Annual Report 2019

We will dance until our work is done

Unsafe sex is still the fastest growing health risk for young people. Access to health is a human right. Let’s not forget that!

Dance4Life believes that sexual reproductive health and pleasure is a fundamental right for all young people to enable them to live out their full potential. In 2019 we collaborated with many other actors to tackle the major sexual health threats. However, we encountered many challenges in our joint movement for safe sex.

The pushback on sexual reproductive health and rights gained momentum in 2019, with a growing opposition internationally but also in the Netherlands, which was well-funded and well organized. This is an enormous threat to the progress that we have been making and a strong force against young people making their own choices around their bodies, sexuality and relationships. Even in the Netherlands it was a surprise that we would have such a vocal and influential anti-abortion movement in a country known for its freedom of choice.

We need to stand firm against this, together!

Luckily there is a growing movement that is doing exactly that: in 2019 we saw ongoing and increasing (media) attention to combat sexual harassment and the #MeToo movement continued. We hear from schools and youngsters that they want meaningful sex education focused on their desires and boundaries and we see more interest in topics of sexual pleasure and positive relationships instead of only addressing the risks.

Dance4Life is keen to be part of this positive movement. We consider sexual development as an integral part of a young person’s journey into adulthood. This holistic view on sexual behavior and sexuality education forms the basis of the Dance4Life Empowerment Model. We empower young people with 21st century skills to make informed and personal decisions around their sexual lives and relationships. This directly contributes to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals on health, education and gender equality.

Together we can create a world where all young people are able to shape their own future. A world in which young people are able to make healthy sexual choices and develop healthy relationships.

That is what Dance4Life stands for.

Jael van der Heijden
Executive Director Dance4Life


The urgency

Unsafe sex is one of the fastest growing and biggest risks for young people worldwide.

One in four people on our earth is between 10 to 24 years old. This is the world’s biggest youth population ever: 1.8 billion! And almost 90% of them live in developing countries. We need to invest in young people and garner the active participation of the youngsters who can bring the social and economic progress we so badly need.

However, far too many young people are unable to reach their full potential. Constraints such as extreme poverty, inequality and lack of information hold them back. In the face of uncertainty and insecurity, young people are less likely to practice healthy and safe sex, have stable relationships or make informed decisions about if and when to have children.

Dance4Life takes up the responsibility of supporting a worldwide movement for safe sex by empowering boys and girls to take personal leadership over their sexual lives.

1 in 5 girls

is a victim of sexual harassment or rape


is the #1 cause of death for girls 15- 19 years old

Every 15 seconds

someone is infected with HIV

our reach in 2019

In 2019 Dance4Life’s local partners were active in 11 countries.

The Journey4Life is new to our partners, who are gradually shifting from our old approach to using it. We are proud that in 2019 they reached twice as many young people through the Journey4Life programme as in 2018. Our overall reach was lower than in 2018, however, because it takes time to make the shift, including adapt the Journey4Life to the local context, training local Champions4Life facilitators, and building experience in implementation. The programme in Pakistan also faced severe disruption.We had to recruit a new partner, due to the forced closure of our partner’s office at the end of 2018 because of local government policies.

Thanks for your support

Dance4Life wants to thank her partners, Friends and other stakeholders for making our work possible in 2019!

Dance4Life’s premium partners:

Support Dance4Life in 2020

You can support Dance4Life in many different ways.

By investing in Dance4Life you can transform the lives of young people around the world. Every form of support will result in more young people getting a fair shot at a bright future. This is your chance to become part of the movement.

Support is possible trough a corporate or institutional partnership, an alliance or by individuals. All with the aim to improve sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people.

Join the movement