According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there were more than 2.6 million refugees in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2011. As a third generation of refugees develops in some camps, living conditions prove difficult: malnutrition, lack of sanitary structures, disease, rape, early marriage, armed incursions, inter-community tensions, etc. Boredom and frustration induce a profound lack of hope among refugees, generating violence within the camps and tension with neighboring communities. With the influx of humanitarian aid, the settlement of refugee camps heavily affects the pre-existing local economy and activities, thus fuelling much resentment from local populations.
The endowment fund African Artists for Development (AAD) and Tilder, commit to use dance as a development tool to reduce violence within refugee camps, restore self-esteem and hope to the refugees and increase dialogue between refugees and the outside world. Refugees on the Move, is a three year program that will target UNHCR refugee camps in nine Sub-Saharan Africa countries. Within each country, a local choreographer and his team of dancers will conduct multiple sessions of dance workshops during the year. While using dance as an outlet to channel violence, "Refugees on the Move" also plans to use the dance space as a place of social awareness. "Refugees on the Move" will use the dance space to convey messages about HIV/AIDS prevention strategies, ways to combat violence against women and good hygiene practices. The dance workshops will also include the local populations neighbouring the camps as a way to build bridges and mutual acceptance between communities. Throughout the whole process, AAD will work closely with the UNHCR bureau in each country so that the program is properly coordinated with each camp's organization. Along with providing financial support for this initiative, Tilder will also ensure visibility and coverage of the project.