Vandana Hart speaks "dance" with children at Soweto Safe Park

UNICEF believes in the power of dance

Sudeshan Reddy, Communication Specialist
Vandana Hart dancing with children at Soweto Safe Park
UNICEF South Africa/2018/Reddy
12 July 2018

Soweto - “This is my Safe Park and I feel safe,” is the enthusiastic shout of children as they energetically dance to the sounds of popular South African music at the Soweto Safe Park.

What makes this session unusual is that the children are being joined in dance by Vandana Hart, the creator and host of the Netflix Series “We Speak Dance” who is herself an acclaimed dancer and a social activist who has worked with several UN agencies over many years.

Vandana was in South Africa to film an episode of this soon-to-be-broadcast series, which has taken her to various parts of the world. This chapter was different in that she contacted UNICEF in order to ensure that her content aptly reflected the situation of children in South Africa today.

The afternoon at Freedom Park included interviews with the children themselves as well as the child and youth care workers who manage the Safe Park and with representatives of the National Association of Child Care Workers, a key implementing partner of UNICEF South Africa. 

Vandana Hart with children at the Soweto Safe Park
UNICEF South Africa/2018/Reddy
Dancer and Producer Vandana Hart with children at the Soweto Safe Park.

The visit took place on the cusp of Nelson Mandela International Day and provided an opportunity for an open discussion with the children about the lessons that are gained by the life of this iconic freedom fighter who was instrumental in South Africa’s struggle for democracy.

In her conversation with the children who frequent this Safe Park, Vandana spoke about the power of dance to transcend all sorts of divisions and reminded the eager young listeners of why creativity – be it in dance, singing, art of any other form – needs to be fostered and appreciated.