MEDIA


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