RDDC is an international NGO that runs dance and educational programs for street children and underserved youth in post-conflict and developing countries. Using a three-part model, RDDC prepares street children to re-integrate and succeed in the formal education system while gaining valuable job skills through vocational training.
In Phase I, street children improve 11 cognitive skills through a standardized dance curriculum. In Phase II, children acquire job skills through vocational training (IT or English Language). In Phase III, top performing students are sponsored to attend local boarding schools – thereby exiting life on the street and giving youth the power to advance their own lives.
Vision: Improving Children’s Lives
RDDC aims to significantly improve the lives of children and youth in its focus countries (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Guinea, Rwanda) by equipping participating youth with a skill or knowledge base that they can leverage in the future. Dance, found at the core of each program, is used to help the children develop cognitive learning skills (ranging from memorization to retention/recall of information). RDDC trains a few of the most talented and committed students to become dancers or teachers directly involved with RDDC programs, but ultimately, serves the vast majority of students through the educational training associated with each program.
RDDC is a 501(c)3 organization based in the United States. Working closely with international partners and RDDC field staff, the organization has run ongoing youth dance projects in three focus countries : Rwanda, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Guinea. Each program is based on a standardized model created by RDDC and then tailored to the specific needs of the at-risk population being served. Starting in 2014, RDDC prioritized its program in Rwanda.
The present international orientation of RDDC is the company’s second growth phase. The company was created in 2005 with a focus on developing original, full-length contemporary ballets based on famous literary works, significant historical events and modern social issues. Read more...
- Moving Forward
July 31, 2014
By Eugene Dushime, Country Director for RDDC-Rwanda
“Everyone can fall anytime but it is the courage to rise up which opens doors to new life” - (Eric Mugiraneza, one of RDDC’s former street children now enrolled at boarding school)
As I wrote a long time ago, the first day RDDC met Eric, he was so hopeless. Eric was always thinking that he was going to die soon, so for him, there was no reason to work hard. His mother died beside him. This is how Eric interpreted the feelings of his memory to me two years ago: “When my mother died, I was so young and so terrified, thinking that I was going to die the following day – just a few hours after her,” said Eric.
Eric is now attending one of the best boarding school in Rwanda (Sonrise Boarding School). July 24th was the end of the second term for primary and secondary schools in the country.
Eric was so excited when I saw him on the last day of the term.
I asked, “Why are you so happy?”
Eric took the report card from his suitcase and gave it to me.
“What?!” I exclaimed. “Wow, Eric, congratulations!”
Eric said, “You see? I told you that this term I will progress!”
Eric moved from 51% to 61%. (Now, remember this is a child who was living on the streets and practically illiterate less than two years ago.) Eric once hated any kind of activities because he was so desperate and hopeless; now, he is happy about his progress.
I asked Eric how he can make such a dramatic change.