CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality has been around for quite some time now. But although we are no longer young in experience, we will always remain young at heart.
Let me tell you the lovestory of CHOICE:
1997 — FOUNDATION
The origins of CHOICE can be found in April 1997, when the World Population Foundation (one of the predecessors of Rutgers) installed the Council on Youth and Population. Fourteen young people from different backgrounds (political youth organizations, student associations and a national labor union) took place in the Council. The purpose of the Council was to create awareness in the Netherlands for reproductive and sexual rights for young people worldwide.
2005 — INDEPENDENCE
A major development took place in 2005, when the Council on Youth and Population changed its name into CHOICE, for youth and sexuality and became an independent foundation. CHOICE kept on growing and growing, as many passionate Youth Advocates passed through the organization.
2012 — NAME CHANGE
In the winter of 2012, the organization went through another significant but small change, when the official name was ‘updated’ to CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality.
2019 - 2022 - strategic directions for the future
In our new multi-annual strategy, we see our role expand beyond being a knowledge partner to that of a broker. CHOICE will maximize our expertise and the relationships we have established across the public and private sector to create new spaces and opportunities for young people.
This shift from building bridges to brokering spaces is an acknowledgement of the space that weoccupy as a Northern-based youth-led NGO. On the one hand, we have to overcome many of the same barriers that youth-led organizations around the world face, and on the other hand we realize that being based in the Global North comes with opportunities and benefits that youth-led organizations based in the Global South might have less access to. In this broker role, CHOICE will utilize our position to share power and to facilitate access to these spaces for ALL young people.
Our new multi-annual strategy focusses on 5 strategic goals:
- Young people are equal partners in sexual and reproductive health and rights decision-making processes
- Youth-led organizations are sustainable and connected
- Organizations working on youth sexual and reproductive health and rights address effectively the needs to young people
- Funders structurally provide accessible resources and opportunities to youth-led organizations working on sexual and reproductive health and rights
- Relevant decision-makers structurally integrate meaningful youth participation and youth sexual and reproductive health and rights in law and policy shaping processes
All young people worldwide should be able to explore, experience and express their sexualities in healthy, pleasurable and safe ways.