After a year of showing great resilience and creativity as a network, and jointly taking on the challenge of moving the Journey4Life online, we now look back on a very successful digital Dance4Life Experience! The topic of this years’ Experience was Harnessing digitalization as a way to increase scale and impact. From 26 – 30 October we met on Zoom every day to learn, exchange, connect and have fun!

We looked back on 2020 – which has been a crazy, challenging year, but also generated many innovations in the franchisee network. For many this was finding new and creative ways to reach young people online. For example, AFEW Ukraine has enhanced their social media channels to reach out to young people online. This has allowed them to reach out to new young people and to keep the contact with existing clients, activate more youth on campaigning and to develop online counselling. However, this was not possible for all. Our colleagues at Amref Malawi work in remote communities where access to internet is not self-evident, so they had to do outreach activities in accordance with Covid prevention measures. In Indonesia, our colleagues at Rutgers WPF, organized Virtual Youth-Friendly Services Tours, to replace the visit to a youth-friendly health facility which is usually part of the program. The exchanges during the Dance4Life Experience made very clear how resilient and creative our network is and how much this attitude made possible even in times of physical distancing.

That moving online does not only present limitations but also opportunities for reaching more target groups was an important lesson from the Experience. We explored taking full advantage of going online to expand our reach and include stigmatized groups, such as young people living with disabilities and LGBT youth, who have already found their way to online platforms as a result of the stigma and barriers they are facing.

We welcomed many interesting speakers during the week. For example, we listened to Sally Beadle from UNESCO who shared the latest evidence and findings on CSE in digital spaces, which was complemented by Charlotte Petty from RNW Media who shared about their experience implementing CSE in the digital space. We extensively reflected on the co-creation process, initial results and learnings of the online Journey4Life. Now that we start working more and more online, we realize we need new skills and knowledge. For that reason we spent a full day learning about interactive digital facilitation as well as a full day on digital safeguarding and mental health. We opened up these two days to Champions4Life and arranged Russian interpretation as well, which led to an online gathering of more than 70 network members! The energy this generated was amazing and we hope to organize more of such global gatherings in the future.

As an integral part of the Dance4Life Experience, the Board of Franchisees presented the advice they have given to the Dance4Life leadership team. To start with, they addressed all the reasons we have to celebrate: how the research done earlier this year shows that franchisees perceive their relationship with Dance4Life as equal, the power of digitalization for the franchisee network, all the innovations, especially the online Journey4Life, and how they see learnings from network activities being transferred to implementation. For 2021, they think regional collaboration should be a priority, and with the merger coming up they hope that strategic-minded people will apply to become a Board of Franchisees member next year.

Please find below the full report, all presentations and other materials. In case of questions, feel free to reach out to

Warm regards,

Dance4Life and the core team members
Danish, Corazon, Irina, Amy, Yvonne, Shani, Oonagh, Valeria, Evdokia, Josi and Tess


On this page you will find all materials of the Dance4Life Experience 2020:

  • The full program in English which is for franchisee staff and implementing partners invited to day 1, 2 and 5 (during these days no interpretation to Russian is available).
  • The agenda of day 3 and 4 in English and in Russian for the Champions4Life and implementing partners you would like to invite for these days.
  • A Zoom navigation guide for any participants not yet very familiar with Zoom, both in English and in Russian, to read before the event and when questions arise.