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Joshua Soto

Deborra-lee Furness Receives Order of Australia

We are so excited to share that our phenomenal Co-Founder, Deborra-lee Furness was honored recently as an Officer of the Order of Australia (General Division) for distinguished service to children as an adoption advocate, to not-for-profit organizations as an ambassador, and to the arts.

This is one of Australia’s highest honors for civilians and is for distinguished service of a high degree to Australia or to humanity at large.

For her entire life and career Deborra-lee has been trying to make a difference. From challenging female stereotypes in film and TV roles, to founding Adopt Change and Hopeland, we think you’ll agree with us that she has made a huge impact and richly deserves this recognition.

It is also a trifecta for Deborra-lee’s family as she follows in the footsteps of her mother, and her husband, Hugh, who have also won this prestigious award.

Congratulations Deb! We are so proud of you!

Supporting Children & Families in NYC

Hopeland is delighted to announce that we are supporting the Post-Permanency Support Program (PPSP) by promoting the important work Spence-Chapin Services to Families and Children and New Yorkers For Children are doing to help children transition from foster care to permanent homes. 

PPSP provides essential post-adoption and guardianship services to families, improving outcomes for children and we are proud to be sharing this important work with you – especially as we mark Foster Care Awareness Month in the U.S.

The PPSP is designed to help lay the foundation for the expansion and implementation of post-adoption and guardianship programs in New York City— and in so doing improving the lives of potentially thousands of children and families in the long term whose needs are not being adequately addressed following an adoption or placement into kinship guardianship.

The services provided by the PPSP are especially needed now as state-funded post-permanency services and subsidies have been slowly diminishing over the past decade. 

“Through this project, together with our partners, we hope to help children and families exiting the foster care system by providing them with much needed and consistent support to avoid re-entry into care and ensure their stability and success,” said Kate Trambitskaya, Chief Executive Officer of Spence-Chapin.

“We are thrilled to partner with Spence-Chapin to help bring this important program to New York City. The PPSP has the opportunity to transform the child welfare landscape in NYC by elevating successful approaches to permanency which could serve as a model for additional investment in these critical services,” said Saroya Friedman-Gonzalez, Executive Director of New Yorkers For Children.

In addition to building awareness of the need for services, each year the PPSP will provide services to 100 families, both adoptive families and those participating in the  Office of Children and Family Services’ Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program. Families can access  a wide range of services, including adoption/guardianship-competent programming, trauma-informed care, peer-to-peer support groups, mentorship opportunities, a variety of workshops, and more. The program places a high emphasis on evidence-based practices that can be scaled up, allowing for the greatest impact.

“The Post Permanency Support Program (PPSP) will be an invaluable resource to families after children leave foster care through adoption or guardianship,” said Jess Dannhauser, Commissioner of the New York City Administration for Children Services.

Three qualified providers have been selected as subgrantees to operate PPSP: MercyFirst, New Alternatives for Children (NAC), and the Council on Adoptable Children (COAC). In addition to serving individual families, the PPSP will create a learning community, pool knowledge from various agencies, expand the knowledge base in the child welfare field, and build capacity among foster care agencies and other service providers.

Impact from this vital program has already been seen and we are pleased to be able to share these testimonials from just some of the recipients of services: 

“We are so excited to collaborate with New Yorkers For Children and Spence-Chapin to amplify the impact of the Post Permanency Support Program in New York City,” said Deborra-lee Furness and Nicholas Evans, Co-Founders of Hopeland. “Hopeland’s vision is for every child to have a safe, loving family. The children that have traveled the path to adoption have experienced many challenges in their short lifetime and need extra support to be able to thrive. That is why we are delighted to be a part of this groundbreaking program and believe by working together in unity with the same core mission, we can add the important support that every family needs.”

As an organization based in New York City we are always delighted to be able to support programs taking place in our city to benefit children who need a safe, loving family. Keep in touch with us for updates on this great program!

Hopeland at the United Nations

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone around the world in many different ways from devastating, life-changing events to more mundane impacts on our daily lives.

One way the world changed in 2020 was with the cancellation of almost every major event happening in every corner of the globe. When gathering together in person became impossible we all lost something incredibly important.

Hopeland Co-Founder, Deborra-lee Furness addressing the High-level meeting on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 2019 – events like these haven’t been possible since the COVID-19 pandemic began

At the height of the pandemic emergency we all had higher priorities, for example nonprofits and NGOs like Hopeland had to focus on supporting those who needed help the most.

Nevertheless, gathering at major events can’t be overlooked – it is vital for us to do our best work that we form partnerships, share knowledge, and work together to make a better future for children.

One positive impact of the pandemic has been, as events come back, the ability for people to attend virtually from anywhere on the planet.

Recently, Hopeland’s Campaign Director, Andrew Stone, had the pleasure of being able to contribute to discussion at two major UN events virtually, even though both took place in Switzerland.

Firstly on September 16th Andrew attended the Day of General Discussion, a meeting of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, which this year was on the subject of alternative care.

This is an important day for organizations from civil society and other NGOs to influence decision makers and most importantly hear from the children themselves impacted by the choices we all make.

Hopeland’s ‘Child With Kite’ art installation placed in the Lobby of the United Nations to mark the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 2019

Secondly, just this week Andrew also attended the UN World Data Forum virtually from Bern, Switzerland.

Since the inaugural meeting in 2017 the UNWDF has been an important forum for finding practical solutions to the world’s problems and efforts to deliver on the UN’s 2030 goals.

Hopeland has always advocated for equitable data being the key to delivering these goals – see our campaign from 2016 ‘All Children Count’ which called on the UN to change the way they approach monitoring the SDGs and led to the UN Secretary General calling for an increase in funding to developing countries for statistical collection.

We cannot deliver the SDGs unless every child is recognized, supported and given the safe, loving family they need to thrive. There were a wide range of events including sessions on the response to COVID-19, creating progress for the world’s most marginalized children, and Andrew directly participated in a session on modern slavery on Hopeland’s behalf.

Tackling modern slavery and orphanage trafficking is a key part of delivering Hopeland’s mission and we will continue to work diligently on this subject.

The closing session of the forum included a speech from UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed who had an important message about the importance of delivering the 2030 goals and how robust data is vital to this aim. Hopeland supports this mission and is keen to work with anyone who can help deliver these goals!

Coldplay Supports Hopeland with the Song ‘Orphans’

Having been deeply impacted by the ongoing crisis in Syria, the British rock band Coldplay were prompted to write the lead single from their latest album, a song called “Orphans” which received significant praise. 

Chris Martin told the BBC at the time of the song’s release about his inspiration for writing the song that, “It seems to me that one of the things that might help people have a better time is to put themselves in other people’s shoes, whether that’s these kids who have to leave Syria, or who grew up in Baltimore, or whatever it might be. Rather than judging from afar, maybe to  think ‘I wonder what it’s like to be there.” We of course completely agree with this powerful message!

The Official Video for ‘Orphans’ by Coldplay, which features Hopeland

The music video for the track featured Hopeland in recognition of the support that Coldplay have for our mission of ensuring every child has a safe, loving home.

Coldplay supports Hopeland’s work through the song ‘Orphans’

Through our work with the band we are pleased to let you know the significant impact that their goodwill has had on our cause.

Coldplay generously donated 10% of the worldwide proceeds from the song to Hopeland and our work to benefit vulnerable children. An incredible donation that helps us continue our vital mission.

Coldplay’s original manager and “fifth member” of the band, Phil Harvey tweeted his support earlier this year saying they were “proud to support Hopeland’s life changing work with children who are separated from their families, through this song.”

You can still sing and dance along to the music video knowing that thanks in part to the generosity of Coldplay our mission and work continues.

Hopeland Supports Households At Risk of Family Separation in Kenya

2020 has been a tumultuous year for all but it has been especially so for vulnerable households living in extreme poverty. These families are those who are most at risk of separating from their children. People living in poverty were already suffering before the COVID-19 pandemic. Their situation has only worsened since.

As part of our efforts to tackle this crisis and ensure every child has a safe, loving home Hopeland is pleased to announce that in a joint fundraising effort with GiveDirectly we raised over $150,000 to fund a program which provides single female-led households in Kenya at risk of separation with direct cash payments.

This fundraising effort has had a positive impact on 606 Kenyan single female-led households. Additionally, these families have 2 or more children at home.

Families living in extreme poverty are impacted hugely by any change in financial situation. For example, losing a job due to the pandemic could make it much more likely that children end up in an orphanage than at home with their mother. This separation has a serious negative impact on that child that can last a lifetime.

Women who benefitted from the program were either part of an initiative to send cash transfers to vulnerable families that pre-existed the pandemic or they received cash directly as part of an outreach to households impacted by COVID-19.

In the main family strengthening program 284 households in the Bomet and Kilifi regions of Kenya received a payment of 55,000 KES ($503) in a lump sum. This money could be used in any way that was beneficial to the family – perhaps paying for food, housing repairs, school bills or other essential payments.

Additionally as part of a response effort to the COVID-19 pandemic another 343 Kenyan families received small payments of 3,000 KES ($28). COVID-19 lockdowns in Kenya were severe, leaving many with no source of income so this funding was desperately needed by households that were already financially vulnerable. The cash was transferred quickly and in recognition of COVID protocols. Some households received this payment more than once between May and November 2020 making a total of 812 transfers – equivalent to $22,898.

The households that were reached by these programs all had a single-female head of household, including 43% who were widowed, and 26% who were separated or divorced. 40.3% of the families had two children at home, 29.1% had three children, 15.2% had four children and 15.4% had five or more children at home to care for.

We know the extreme situation that many households in Kenya and around the world are finding themselves in. If you were vulnerable before the beginning of the pandemic there is no question that you continue to be today and that the situation is much worse. We are proud that we have been able to help these vulnerable families in this way and give them hope for the future.

Peter Pan: Hopeland Edition Published by Warbler Classics

Hopeland is delighted to announce that in partnership with the independent publishing house Warbler Press we have published the children’s classic ‘Peter Pan’ as a Hopeland Edition with an exclusive preface from our Co-Founder Deborra-lee Furness.

All proceeds from sales of the book, which includes the original text by J.M Barrie and the original illustrations by F.D Bedford, will benefit Hopeland’s mission to ensure every child has a safe, loving home.

Peter Pan has fascinated and delighted readers of all ages for more than a century and entered our collective consciousness like few other books. Like other great archetypal stories, Peter Pan addresses the eternal questions: how to avoid our greatest pain, which is mortality; how to experience life rather than look at it as a bystander; and how to connect to others and what it means to belong.

In her preface, Deborra-lee tells us that her journey to Hopeland is not unlike Peter’s to Neverland in the famous novel: “There have been many twists and turns, obstacles to overcome and hurdles to jump. I first became aware of the enormity of the issue of vulnerable, at-risk or abandoned children on my travels through Africa and Asia with the organization World Vision. I witnessed so many children who, due to war, disease, poverty or abuse, were living on the streets or in institutions, where they were not thriving. Due to the trauma of abandonment and neglect, these children are at-risk for a multitude of challenges, including mental, physical, and emotional developmental delays, which will affect their ability to feel safe in the world and be able to nurture connections with others. These children feel invisible. All of us need to feel precious, that we are loved, seen and heard. That’s what a loving family can provide.”

Deborra-lee continues to emphasize the importance of Hopeland’s mission “to prevent parent/child separation, reunite separated children with their families and mobilize a movement of families, community, and government to ensure the best possible outcomes” and concludes that “Hopeland and Peter Pan share this: hope that love can overcome loneliness, hope that families can be created, and hope that every child will be loved.”

The Hopeland Edition is available at a wide-range of booksellers – you can even purchase from your local independent bookstore. You can read more about how to order on the Warbler Classics website – we hope you’ll consider purchasing a copy for you or a family member this Holiday season!

Sarah Sze Donates Large-Scale Work to Benefit Hopeland

On December 3, Christie’s will offer Sarah Sze’s Surprise Ending, 2020 ($200,000-300,000) in its Day Sale of Post-War and Contemporary Art. Sze has donated Surprise Ending to benefit Hopeland in our work to help vulnerable at risk children who are unable to live with their families for a myriad of reasons, inclusive of poverty, mental health, war and abuse. 25 million children globally are growing up without a family, and 385 million more are at risk of separation. Hopeland works both domestically and internationally creating innovative initiatives and solutions to ensure every child lives in a permanent loving family. Hopeland’s focus is to put the issue of vulnerable children front and center on the global agenda, and especially at this time when the pandemic is putting children at risk of exploitation, gender based violence, financial hardship, social exclusion and separation from caregivers.

Sarah Sze, Surprise Ending, triptych – Oil, acrylic, acrylic polymers, ink, archival paper, aluminum, diabond, and wood, 80x100x3 in. 2020 Estimate: $200,000 – 300,000

Deborra-lee Furness, Co-Founder of Hopeland, remarked: “Understanding that the predicament of vulnerable or abandoned children is further impacted by the global pandemic must prompt us to take action. Sarah, who is an extraordinary artist and a dear friend of mine and Hugh’s, has supported Hopeland since its inception in the hope that vulnerable children can look forward to a life where they feel safe, loved and are given the opportunities to thrive. I love the intersection of art and philanthropy whereby we can make the world a better place.” 

Vivian Brodie, Specialist, Post-War and Contemporary Art, Christie’s continued: “Christie’s is thrilled to be partnering with New York based non-profit, Hopeland, and artist, Sarah Sze, to offer this monumental painting, which will benefit an extraordinary cause, which works to ensure that every child has a safe home. Sarah Sze’s donation is the first large painting by the artist to come to auction and highly sought after in the market.” 

With a medley of intricately collaged forms and a kaleidoscopic understanding of color, internationally acclaimed artist Sarah Sze demonstrates a mastery of technique and materials in the mesmerizing new painting Surprise Ending. In a vigorous return to painting in recent years, Sze has used the medium to pursue a narrative related to the shattering of time in contemporary experience. Her singular vision, which integrates everyday source imagery with highly refined aesthetic means, results in maplike landscapes that mix the spontaneous with the systematic, dislocating the viewer from any specific time or place while immersing them in a multitude of sensations. Among her countless accolades, Sze was a recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in 2005 and represented the U.S. in the 2013 Venice Biennale. During 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, she installed the spectacular large-scale permanent sculptural commission Shorter than the Day in the new Terminal 2 at LaGuardia airport in New York. 

We would like to acknowledge Gagosian’s help and generosity in facilitating this effort.