28/11/2008

Dancing for life!

WAD 2008: CAFOD’s supporting a local dance group in the slums of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, called ‘Adugna’ which means ‘fate’. And it’s changing the fates of all those who come into contact with their moves!… Talented young dancers here have won international acclaim and their performances are also used to communicate messages about lifestyles, overcoming prejudice and HIV prevention. We meet up with a couple of the dancers to get their stories…Read more
Shiferaw Tariku has been dancing with Adugna since the group began in 1996 – when he was talent spotted! “I had no idea about contemporary dance, but my step mother and I were really struggling for money at the time. I sold ‘paper pockets’ at the market since I was 8 to help support my family after my father died, but we still never had enough, so I was fortunate to have this opportunity to learn a new skill – and it really changed my life. I love dancing, it is a good release of emotions, and I get to meet all different kinds of people. I like that we can work to encourage people to change their attitudes for the better. We get involved in anti-AIDS community groups, and in workshops about the problems associated with early marriage and female genital mutilation.”

An associated group of disabled dancers known as ‘Adugna potential’ was formed 8 years ago. Bethelem Dessyi was a little apprehensive when she got involved, “I used to be afraid to communicate and the thought of dancing with walking sticks made me nervous. But I no longer feel like that… performing so often with Adugna potential has strengthened my body and my attitude!”

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