“Let’s All Dance for One Goal . . . This Time for Africa!” WomanStats Waka Waka

In 2000 countries of the world united and produced the Millennium Development Goals wherein two foundational goals for education were adopted: to ensure that all boys and girls complete primary schooling by 2015 and to ensure that girls have the opportunity for education at all levels by 2015. Sadly, the world is far from meeting these goals. Today almost 70 million children do not have access to education and if the progress remains the same, by 2015 there will still be 50 million children without access to basic education. In order to draw the world’s attention to this dire situation and to encourage stronger action, the Global Campaign for Education created 1GOAL in preparation for the FIFA World Cup in South Africa in summer 2010 (http://www.join1goal.org/home.php). The FIFA World Cup is one of the most watched and most popular sporting events in the world. Consequently, 1GOAL gained international attention through its association to this worldwide event. 1GOAL’s objective is to use the power and passion of football to unite the world in the pursuit of education for every child. Its hope is that this World Cup hosted in an African country would have a lasting legacy and call the world’s attention to the right for every child to an education. 1GOAL received overwhelming support during the World Cup. Much of this fame was derived from Columbian singer, Shakira’s song “Waka Waka: This time for Africa” which was the official song of the FIFA World Cup 2010. This song was the theme song for 1GOAL as well.

Shakira’s “Waka Waka” dance from her music video was utilized to unite people from all over the world with “1 Dance, 1GOAL.” There is a series of simple steps that accompany the chorus of the song and 1GOAL challenged viewers to join 1GOAL by recording themselves performing this dance and posting it onto its Youtube channel. For every video that was posted, leading contributors to 1GOAL would donate a certain amount. So the more movies posted, the more money donated. I am a dancer and choreographer and when I saw the 1GOAL’s campaign during the World Cup, I instantly knew that I had to take this challenge. I felt an obligation to utilize my talents in dance and my passion for promoting the status of women and education to be a part of this campaign. I didn’t want to dance alone so I thought I would ask some of my coworkers from the WomanStats Project to join me. I thought that a few girls would volunteer but much to my surprise and joy, all the coders and even Dr Hudson wanted to dance.
I wanted to do this project because I knew that if we supported this campaign for education, we would be elevating the status of women worldwide. We had just finished reading parts of Dr Hudson’s upcoming book about our work. Recently the UN has adopted a resolution, “Responsibility to Protect” meaning that all member states had a responsibility to protect its citizens. In her book Dr Hudson proposes that the UN should adopt a R2PW, “Responsibility to Protect Women”. As a group we decided that this was WomanStats personal message to add to 1GOAL—R2PW, protect women by giving them an education. What I thought would be a small-scale project turned into an entire company production. You can see the WomanStats R2PW Waka Waka Video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MPRl71nfYQ, or here is an embed of it from YouTube:

This project means so much to me. I felt so inspired watching the hundreds of dancers from all over the world dancing the same steps to the same song working for the same goal. It is such a powerful thing to see so many people unite together in this way. I truly believe that education for women, can be the solution to solving so many problems worldwide. Sometimes I feel helpless in alleviating the ills of this world. I always want to do so much but feel like it is never enough. However I know that this dance is something that I can do and will have a huge impact towards achieving this 1GOAL of education for all. I personally have a R2PW and so I dance the “Waka Waka”!

Instructions for the dance are here:

—by ABN


4 thoughts on ““Let’s All Dance for One Goal . . . This Time for Africa!” WomanStats Waka Waka

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