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...
- Transforming the Negative into Positive
July 5, 2014
Since RDDC started its partnership with FidesCo Rwanda, a lot of kids have gone through our program. At first, it was one of the hardest challenges that we faced. We couldn’t imagine how the first group had to exit the program in order for new kids to join. We would receive a new group of kids just as our former students were beginning to show true cognitive improvement. The new kids were totally different from the previous – new faces, different attitudes and unknown behavioral patterns.
When a new group comes, we try to explore the life they have come from – street life. We learn how to handle each one of them. It’s pleasant and interesting to interact with them and discover their different personalities. That doesn’t happen immediately; it takes a lot of work to get them to open up to you – and smile. Few at first respond, and others don’t seem to understand what you are up to, so you have to keep on doing it sincerely because some of them think that people smile only when they want something from you. Some think they are not worthy; they cannot amount to anything at all. However, through our dance classes, I came to realize that personal change is not only brought by big things; if compliments and encouraging words come continuously and patiently, change can be achieved if one is willing.