Schools4Life is an adapted version of the international initiative Dance4Life according to the socio-normative realities of Pakistan. ITACEC has joined Rutgers World Population Foundation for the implementation of this initiative in Lahore. The project works closely with various schools to take young people on board. The project has so far sensitized x number of children, educated x number of children and trained x number of teachers in various schools of Lahore.
The project aims to increase awareness about HIV among young people (aged 13 to 19) and prepare them for the transition from childhood to young adulthood; enabling them to lead a safe, protected and quality life. Young people are mobilized through inspiration and education to act and are empowered to take charge of their life.
Following are the phases of the project:
Inspire: Young people are involved through innovative approaches by project teams visitingparticipating schools. These visits are known as Heart Connection Tours (HCTs). Young people are sensitized on HIV, stigma, discrimination and basic life skills. Interest is generated and young people are motivated to be a part of Schools4Life.
Educate: Once inspired to become part of the project young people are taught a six module curriculum educating them about life skills, HIV and puberty through participatory approaches to increase their knowledge and boost confidence in them which ultimately increases self esteem. They also learn the skills needed for better communication, negotiation, decision-making, leadership and entrepreneurship. All of which empower them to make positive decisions about their futures.
Act: Equipped with these empowering skills, young people are motivated by Schools4Life to take action. They change the way their family and friends view topics they have been educated about. The children take charge and initiate movements for change at local community level. These young people are called agents4change, as they are now empowered to make a difference to the world.
Celebrate: The achievements of the agents4change are celebrated in an event. United by one cause young people get together to inspire and gain support from the rest of the world and to remind the world leaders of the promises they made with the Millennium Development Goals.