THE IMPORTANCE OF SEX
(UALITY) AND YOUNG PEOPLE
MISSION AND VISION
CHOICE: THE ORGANIZATION
OUR APPROACH AND PROGRAMS
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY
THE ROAD AHEAD
FOREWORD By Elsemieke de Jong
ever before have there been so many young people’.
ambition to be a connector by bringing youth from around the
According to the UNFPA State of the World Report, our
globe together to build strong youth-led initiatives. During the
world today is home to 1.8 billion people between the ages of
CPD for example, CHOICE, for the first time, brought its youth
10 and 24, the majority of which live in developing countries.
partners to New York where we advocated for the SRHR of
The report makes an important case: to invest in the Sexual and
young people together.
Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) of young people is not solely meeting their needs, but is imperative for sustainable
The year 2014 was also an important year for CHOICE as an
development! Matters such as unwanted pregnancies and early
organization. We started an internal trajectory, as a result of our
and forced marriages limit young people from living up to their
recent growth, to evaluate procedures and efficiency within our
potential. They also prevent us from contributing optimally to
organization. We started our quest for our own office, which we
our societies, which harms our countries’ development.
eventually found in Amsterdam at the Keizersgracht. Being a youth-led organization also (unfortunately) means dealing with
Unfortunately, today we witness that young people often still do
a high turn-over. In 2014 we said goodbye to 3 staff members
not have the freedom to make their own personal and informed
who had been with CHOICE for several years and we welcomed
choices when it comes to sex and their sexuality. CHOICE’s ef-
a total of four new staff members. Our staff team also grew
forts to give young people a voice to claim their rights therefore
considerably: from 3.22 to 5.50 FTE! Also various of our youth
remained crucial in 2014. So how did we do this?
advocates spread their wings and left CHOICE to travel, study abroad or found jobs. Thankfully we always find new, ambitious
We enabled youth-led organizations in Africa and Asia to
advocates to take over the work! Some of these ‘CHOICErs’ are
increase their capacity to lobby for the SRHR of young people
put in the spotlight in this report.
globally. In order to show the impact of CHOICE’s and our partner’s work, we have included ‘Significant Change Stories’. With
I am proud of the results of our work and how CHOICE as an or-
these stories we want to show results from our programs and
ganization continues to grow and develop. We acknowledge our
try to give you a glimpse how these programs actually affect
strengths, we have clear ambitions, but at the same time we
and change the lives of young people. We are proud that we
also recognize the realities of being a youth-led organization.
were able to expand our work with funding from the Child MarTogether we are ready for 2015!
riage Call by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We started a new partnership with Plan Netherlands to battle child marriage in Zambia and Mozambique and continued our work to end child marriage in Malawi. At the international level, CHOICE’s advocacy efforts focused on strategizing, together with our partners, how we want the new international development framework to look like. Finally, CHOICE worked hard to strengthen our 5
THE IMPORTANCE OF SEX (UALITY) AND YOUNG PEOPLE 6
Youth between the ages of 15 and 24 have the highest rates of STIs.
1 in 3 girls In the developing world are said to be married before 18.
Only 22 % of young females between the ages of 15-24 have access to contraception.
– State of World Population,
– Girls not Brides
– State of the World Population
Report, UNFPA, 2014
SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS (SRHR) OF YOUNG PEOPLE
e cannot underestimate the importance of young
reject their feelings, as they have been told these are sinful.
people’s Sexual and Reproductive Health and
As a result, high rates of Sexually Transmitted Infections
Rights: today 1.8
billion 1 of
the world population is under
(STIs), unwanted pregnancies and child marriages are enor-
the age of 24, the majority of which live in developing
mous challenges that many young people face.
countries. SRHR for young people are crucial in the global fight against poverty: matters such as unwanted pregnan-
Young people are naturally sexually active, but we often do
cies and early and forced marriages limit young people
not have the legal right to freely decide on and express our
from living up to their potential. They also prevent us from
sexuality and/or sexual preferences. Neither do we have
contributing optimally to society, which has serious harmful
access to adequate information and health services. Young
effects on our countries’ development.
people all over the world are in dire need of the possibility to make our own choices, supported by comprehensive and
In many countries in the world today, issues concerning young
evidence-based information, access to contraceptives and
people’s sex and sexuality are, however, not openly discussed.
safe abortion care, and youth-friendly services where we
They are surrounded by myths and misconceptions, regarded
are treated with respect and confidentiality.
as taboo topics, and are increasingly punishable by law. Young people are often groping in the dark about many issues and
State of the World Report 2014 ‘the Power of 1.8 billion’ by UNFPA.
More than 2 million 10 to 19 year-olds are living with HIV. – State of World Population 2014
Youth between the ages of 15 and 24 have the highest rates of STIs. – State of World Population, UNFPA, 2013
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, and Intersex (LGBTQI) people and same-sex activities and relationships are penalized with the death penalty in five countries, as well as in parts of Nigeria and Somalia. In 78 countries and 4 entities they are penalized with imprisonment. – ILGA World Map 2014
MEANINGFUL YOUTH PARTICIPATION
hen decisions are to be made, or policies and
grams and laws is of great importance. CHOICE helps
programs are developed concerning young
young people to advocate for their rights on all levels:
people, we have the fundamental right to co-decide on
from local projects to global politics. We are convinced
these matters. No one understands the issues and needs
that when the voice of young people is heard more loud-
of young people better than we do ourselves. We are
ly and clearly, programs and policies can be implemented
exploring and discovering our sexuality, but we are too
more effectively, as they would then more accurately and
seldom actively involved in policy and decision-making
directly reflect the actual needs of young people. Our
processes in this domain. To ensure Meaningful Youth
battle for more and more Meaningful Youth Participation
Participation, our involvement during the development,
is therefore essential.
implementation and evaluation stages of policies, pro-
“NO ONE UNDERSTANDS THE ISSUES AND NEEDS OF YOUNG PEOPLE BETTER THAN WE DO OURSELVES.”
MISSION AND VISION MISSION CHOICE advocates for the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) of young people worldwide and empowers them to make personal decisions concerning these issues.
VISION CHOICE envisages a world in which there is: Freedom of choice;
The opportunity for individuals to make a change;
Positive sexual experience;
Respect for diversity and sexuality;
and Meaningful Youth Participation in all phases and levels of decision-making.
An enabling environment for the development of every individual;
CHOICE: THE ORGANIZATION
MEET THE CHOICERS
Alex Fleur IljaS
Timo Anke Tessa
CHOICE is run by a General Board, staff and youth advocates, all aged between 16-29. 14
The CHOICE Board oversees
The staff is mandated by the Board
Our advocates contribute to the de-
whether CHOICE works in line with
to execute the long-term strategy and
sign, implementation and monitoring
our long-term strategy and year
is responsible for the fundraising ac-
and evaluation of our policies and
plans and monitors the (financial)
tivities of the organization. Staff also
programs. They dedicate their time,
health of our organization. The
represents CHOICE within the differ-
energy and expertise to CHOICE on
Board also manages the CHOICE
ent alliances CHOICE works with.
a voluntary basis. Youth advocates
function both as trainers and advocates in the programs and projects of the organization.
eing a youth-led organization means dealing with a high turn-over. In 2014 we welcomed 4 (out of 5)
new faces to our staff! We also had two successful recruitment rounds for the selection of new youth advocates. Our paid staff members grew from 3.22 FTE to 5.50 FTE (including one intern). Due to this growth as an organization CHOICE decided to look for a new office space. In March 2015 we moved our office to the Keizersgracht 177, Amsterdam. As a result of the move CHOICE established an independent financial administration and hired a part-time financial controller.
CHOICER IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Being a youth-led organization is an important part of CHOICE’s identity. Our board, advocates, and staff define CHOICE as an organization – no wonder we call ourselves CHOICErs. In order to give some of our CHOICErs a voice we decided to put a couple of them in the ‘spotlight’ in this year report.
ONCE A CHOICER, ALWAYS A CHOICER Saying goodbye is always hard, yet it is inevitable for CHOICE to part with talented and motivated young people every now and then. However, talking with CHOICE alumni Megin and Tess, it becomes clear that the CHOICE identity is one that lasts, and that youth advocates can really benefit from their experiences within CHOICE in their future career.
he moment I became aware of the existence of
reproductive health and research team, with a focus on vio-
CHOICE I wanted to join the organization. As a
lence against women. While this is a very specific area within
youth advocate I was specifically involved with trainings.
SRHR, it combines many aspects such as gender equality,
I joined the Capacity Development Cluster, focusing on
autonomy, power relations and health. It is therefore a con-
providing support to CHOICE trainers on training content as
tinuation of my work at CHOICE in that I keep working on a
well as personal preparation and evaluation. As part of the ‘No, I don’t’ Program I trained girls who would lead local girls clubs to prevent early and forced marriages through girls’ empowerment. This was a very rewarding experience!” “One of the major things that really impacted me at CHOICE was the Meaningful Youth Participation aspect. While I was already involved with the content part of SRHR and trainings, I had not actively
SRHR related topic. Also, in my function
I am working on curriculum development
relates to what I was doing at CHOICE. In
I WILL TAKE
against young people and therefore I con-
WITH ME IN
that’s integral to CHOICE’s work. I even get
worked on Meaningful Youth Participation.
for health care workers, which very much my work I am also confronted with violence tinue to make use of the youth-perspective to work with some of CHOICE’s partners.” “Although I have always known I wanted to work on SRHR related topics, CHOICE definitely inspired me to continue to work
This is something I will take with me in my career and for
in this field. I will continue to work for SRHR for all, never
which I will continue to keep advocating.”
forgetting about young people, and involving all those who
“I was lucky enough to get an opportunity to work as a junior
are affected by the work. Likewise, I will try to inspire others
professional officer at the World Health Organization in the
to involve young people through meaningful participation!”
hen I stumbled upon a vacancy for youth advocate in
trainer and advocate. I am now knowledgeable on SRHR
2012 it seemed like the most amazing opportunity;
topics and international UN processes. I have gained cul-
working together with young people to achieve better SRHR
tural sensitivity skills from training CHOICE’s international
for all! The learning opportunities and experiences you get
partners. But above all, the way I was able to meaningfully
by being a CHOICEr are numerous! During
participate as a young person in an organi-
zation like CHOICE has provided me with
ownership, and even with more direction
“I have recently started as International
my time as a youth advocate I have organized and developed internal trainings, recruited new members, supported trainers before going abroad, revised training materials and monitored international UN processes. And then there are the international activities, which make CHOICE such a unique learning environment. I went abroad for CHOICE six times; five times as a trainer and once as an advocate. I have developed and facilitated one-week training programs on advocacy and Meaningful
confidence, a sense of responsibility and and meaning in my life.” Advocacy Officer at dance4life. In this
BY BEING A
position I am responsible for dance4life’s
cesses, support of dance4life partners in
cy, and I represent dance4life in various
Youth Participation for CHOICE’s partners
involvement in the international UN protheir national and international advocaadvocacy networks. I will be attending the same conferences CHOICE is present at
in Indonesia, Kenya and Ethiopia. I also attended the CPD in
and will provide dance4life partners with similar trainings as
New York this year, where I advocated for the protection and
I have done for CHOICE. Without the experience, knowledge
fulfillment of youth rights and youth participation.”
and skills I have gained within CHOICE I wouldn’t be where I
“During my time at CHOICE I have become an experienced
am now, and I’m grateful for it!”
OUR APPROACH & PROGRAMS CHOICE helps young people to advocate for their rights on all levels: from local projects to global politics. We are convinced that when the voice of young people is heard more loudly and clearly, programs and policies can be implemented more effectively, as they reflect more accurately and directly the actual needs of young people. In order to give young people a voice to ensure that SRHR policies and programs adequately reflect young peopleâ€™s realities, CHOICE uses three main strategies. We support youth-led advocacy, build youth leadership, and strengthen connections within the global SRHR movement, facilitating interregional and intergenerational exchange.
J A N UA R Y
VE NO OCTOBER
Ti m o
J U LY
Ti m : NG KO 5 NG 201 H O S T- G Y P O R AT E G ST ETIN ME
: S RK YO T I O N LY W B A NE D N SEM N ITE L AS SSIO N U RA SE S) NE AL GE ECI GAS SP (UN
é p h a nie Flo ortje
Within the International Advocacy Program, CHOICE contributes to the establishment and strengthening of SRHR policies on the international level. This is important as international agreements have extremely important implications for the day-to-day reality of young people worldwide.
INTERNATIONAL ADVOCACY PROGRAM
Pa ulie n Stefan NEW YORK: COMMISSION ON POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT (CPD)
: E Ti m RK TH YO O N W EN NE SION OM IS FW ) MM S O C O AT U ( C S W ST
B IN TE ERL RN IN: D P O I A LO AT I O PU GU N S U L AT E O A L D E S TA I O N N VE INA AN D LO B PM LE EN T
ic N hiel OP EW E N YO R GR WOR K: DE SUS OUP KIN VE G LO TA I N O N PM AB EN LE TG OA LS
I. OUR ADVOCACY EFFORTS IN 2014 2014 was an important advocacy year for CHOICE. The
Over the year we discussed and strategized, together with
Program of Action (PoA) of the International Conference on
our partners, how we wanted the frameworksÂ for global
Population and Development (ICPD) was under global review
development to look like and how we could advocate for
and needed renewed commitment from member-states. The
SRHR and Meaningful Youth Participation in these frame-
PoA is a key advocacy document for us and our partners as
works. In order to contribute to this and next to our daily
it is human rights based, deals with many SRHR issues and
lobby and advocacy activities, we participated in various
provides opportunities for Meaningful Youth Participation. At
conferences, organized two successful side-events at
the same time discussions around the Post-2015 Develop-
international level, and represented young people in Dutch
ment framework (the follow-up to the Millennium Develop-
Delegation to the CPD.
ment Goals)Â entered a crucial phase.
We are very proud to be able to conduct our programs as part of larger strategic alliances, within the Unite for Body Rights (UfBR) program of the SRHR Alliance and the Access, Services and Knowledge (ASK) program of the Youth Empowerment Alliance. Through these programs, we closely collaborate with Rutgers, Simavi, AMREF Flying Doctors, dance4life, STOP AIDS NOW! and International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). Our alliance efforts greatly increase our joint impact. CHOICE will continue developing such valuable partnerships in the future. 23
II. REPRESENTING YOUTH VOICES AT THE CPD
rather uneventful story. That is how Stefan Hennis, board member of CHOICE, described his expe-
riences with SRHR in the Netherlands to the Plenary of
in New York, April 2014. Uneventful, because growing up
when it came to his Sexual and Reproductive Health and
strives towards: healthy, happy lives for all the people in
the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) in the Netherlands, Stefan experienced little difficulties Rights. Yet, is this not exactly what the ICPD agenda the world?
THE CHOICE DELEGATION
Stefan Hennis did an excellent job representing the voice of
count of his personal story received an overwhelming cheer
tatives present in the room. However Stefan was not the
youth as part of the Dutch delegation. His passionate acand round of applause by the delegates and CSO represenonly CHOICE representative roaming the halls of the United Nations office during the CPD. CHOICE sent a strong team
of two staff members and one youth advocate alongside
THIS STORY SO
Stefan to New York for five days of intense negotiations.
CELEBRATING THE PROGRAM OF ACTION The 47th session of the CPD was an important one as it marked the celebration of the 20th anniversary since its Program of Action was written in 1994. For this reason, an
— Excerpt from Stefan Hennis’
extensive Review was conducted to measure the prog-
statement at the CPD
ress of the Program’s implementation over the last 20 years. The outcomes still identified significant gaps in the program of action, which await global response in order to fulfill the SRHR of young people worldwide.
COMBINING FORCES To have a strong voice in these debates, CHOICE did not
ly together with the other youth advocates. Cooperation
only sent a delegation of four representatives to New York,
is important and because we are advocating for the same
we supported all our youth-led partner organizations from
cause the differences between us disappear. We have the
Africa and Asia to join as well. Together, we advocated,
same needs and we all want Sexual and Reproductive
networked and connected young people and civil society.
Health and Rights for all! When we will be back in Indone-
More importantly, we support our fellow youth advocates,
sia we will focus on the implementation of what has been
once they are back home, to hold their national govern-
agreed upon here in New York. We are going to hold our
ments accountable to agreements they made in New York.
governments accountable and make sure that the ICPD will be put into practice!”
Ryan, a youth advocate from our partner organization ARI in Indonesia: “We believe that young people have the power. Today’s youth can change the world at grass-root level but also at
To view the full statement by Stefan Hennis, click here:
the highest level.[…]. Our role at this CPD is to work close-
III. YOUTH-ADULT PARTNERSHIPS AT THE UN
nother trip to the ‘Big Apple’ for CHOICE, this time
and policymakers together and to push for our issues on
Partnership Officer Stéphanie van der Wijk and youth
the international agenda. On the eve before the start of the
advocates Floortje Jacobs and Michiel Andeweg went to the
UNGA, CHOICE hosted a side event ‘Youth-Adult Part-
General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA), September
nerships in practice”. This side event was organized within
2014. This UNGA was particularly important for CHOICE as it
the context of the Youth&ICPD partnership, a partnership
contained a high level meeting ‘the United Nations Gener-
between CHOICE and dance4life, with the support of the
al Assembly Special Session’ (UNGASS) which reaffirmed
Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs .
the new follow up agenda of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and the indefinite
A CHOICE and dance4life side event is not a standard side
extension of the ICPD Program of Action (PoA).
event! Our side events are interactive, humorous, spark the discussion and bring young people and adults togeth-
THE SIDE EVENT
er. Therefore this event took place in a world-café setting,
CHOICE has been getting the hang of the organization of
where youth and adult participants could engage in small
side events! Side events help us to bring CSOs, UN agencies
table discussions with real life Youth-Adult Partnerships
HOW DO YOUNG PEOPLE AND ADULTS COMMUNICATE? WHAT ARE EFFECTIVE STRATEGIES TO ENGAGE INTO AN EQUAL PARTNERSHIP?
representing the Youth Leadership Working Group, the
The side event recognized that no partnership will ever be
PACT, the UN Youth Delegate Program and a CSO partner-
completely without inequalities and power dynamics. How-
ship from Ghana.
ever, if we are open and transparent about our expectations and roles, we can come a long way! Delegates, young people,
UN representatives were inspired, gained new insights and
How do young people and adults communicate? What are
some even mentioned that they intend to organize similar
effective strategies to engage into an equal partnership?
dialogues within their own networks and communities.
And how do we share expectations? It is often thought that adults bring ‘more valuable’ knowledge and experience to partnerships than young people. This was challenged during the event: “… we need to move away from a paradigm that values certain knowledge and experience more than the other, every individual has a own unique contribution!”
CHOICER IN THE SPOTLIGHT AGE: 27 HOMETOWN: ARNHEM WITH CHOICE SINCE: 2013 POSITION WITHIN CHOICE: MEMBER OF THE CHOICE UNIVERSITY CLUSTER
Fifteen new SRHR advocacy emails welcome Timo every morning when he gets up. They are forwarded through specific listservs: email networks that keep each other posted on all that is new in SRHR advocacy.
vocacy experiences at the UN since “there is no outcome document to advocate for.” He adds however that “the added value of EuroNGOs is being able to share knowledge and being able to build CHOICE’s network. For this conference we also brought two relatively inexperienced advocates who got the opportunity to meet people and build their networking skills.” CHOICErs were also able to learn about issues that are of our concern but are not directly addressed in our work: such as discriminatory LGBT legislation in Eastern Europe.
“Usually I go over them at breakfast, and select what is interesting for CHOICE before I go to work” says Timo who in his daily life holds a fulltime job as a senior quality manager in a large hospital in the Netherlands. Timo has been with CHOICE for almost two and a half years and is now one of our most experienced advocates, having attended five advocacy events in total, with more to come. When asked what drives him in his CHOICE work he says:
THE RIGHT CONNECTIONS “Every event I go to is a great experience,” says Timo but he adds that advocacy can also be frustrating.
“For me it is about the opportunities and experiences that are offered and the things you can learn as a CHOICEr. More specifically, I really enjoy meeting a lot of interesting people within CHOICE but also at events in New York or online via the listservs.”
“The dynamic in the room is determined by the delegations present and it is almost impossible to influence their positions on certain issues. Here we have to be creative with our network, engage for example with the Dutch delegation to provide counterweight. We can strengthen our influence by making the right connections.”
EURONGOS: NETWORKING NETWORKING NETWORKING Together with advocates Nanja Monas and Sandra Gonza and board member Stefan Hennis, Timo attended the EuroNGOs Conference 2014 in Madrid: the annual gathering of all European NGOs working on SRHR. This years’ conference was titled Putting the Puzzle together: SRHR in a post-2015 world. According to Timo the conference was quite different from his ad-
YOUTH LEADERSHIP PROGRAM
hrough our Youth Leadership Program CHOICE
Encouraging networking, intergenerational and interregional
promotes and actively supports the capacity and
exchange is crucial.
competence building of youth-led organizations that work
Additionally, in 2014 we were able to extend our Youth
towards realizing young people’s SRHR. Each youth leader-
Leadership Program. We were granted funding for two
ship trajectory includes trainings, technical assistance and
projects: Unite Against Child Marriage (UACM) together with
grants for program implementation, catered to the specific
the Unite for Body Rights alliance and Edukans, and ‘No, I
needs of the separate organizations.
don’t’ together with Plan Nederland.
I. WORLDWIDE TRAININGS IN 2014 Never a dull moment at CHOICE! In 2014 our youth advocates travelled the globe to visit our partner organizations and deliver trainings on topics such as Meaningful Youth Participation (MYP), Advocacy and Youth-Adult Partnerships (YAP)!
E PA R T N R :
PROG R AM: ASK
Te s s
PROG R AM: UFBR THE ME:
Advocac y & Signif icant Change Stories
OPI A I H PA
PROG R AM: ASK THE ME:
Meaning ful Youth Par ticipation
Te s s
PROG R AM: UFBR
Ti m o
SRHR, Advocac y & Social media
T AR S
THE GI RLS
PE E R E DU
DI N I
IA B M
PROG R AM: No, I don’t THE ME:
PROG R AM: UFBR
C SE & Advocac y
é p h a nie
AMBI PA R T N E R
GIRL C L
PE E R E DUC A
Te s s a
(Inter)national Advocac y
DON E S N I I PA R T N E R
A N STA L PL F F
PROG R AM: A SK THE ME:
Meaning ful Youth Par ticipation & Youth-Adult Par tnerships
31 Te s s
PROG R AM: No I don’t
1. SRHR / 2 . MYP
CHOICER IN THE SPOTLIGHT
MEET ALEXANDER MEDIK – CHOICE’S NEW PROGRAM MANAGER YOUTH LEADERSHIP As the Program Manager Youth Leadership, Alexander is responsible for the international capacity building program of CHOICE. In every aspect of his work, Youth Leadership forms the central theme. Alexander:
Another challenge Alexander mentions is that many young people do not have the capacity, confidence or knowledge yet to participate meaningfully in matters concerning their SRHR: “This is why our Youth Leadership Program is important. CHOICE, as well as our partners, provide skills and knowledge to young people and we empower them to raise their voice. As CHOICE we can really make a difference.”
“Together with our partner organizations, we aim to express the ideas and voices of youth. We are constantly looking for ways to empower youth, to give them the tools, knowledge and platforms to stand up for their rights and to be involved in decision-making concerning their SRHR.”
A BETTER SRHR SITUATION FOR ALL When it comes to the future of the Youth Leadership program, Alexander is determined to build forward on the previous successes:
MAIN ACCOMPLISHMENTS When asked what the main accomplishments have been within the Youth Leadership Program, Alexander replies:
“We want to create an even stronger fundament for the program, so that we can continue to deliver quality trainings and to inspire other organizations to let young people participate meaningfully in their programs.”
“I find it a significant success that there’s a growing respect and acceptance of young people’s voices within ‘adult’ SRHR organizations and within the countries we work in. Our (youth-led) partner organizations in Africa and Asia are increasingly being considered as equal partners.”
Alexander also hopes he is able to contribute to a growing youth movement within the different countries and regions that CHOICE works in
CHALLENGING MATTERS However, Alexander warns, there’s still room for improvement as we still face challenges. One of these challenges is the often prevailing belief that youth are unequal to adults, being considered less experienced and knowledgeable. Alexander:
“so that all these young people can work together and combine their voices to advocate for a better SRHR situation for all”.
“Being a youth-led organization means we often have to fight harder than others to make our voice heard.” 32
III. SHARING STORIES OF CHANGE (1)
CHOICE and partners have started collecting ‘stories of change’ within our programs, in order to better understand our impact and how we can trigger change. Here we would like to share two of these stories in which young people talk about the most significant change they perceived in their own lives or in their community as a result of our program. In the end, the success of our programs comes down to their impact on young people’s lives: the stories we change.
ETHIOPIA: THE STORY OF AYANTU
As part of the ASK and UFBR program, our partner or-
become a good and effective communicator. I now have
ganization TaYA in Ethiopia established ‘The Ethiopian
a deep knowledge of sexual and reproductive health and
Youth Council for Higher Opportunities’ (ECHO). TaYA
rights, meaningful youth participation and youth-adult
and CHOICE together train ECHO members to become
partnerships. As an ECHO member, I have become more
youth leaders and serve as youth advocates, educators and
open to conversations regarding any of these topics.”
spokespeople on sexual and reproductive health issues and policies that affect young people in Ethiopia and internationally. THE PREVIOUS SITUATION: A LACK OF KNOWLEDGE Before Ayantu (21) became an ECHO member, she wasn’t aware of the severity of the SRHR situation in Ethiopia. After joining ECHO, Ayantu realized the situation needed more attention: “I always thought that we, the Ethiopian youth, were quite informed on sexually transmitted infections and the different methods of contraceptives. I also thought that becoming a good leader was a matter of experience.”
THE CURRENT SITUATION: AN ACTOR OF CHANGE
Now that Ayantu has more knowledge,
ered to be an actor of change and advo-
ON TO MY
that I have broadened my knowledge on
skills and self-esteem, she feels empowcate for the SRHR of young people: “Now SRHR, I can pass this information on to
PEERS IN A
my peers in a manner that they accept
more confident to talk to my elders and
After I began being involved in ECHO, I
AND ACTUALLY LISTEN TO.”
and actually listen to. I now also feel to participate in formal communications. became more open and energetic about being a change agent.” Ayantu concludes: “In a country where talking about sexuality related issues is a taboo, these kinds of trainings help us,
the youth, to become more open and talk freely. They also THE INTERVENTION:
inform us on where and how to get the services we want.
We, the youth, form the majority in our country and any
After becoming an ECHO member, Ayantu broadened her
issue that concerns us concerns the society as a whole. The
knowledge on volunteering and youth leadership: “I now
discussions that took place during the trainings helped us to
have a better and well-structured knowledge on how to
share our ideas and to see things from different angles.”
KENYA: THE STORY OF BRENDA
Within the UFBR and ASK alliance, CHOICE works togeth-
life. I discovered that I was prejudiced and discriminating
er with partner organization NAYA (Network of Adoles-
others unknowingly.” After being a youth advocate with
cents and Youth of Africa) in Kenya. NAYA endeavors to
NAYA for two years, Brenda is now very active and open
achieve an enabling environment that fosters youth and
minded: “I have been advocating for sexual and repro-
adolescent’s Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights.
ductive health and rights of young people and for the implementation of progressive policies in my country. I
THE PREVIOUS SITUATION: KEPT IN THE DARK Growing up, Brenda knew little about reproductive health: “Not a single parent in my village would talk about it.” Brenda remembers how, when she was 13, her science teacher gave
am also participating in radio shows through which we
“SOME OF MY FRIENDS MADE UNINFORMED
a lesson on the reproductive system:
be finished.” For Brenda it was the first time that she received some form of sexual education. Proceeding to high school, the situation remained the same: “We were always kept in the dark. We would gather information about sexuality on our own, but
a change in my country.” THE CURRENT SITUATION: SHARING KNOWLEDGE AND BEST PRACTICES
Last April, Brenda had the oppor-
of the Commission on Population
was a great opportunity to expe-
MARRIED AT A
carry out advocacy on an interna-
“Our teacher warned us, that if any of us dared to laugh, the lesson would
inform youth. I am passionate to see
most of it was incorrect. Because of
tunity to attend the 48th Session and Development in New York: “It rience a new environment and to tional level. I interacted with other youth advocates and we shared our experiences from different regions.” Brenda learned from her peers about
this, some of my friends made uninformed decisions and
different challenges and best practices: “I learned that
became pregnant or married at a young age.”
we cannot achieve change on our own, we need to work together.” Brenda is ready to continue her work in her own
THE INTERVENTION: BECOMING A YOUTH ADVOCATE
community: “Knowledge is power, that is why youth need
When Brenda joined NAYA, she was shocked to hear about
to be informed. Meaningful youth participation is the key
LGBTQI issues and abortion topics. However, after receiv-
to sustainable development for every country, youth need
ing some trainings, she learned to change her attitude: “It
to be involved in all development initiatives.”
was a good learning opportunity for me to examine my
CHOICER IN THE SPOTLIGHT AGE: 26 HOMETOWN: UTRECHT WITH CHOICE SINCE: SEPTEMBER 2013 POSITION WITHIN CHOICE: LEADER OF THE MEMBER
“I entered CHOICE as an intern and soon fell in love with the organization”, says Robin. When asked what made her fall in love, she answers: “I am able to work on topics that interest me, such as sexual diversity and sexual rights. Also, I get to work with young people and am able to make a difference, which is awesome!”
Her experience in Kenya motivated Robin to give another training in the same year, to CHOICE’s partner organization ARI in Indonesia. “Sometimes you go into a training thinking ‘this is how I can explain Meaningful Youth Participation’, but then the group will tell you about the real situation in their country, which will force you to adapt your training. It is this interaction what makes it fun for me!”
After finalizing her internship in March 2014, Robin decided to stay on board as a youth advocate. She is currently the leader of the Member Management Cluster within CHOICE, responsible for the recruitment and guidance of new volunteers. In this role, Robin is trying to create more diversity amongst the youth advocates:
The trainings that Robin gave in Kenya and Indonesia both fall within the Youth Leadership Program of CHOICE. When asked about the link between these trainings and youth leadership, Robin states:
“We want more male volunteers, they are currently underrepresented at CHOICE, and people with different university or professional backgrounds, such as communication and finances.”
“It’s about youth training youth. During a week of trainings, you provide the group with a sense of leadership. As CHOICErs, we always want to empower youth to take the lead, to become a leader, even if it’s in a small way”.
In 2014 Robin has dedicated herself to becoming an experienced trainer within CHOICE. Robin facilitated her first training in Kenya together with an experienced CHOICE trainer, as part of CHOICE’s taketwo principal in which an inexperienced trainer is supported by an experienced trainer. Robin:
Robin is sure her experiences within CHOICE will influence her future career choices: “I’m definitely looking for a job within the SRHR field, or a challenging job in which I can use my training experiences.”
“The training focused on the importance of Meaningful Youth Participation and Youth-Adult Partnerships. We stimulated the attendees to not only draft but really execute their program plans on the district level.”
Robin believes that being a youth advocate is a great addition to her resume: “We all know the SRHR world is a small world, but I do think that my time at CHOICE will also benefit me in the long run.“
V. SHARING STORIES OF CHANGE (2)
UNITE AGAINST CHILD MARRIAGE (UACM) With the UACM project YECE, our partner in Malawi, was able to commence interventions to counter the high incidences of child marriages in the Dedza district. With the project only halfway by the start of 2015, YECE was already able to gather many success stories. Here we share some of these stories, for a full overview of Significant Change Stories feel free to contact the CHOICE office.
ENDING EARLY FORCED MARRIAGES was placed on the effects of early and forced marriages as well as what can be done to address these barriers in their communities.
THE CASE: CHILD MARRIAGE
In most communities in Malawi, culture dictates that when a young girl falls pregnant, she has to get married. This is also the case in the Kamenyagwaza area. The tradition, locally known as ‘kulondola’, stipulates that once a girl is pregnant, she has to immediately get married regardless of her age or right to education.
CURRENT SITUATION: OBEYING THE LAW
With the assistance of the UACM project, the community agreed to adhere to by-laws against child marriages. Traditional leaders stated that those community members who do not comply with the by-laws and continued to force children into early marriages would face strong consequences. The village chief stated that “girls who have fallen pregnant should not be forced into marriage but rather they should be encouraged to return to school once they have given birth”. In addition, religious leaders pledged to not officiate any weddings involving children that are not of legal age to marry.
THE INTERVENTION: COMMUNITY DIALOGUES
Through the UACM project, YECE organized a series of community dialogue sessions to raise awareness about the negative impact of early and forced marriages on girls. The meetings were attended by traditional and religious leaders, parents, youth as well as general members of the community. In an attempt to modify this cultural practice emphasis
THE STORY OF EDINA
“I got pregnant when I was 16 years old and was forced to marry the boy who got me pregnant. Our first child is now 5 years old. Because we were using natural methods of birth control we soon had another child, who is now 4 years old. I expressed concern to my husband because I did not want to have another child. Yet he told me that children are a gift from God and we should not control that. In 2014 I joined one of the girls only youth clubs initiated by the project and after attending several girls discussion forums and life skills education sessions, I feel that I have been empowered to make my own decisions. I am now on a long term family planning method. I even got enough confidence to convince my husband to start using modern methods of birth control.”
CREATING ACCESS people were informed on contraceptives, on where to get them and how to use them.
THE CASE: LACK OF SERVICES
Located in a mountainous part of the Kamenyagwaza area, Nadzikhale village is a remote place to where even travel by car can be challenging. Not only because of the distance, but because of the poor roads. Largely due to lack of access to services and information, youth of Nadzikhale engaged in sexual activities without using contraceptives or condoms. Making them more susceptible to STIs, HIV/AIDS as well as unplanned pregnancies.
CURRENT SITUATION: INCREASED KNOWLEDGE
There is now an increased knowledge of SRHR among youth in this community, as Philip Zenasi, a health service provider, can attest to: “Aside from being unaware of their SRHR, most young people in this community had no access to these services. However, through the outreach program we were able to bring services closer to them, thus making them more accessible and at the same time increasing their knowledge.”
THE INTERVENTION: MOBILE OUTREACH
YECE, through the UACM project, conducted various outreach activities where information as well as services were provided to youth in their own communities. Through these outreach programs, young
These stories were gathered and written by YECE, Malawi.
THE STORY OF JOYCE
“I have been sexually active since I was 15 years old. I can honestly say that my rights were violated in most of my sexual experiences. Firstly, I did not know that I had the right as a girl to initiate condom use and insist on it, but through the girl discussion forums and youth club meetings, I have learned that it is my right to make choices about my body. In the past, I would be too shy to go to the clinic to get contraceptives or condoms, because of the negative attitudes people have about it. But now I feel confident enough to go and receive those services because I feel empowered with knowledge about my rights. I hope the program continues to empower girls like me.”
WHY DISCUSSING MASTURBATION MATTERS This column was written by Abby Buwalda, Project Officer Early and Forced Marriages
“You should not touch yourself down there. If you do, you will feel bad afterwards” argues Trisa. Artness, standing at the other side of the room, is quick to respond: “No, no, no! Afterwards you will feel really good actually!” To make her argument stronger, she points at her ‘down there’ and gives Trisa a confident smile. All the girls in the room start to giggle. Trisa gets support from a friend: “But you should be a strong woman and not touch yourself, it will make it more difficult to abstain.” “Girls, let’s be real, most young people don’t achieve to abstain until marriage anyway!” replies Emmily, at Artness’ side.
am in Chipata, Zambia, for a training of peer educators and we are in the heat of a ‘cross the line’ exercise debating about the statement masturbation is harmful. The training is part of the ‘No, I don’t…’ program that aims to prevent early and forced marriage in both Zambia and Mozambique.
girls’ options to complete her education or to find work outside the house. One main reason why girls in Zambia get pregnant is that they are discouraged to use condoms. It is a deeply rooted belief in Zambia that teaching young people about the use of condoms will cause promiscuous behavior. This is why the Ministry of Education does not allow the distribution of condoms in and around schools. Instead, abstaining from sex before marriage is often taught as the only way to protect yourself from pregnancies, STIs and HIV.
You may wonder why we discuss masturbation in a program trying to end early marriage? Early marriage is a complex problem and to effectively prevent it, its root causes need to be addressed: a deeply culturally embedded lack of respect for Sexual and Reproductive Rights and gender inequality. In this environment, sex and sexuality are hardly ever discussed openly, leaving the community and especially young people with a lack of knowledge to make informed decisions.
FROM SEX BEFORE MARRIAGE IS
OFTEN TAUGHT AS THE ONLY
WAY TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM
A LINK WITH TEENAGE PREGNANCY
PREGNANCIES, STIS AND HIV.”
In both Zambia and Mozambique an important cause of early marriage is actually teenage pregnancy. When a girl gets pregnant outside of marriage, she disgraces her family within the community. Parents often respond by pushing their daughter to marry the (teenage) father and consequently having her move into his or his family’s house. Usually this dramatically limits a
LET’S BE REAL
Yet, as Emmily phrases it: “Let’s be real”. Research1 and common experience show that young people have sex anyway. So to prevent teenage pregnancies, STIs and HIV, they need access to comprehensive information and contraceptives. This is the only way to sustainably eradicate early and forced marriage.
In Lusaka I spoke with a Dutch anthropologist, Thera Rasing, who has been doing research in Zambia since the early nineties. She stated: “Aiming at preventing child marriage but not doing so through a holistic program that respects more general to the SRHR of young people, will only lead to more single teenage mothers”.
BUILDING PEER EDUCATORS’ CONFIDENCE
However, it can be tough for the peer educators to speak up for a more progressive take on young people’s SRHR in their communities. They have to defy all the conservative, traditional and religious norms in Zambia. This means going against adults and authorities, which is even more of a challenge in Zambian culture than it would be in The Netherlands. This is why the masturbation discussion matters: it helps the peer educators to get past their shyness to talk about sexuality, to ‘be real’ about it, to practice discussion and critically think about their own opinions around sexuality. These are important skills they need to have successful meetings with their girl clubs and to create a safe space for them to talk about sexuality in a realistic and honest way. It is a small, but very important, component in our strategy to end early and forced marriage. CHOICE has a unique role and ability here to bring up these topics in a non-threatening way and to spark the discussion. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/27/health/ american-hiv-battle-in-africa-said-to-falter.html
‘NO, I DON’T...’
In 2014, CHOICE, together with Plan Nederland, started working on a special 1-year project to address early and forced marriage in Zambia and Mozambique. The project is part of a regional Plan program in Southern Africa called ‘18+’, which supports girls to get the education, skills and support they need to move themselves from poverty to opportunity. CHOICE’s mains task on the program is to design and facilitate trainings for peer educators, local partners and Plan staff on SRHR, advocacy and Meaningful Youth Participation. 44 44
CHOICER IN THE SPOTLIGHT AGE: 25 HOMETOWN: AMSTERDAM / NEW YORK WITH CHOICE SINCE: SEPTEMBER 2014 POSITION WITHIN CHOICE: MEMBER OF THE CHOICE
After finishing her masters in cultural anthropology Amber was eager to become involved in an organization whose work and values she could truly stand behind:
is that young girls who might be at risk of child marriage are given a safe space where they can mobilise and have more power to determine their own future.”
“I heard about CHOICE through a university friend and after checking out the website I immediately “fell in love”. I believe I sent in open application that very same day!”
Facilitating this training in Mozambique was a great opportunity for Amber to see how a NGO implements its programs on the ground. She got to meet the staff members of Plan Mozambique, the peer educators and young girls who were involved in the project. Amber:
During her first six months within our organization Amber already gained a lot of experience, both on a personal and a professional level.
“It was interesting to see how different the teaching/learning style is in Mozambique. The peer educators were not really used to being asked for their opinions, which I think stems from a really strict teacher/ student dynamic in schools.”
“I’m really impressed at how professional and dedicated CHOICERs are. Becoming a CHOICEr is definitely a real commitment in terms of your time and energy, but for me it means I have a space where I can really develop myself. Because CHOICE is a youth-led organization you are given a lot of opportunities that you wouldn’t have elsewhere. This is why I was able to do my first training this month in Mozambique!”
When asked if her experience in Mozambique inspired Amber to go on more trainings, she replies enthusiastically: “Definitely! ‘No, I don’t’ is really an awesome program and it was so much fun being a part of it. For the future, I am certainly inspired to do more trainings with CHOICE’s local partners!”
Amber accompanied Project Officer Abby Buwalda to co-facilitate a training in Maxixe, Mozambique. This training was given to the facilitators of boys and girls clubs as part of CHOICE and Plan Nederland’s ‘No I Don’t’ program against early and forced marriage in Zambia and Mozambique. “It’s a really great program that aims to empower young boys and girls by making them aware of their human, and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. The hope
The connector role is relatively new to CHOICE. Within its capacity of connector, CHOICE tries to create a global youth movement, which is stronger, bigger and better integrated. CHOICE has the unique ability and position to connect different actors, stakeholders and different levels of policy making. Being a connector entails elements such as participating and engaging with diverse networks, and connecting youth and adult organizations with each other. Connecting will be a central theme in our upcoming programs and for the future years to come!
I. FOSTERING YOUTH-LED INITIATIVES: CONNECTING CHOICE PARTNERS
HOICE started off the year 2014 with an exciting
es as (youth-led) organizations. The week resulted in con-
Youth Leadership project, the FYI week: Fostering
crete action plans to join forces in the field of international
Youth-led Initiatives. For 5 days in January, all CHOICE’s
advocacy in the coming months, and with a proposal for
partners within the Youth Leadership Program; YECE
long-term collaboration between all organizations present.
(Malawi), TaYA (Ethiopia), NAYA (Kenya), ARI (Indonesia) and TYPF (India), gathered in Nairobi, Kenya, for a week full
of inspiring meetings and presentations concerning SRHR
The sphere was exciting. We all felt inspired by being part
topics and experiences.
of a young group, consisting of six different cultural backgrounds, all striving for the same SRHR worldwide. Our
partner organizations were inspired by the new connections
Through the FYI Week
with new partners. A
CHOICE wanted to
great example was
connect partners from
the reaction of TaYA
our Youth Leadership
members on the media
Program with each other
training in Radio Pro-
and strengthen coopera-
grams which NAYA im-
tion between all partners
plements to inform and
beyond CHOICE. It was
raise awareness amongst
an opportunity for all
young people in Kenya
participants to learn
on their SRHR. These in-
more about each other’s
sights led to new ideas to
SRHR contexts, best
take home into their own
practices, and challeng-
II. EUROPEAN DIALOGUE FOR YOUTH RIGHTS - CONNECTING YOUTH
ringing young people together and strengthening
During the European Youth Meeting, participants were
their capacity to understand and actively partici-
trained for a full week on their advocacy skills, their
pate in European decision-making structures. These were
knowledge on both EU and UN structures and on creating
the main goals of the European Dialogue for Youth Rights
a movement. Together, the participants shared experiences
project that CHOICE, together with YouAct, Restless Devel-
from their own countries on SRHR. By the end of the week,
opment and HOPE XXL, started in the winter of 2013. The
they agreed that joint strategies will focus on ensuring
project, funded by the European subsidy program Youth in
the monitoring and implementation of comprehensive
Action, also aimed to improve awareness of young people’s
sexuality education (CSE), an important issue in all of the
SRHR realities in Europe through intercultural dialogues.
An important component of the European Dialogue for Youth Rights project was the European Youth Meeting
As one of the follow-up activities, participants finalized a
in February 2014. The meeting, which took place in the
statement in which they call on governments to “…imple-
Netherlands, was attended by young people from Romania,
ment a minimum core CSE curriculum through national
Armenia, Cyprus, Georgia, Bulgaria, the United Kingdom
programs, accessible to all adolescents and youth who are
and the Netherlands.
in school and out of school, in all EU member states.”
“WE COME FROM DIVERSE BACKGROUNDS AND LIVE IN DIFFERENT EUROPEAN CONTEXTS, BUT LIKE THE EU, WE ARE UNITED IN OUR DIVERSITY.” – Participant of the European Youth Meeting
III. GIVING YOUNG PEOPLE A VOICE â€“ THE YOUTH AMBASSADOR SRHR
o give young people a voice in international pol-
young people and their experiences, and the policy work
icy-making around SRHR and Meaningful Youth
done at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and at the UN.
Participation. This was the idea that led to the installation of the Youth Ambassador SRHR, an initiative of
Follow the Youth Ambassador SRHR on Social Media to
CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality and the Ministry of For-
receive updates on her activities:
eign Affairs, i.e. the SRHR Ambassador Lambert Grijns. By the end of 2014, CHOICE and the Ministry selected Lotte Dijkstra (21) to represent the voice of youth as the
Youth Ambassador SRHR. In collaboration with policy-makers at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and CHOICE advocates, the Youth Ambassador can help to give young people an audible voice in international development
Youth Ambassador SRHR
processes, create visibility for issues concerning young
people and sexuality, and can exchange views, experi-
ences and knowledge with experts, but also with young
people for whom these issues are new terrain. With this initiative we hope to form a bridge between
“FUNDRAISING IS AN IMPORTANT ELEMENT FOR THE SUSTAINABILITY OF CHOICE AS THIS WILL ENABLE US TO GROW AS AN ORGANIZATION IN THE FOLLOWING YEARS.”
I. FUNDRAISING IN 2014 2014 was an important fundraising year for CHOICE.
Fundraising is an important element for the sustainability
Between May-September we developed a proposal for the
of CHOICE as this will enable us to grow as an organiza-
Dutch Ministery of Foreign Affairs’ Strategic Partnership,
tion in the following years. We also want to diversify our
together with Rutgers, dance4life, Hivos, LACHWHN, AR-
sources of funding. We have therefore decided to dedicate
ROW and IPPF ARO. In the beginning of 2015 we received
capacity to the development of a PME framework and our
news that our partnership was selected by the Ministry!
organization’s Theory of Change. It is essential to show
Thanks to this partnership we can continue our Youth
donors what the impact is of CHOICE and how we obtain
Leadership and advocacy work the upcoming 5 years.
our qualitative and quantitative results.
II. PUTTING THE FUN IN FUNDRAISING
HOICE’s youth advocates outdid themselves in 2014 when it comes to fundraising. Fund-
raising is an important element for the sustainability of CHOICE as this will enable us to grow as an organization in the following years. In addition to our institutional fundraising efforts, CHOICE also organized two small scale fundraising events in 2014 which were initiated and led by our youth advocates. The first was the CHOICE ‘vrijmarkt’ at the Kingsday flea market in Utrecht in April. The second was a charity run in which 8 CHOICErs participated. In total, an amount of €3.633 was raised.
III. AND THE WINNER IS...
HOICE was nominated for the NRC Char-
CHOICE’s aim with the advert was twofold. Firstly,
ity Awards jury prize 2014. Both the jury
to raise awareness on child marriages: a harmful,
as well as the Dutch public selected the adverts
traditional practice that is truly a global problem.
they thought were the most beautiful, impressive
One in three girls are said to be married before the
or provoking. We won the Jury Prize and which
age of 18, limiting their rights to security, education
consisted of a spread in the Dutch newspaper NRC
and health (Girls not Brides). Secondly, we wanted
Handelsblad worth €75.000.
to inform a wider public, who CHOICE is, what we
In the summer of 2014 CHOICE was awarded two
do and what we stand for. Elsemieke: “CHOICE is
grants to work on projects to end early and forced
an unique youth-led organization and well known
marriages. CHOICE’s experiences within the two
in our field of work. However, we want and need to
projects led to the idea to develop an advert which
translate our work to the Dutch public. The NRC
would highlight the harsh reality of child marriages.
Charity Awards are a perfect opportunity for a
IN ONTWIKKELINGSLANDEN TROUWT 1 OP DE 7 MEISJES VÓÓR HAAR VIJFTIENDE VERJAARDAG. ZIJ KIEZEN HIER NIET ZELF VOOR.
wil dat jongeren zelf vrije keuzes kunnen maken over hun partner, trouwen, seks en het krijgen van kinderen. Met programma’s in Malawi, Zambia en Mozambique werkt CHOICE samen met jonge meiden om hen zelf in staat te stellen keuzes te maken over hun toekomst.
Steun ons werk: IBAN NL88 ABNA 0463 459 156 T.N.V. STICHTING CHOICE kijk voor meer informatie op: CHOICEFORYOUTH.ORG FB/CHOICEFORYOUTH
The winning advert.
smaller organization, like CHOICE, to reach out to a broader audience.” The advert is an image of what appears to be a little girl’s birthday party invitation, but actually is an invite to her wedding. The jury praised the advert for its impact on the reader.
A special thanks goes out to Willem van de Ven (Studio WVDV), who graciously designed this advertisement for us in-kind.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY
WHERE THE MONEY GOES
Youth Leadership Africa
Youth-led advocacy 9%
Youth Leadership Asia 20%
n 2014 CHOICE received subsidies from the Dutch
The large majority of our financial resources is used
Ministry of Foreign Affairs to continue the UfBR
to realize our programs and projects, as well as our
and ASK programs. In July we were also granted two
organizational development process. 84% of our total
more programs by the Ministry from the Child Marriage
expenditures is directly allocated to our goal, improving
fund (Unite Against Child Marriage and No… I don’t). In
the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of young
addition, we were supported by the European Commis-
people around the globe.
sion, several foundations and individual benefactors.
ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENTS 2014 BALANCE AS OF DECEMBER 31, 2014 ASSETS 31-12-2014 €
Prepayments and other current assets
Cash and cash equivalents
Current and accrued liabilities
STATEMENT OF INCOME AND EXPENDITURE FOR 2014 INCOME ACTUAL 2014 €
BUDGET 2014 €
ACTUAL 2013 €
Direct (own) fundraising income
Income from third-party (campaigns)
Income from interest and exchange rates
BUDGET 2014 €
ACTUAL 2013 €
EXPENDITURE ACTUAL 2014 € DIRECTLY ALLOCATED TO OBJECTIVES Projectcosts
FUNDRAISING COSTS ACTUAL 2014 €
BUDGET 2014 €
ACTUAL 2013 €
Direct fundraising costs
Costs third-party campaigns
MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION
ACTUAL 2014 €
BUDGET 2014 €
ACTUAL 2013 €
Costs management and administration
PROFIT OR LOSS APPROPRIATION
ACTUAL 2014 €
BUDGET 2014 €
ACTUAL 2013 €
THE ROAD AHEAD
CHOICE will continue its efforts to further professionalize as an organization, both internally and externally. Our ambitions for 2015-2018, as defined in our long-term strategy, are captured in the roles we take on as an organization: CHOICE as an advocate, a capacity builder and a connector. The allocation of the Strategic Partnerships will make it financially possible for CHOICE to plan and develop our ambitions for the different roles CHOICE plays.
CHOICE = ADVOCATE
CHOICE = CAPACITY BUILDER
CHOICE = CONNECTOR
As an advocate, CHOICE contrib-
As a connector, CHOICE strength-
utes to the establishment and
As a capacity builder of youth
ens the global youth movement on
strengthening of SRHR policies
leadership, CHOICE strengthens
SRHR, facilitating interregional and
on the international level as a key
sustainable youth-led organiza-
intergenerational exchange, acceler-
youth player. In the upcoming
tions around the world, as well as
ating impact. CHOICE will increas-
year(s) CHOICE aims to be actively
young people’s individual advocacy
ingly promote the formation of
involved in the negotiations regard-
and training skills and knowledge
partnerships and networks among
ing Post-2015 and ICPD beyond
in different programs and projects.
youth-led organizations operating
2014 and advocating for young
CHOICE has also set the ambition
at different levels.
people’s SRHR and secure Mean-
to develop its capacity to empower
ingful Youth Participation in these
young people themselves concern-
PME AND COMMUNICATION
ing SRHR issues and the ability to
From 2015 and onwards CHOICE
processes. We aim to strengthen
make their own choices concerning
will invest in the development of a
our role as key youth player –in this
solid PME framework and external
particular niche, ensuring sustain-
communication strategy. Both are
ability and high-level performance
critical pre-conditions for display-
in our advocacy team.
CHOICE will continue to invest in
ing our organization’s results, which
the capacity development of its
will lead to further fundraising op-
CHOICE youth advocates. In the
portunities and agenda-setting.
coming years, we will increasingly invest in providing our advocates with personal development trajectories, focusing on their personal needs and talents.
DESIGN & ILLUSTRATION:
Walewijn den Boer PICTURES ETHIOPIA AND INDONESIA:
Marije Kuiper PICTURES CHOICERS
CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality Keizersgracht 177 1016 DR Amsterdam The Netherlands E-MAIL:
+31 (0)20 737 0179 69