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Supporting Innovative Solutions for Families in South Sudan

Every year around 1 million people in South Sudan are displaced due to significant flooding. These families are already living in severe poverty and many have fled conflict – adding the devastating threat of flooding has a deeply detrimental impact on the wellbeing of families and puts many children at greater risk of abduction and recruitment.

Families impacted by flooding in South Sudan are doing everything they can to keep their families together and provide what their children need – but without help the challenge might prove too much.

That is why Hopeland has partnered with a Swiss-based humanitarian organization, Medair, to support the production and distribution of a brand new innovative solution for South Sudanese families.

Hopeland’s Co-Founder and CEO, Nick Evans and Medair’s CEO, Anne Reitsema sign an Memorandum of Understanding on the shelter kit project

This solution will keep families together during environmental crises. The flood-resistant homes provide a safe and secure environment, preventing displacement and the separation of children from their parents. Designed to be durable and long-lasting, they offer stability and security to families repeatedly affected by flooding.

Announced in our annual report last year we are pleased to be able to tell you that Hopeland and Medair have now formally signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the Better Flood Resilience Shelter Kit project. Initial testing has gone well and the project is on track to continue the roll out in time for the next flooding season.

The project is a major innovation project taking place in South Sudan. Developed in collaboration with the University of Juba, and Swiss Technical University EPFL, the shelter kit is a response to worsening seasonal flooding in South Sudan.

High costs of imported materials, limited shelter assistance funding, and frequent displacements further exacerbate the situation and jeopardize the adoption of generic shelter solutions seen worldwide. These factors make an innovative solution especially valuable – this is why Hopeland is working directly with Medair’s Innovation team to support this life-saving innovation.

The innovation is achieved by designing a single kit that can be configured either as an emergency shelter or a permanent roof for a family home. This affords families both a safe living space following a flood, as well as a key element to their recovery after they return to their village.

Learn more about how you can support this project here!

The shelter kit is manufactured inside South Sudan by local workers using recycled materials including the re-use of used rubber tires which are turned into the ropes that hold the shelter in place. The reliance on locally-sourced materials is a key innovation that can make this solution an accessible intervention to flooding in the country.

Testing of a shelter kit in South Sudan

The first phase of the project aims to provide flood-resistant homes to 170 families, which will benefit over 1000 people in South Sudan. It then has potential to scale further beyond that impacting thousands. By providing resilient shelter assistance, the project will help families stay safe during flooding, prevent displacement, and contribute to the long-term recovery and development of flood-affected communities. Making communities more resilient to environmental disasters will have a long term impact on not just families but all areas of the community.

Hopeland’s Co-Founder and CEO, Nicholas Evans, said, “This shelter innovation prioritizes sustainability and resilience, empowering communities with safety and protection, in order to rebuild and recover from crises. By integrating advanced design ideas with local expertise, we are proud to support a project that not only saves lives but also fosters self-reliance and community empowerment.”

Medair CEO, Anne Reitsema, said, “We are in this together! Medair and Hopeland have a shared passion for helping families survive. We are both committed to finding innovative ways to assist them in their greatest time of need. This combined with the South Sudanese and Swiss Universities’ shared passion for making assistance more efficient and effective makes us stronger together as we seek to come alongside communities grappling with extremely challenging crises which lead to repeated displacement.”

Medair has been operational in South Sudan since 1991. South Sudan is one of Medair’s largest humanitarian programs, providing humanitarian aid and services within WASH, Shelter, Health and Nutrition. Throughout its work in South Sudan, Medair emphasizes collaboration with local communities, government authorities, and other humanitarian partners to ensure effective coordination and maximize the impact of interventions. By combining expertise, resources, and local knowledge, Medair strives to address the complex needs of the population and contribute to sustainable development in South Sudan.

Hopeland is an organization that prioritizes support for families and for children that have been separated from their families. We connect partners to mobilize communities and incubate disruptive solutions that promote safe, stable home environments and nurture children’s development. We are supporting Medair’s vital work through funding, promotion, and other key support over the next two years. We look forward to sharing more updates as this project is rolled out in South Sudan.

Taking Action to End Orphanage Trafficking

Building on our recent collaboration with the Global Slavery Index to spotlight Orphanage Trafficking in that hugely influential global publication we are now taking action to make sure orphanage trafficking is ended worldwide.

Sign the Petition:

On International Day Against Trafficking, July 30th, we launched our latest campaign outside the EU Parliament in Brussels with our friends and Hopeland Ambassadors NERVO by our side. 

It is time that global leaders take action to ensure no child is trafficked into or out of an orphanage. To make sure this happens we need your help.

We are calling on the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) – an organization of global political leaders with real influence in countries where orphanage trafficking is happening every day – to take action to end this terrible practice. 

Our petition, hosted by our partners Global Citizen, calls on the IPU to:

  1. Criminalize Orphanage Trafficking
  2. Draft model legislation for member states
  3. Prioritize family based care
  4. Phase out orphanages and other institutional care

We have had Paris Hilton, Coldplay, Like Mike, Armin Van Buuren, Super Nanny, a whole host of Global DJ’s, and many others get behind the campaign so far and it has just begun, as this we build up to the petition being submitted to the Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly in October.


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You can be a part of this powerful movement too. Add your signature to our petition, which will be submitted to the Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly along with a Draft Resolution on orphanage trafficking. Your voice will help us advocate for immediate action against this exploitation. Click the link below to sign the petition and please share it on your socials.

Sign the Petition:

Together, we can create a world where every child grows up in a loving and nurturing family environment. Thank you for your support and being part of the Hopeland family.


Rescuing Children in Ukraine

Ukrainian Children Need Your Help

The children of Ukraine have been living in a war torn environment for nearly one year. Winter is quickly approaching and there are many children and families in desperate need of rescue.

Hopeland is partnering with an incredible organization, Save Ukraine, whose volunteers are putting their lives at risk to save, and provide shelter for, children and families throughout combat zones in Ukraine. The people who are left behind now are the most vulnerable ones. They need our help.

Follow this link below to learn how a $95 donation can rescue a child in Ukraine and provide them with basic emergency supplies like a blanket, gloves, water and more.

Hopeland and Save Ukraine

Our Co-Founder Deborra-lee Furness recently met with Nikolai Kuleba, founder of Save Ukraine. Hopeland and Save Ukraine are forming a partnership to protect children, prevent family separation, and reunite separated families.

Nikolai served as Ombudsman for Children with two Presidents of Ukraine, including President Zelenskyy, from 2014 to 2021. His knowledge and experience have put him in the unique position to run Save Ukraine.

Listen to Nikolai detail what is involved in a rescue:

How Can You Help?

Your donation of $95 supports Ukrainians in two ways:

1) You support the evacuations effort in Ukraine. Rescue teams receive calls via Save Ukraine 24/7 hotlines. Every day approximately 500 people are rescued from active combat zones and taken to one of fifteen rescue hubs throughout Ukraine.

Your donation helps us provide emergency assistance to children in combat zones.

2) You provide a survival kit to a child. Children with Save Ukraine teams are given survival kits immediately after reaching a hiding point. After weeks in darkness and hazard, children can finally step out of the basements, have food and water, and start their journey to safe places.

Survival Kits include: a personal hygiene kit, nutrition bars, water and food, a coloring book and pencils, a plushie, a raincoat, and more.

You can rescue a Ukrainian child today!

TechLink: Hopeland’s Groundbreaking Program for Youth in NYC

Today our news feeds seem like they are always full of stories of despair – the pandemic, conflict around the world, climate change, and many other pressing issues can cause a sense of dread. Hopeland, and our platform for action and advocacy, is fueled however by a desire to share messages of hope with you all.

In that spirit we are thrilled to announce our partnership with New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services and our friends at New Yorkers For Children to create an innovative program for youth in foster care in New York City.

Our program, TechLink, is one of the first ever public-private partnerships to provide coding classes, tech immersion, and career planning for older youth in foster care – a group that Hopeland is focused on helping as we deliver our mission of ensuring every child has a safe, loving family.

TechLink provides coding classes, tech immersion, and career planning for older youth in foster care

Built upon the existing Code Next program Hopeland has partnered with Google to provide youth in foster care with a unique experience that includes other career and college planning support. The initial cohort of high school students has received career path planning education, mentoring and programming that will help them develop a pathway towards a successful STEM career.

In its pilot stage TechLink was launched in January 2021 and has already proven to be a vital program that provides an incredible experience to older youth in foster care. As a result of our program our youth are more empowered and less at risk.

Hopeland is committed to improving the lives of youth in this situation here in the U.S. because, historically, teenagers in the foster care system who eventually age out having never found an adoptive family to care for them have been less likely to graduate, more likely to face homelessness during their lives, and generally more likely to face difficulties. It is our hope that by creating programs like TechLink we can change the direction of these statistics. It is so important that we do everything we can to help these young people and ensure they can thrive.

In the words of our Co-Founder, Deborra-lee Furness, “Hopeland was created to not only give a voice to young people and families but also to take action to deliver our vision of a world where every child has a safe, loving family. I’m over the moon to see Hopeland launch this innovative and exciting program to help young people in NYC thrive!”

Fortunately, even though the problems faced by some young people aging out of foster care have only gotten worse during the pandemic, our programming has made an even more significant impact on the lives of youth by ensuring that they continue to learn, stay connected and advance their aspirational goals.

Although we were unable to hold lessons in person at the program’s state of the art tech lab in the heart of NYC, TechLink has been provided virtually throughout 2021 – impacting the work the youth were able to do and the opportunities that were open to them.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, TechLink has taken place virtually since its launch

In spite of the odds, and thanks to the incredible leadership of the TechLink staff, the students have performed amazingly well and delivered some incredible achievements which were displayed at the end of semester presentation. The students have coded their own websites, created YouTube videos and podcasts, and learnt so much more. We can’t wait to see what else they achieve!

Students have said it is great to see women of color in leadership roles and teachers who “look like me”. We know how important it is for young people to have role models they can look up to and how valuable this is in the impact of our program.

A new $100,000 grant allows us to expand the program and add stipends for youth participating in the program

We are also delighted to tell you that we have secured $100,000 in additional funding for the program to allow Techlink to expand in Fall of 2021 and to include a stipend for the youth who are participating. We hope this extra element of TechLink will ensure that every young person who is enrolled in the program not only benefits from the program but also gets some financial help in these difficult times.

We will be sure to share more updates with you as the program expands. TechLink is a great example of the incredible achievements that are possible when we work together with our partners to deliver for children and families around the world who need our help.

Hopeland’s focus on impact and innovation in delivering TechLink as part of our platform for action and advocacy has been key in creating this program that is benefiting youth in NYC today. If you want to learn more about our work please follow us on social media and sign up to support us at our website.

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 Recognized for Outstanding Women’s Advocacy

On International Women’s Day, Hopeland was honored to be awarded the EPIQ Women’s Advocacy Award in recognition of our work to empower safe, loving families, and the women who play such an important role in them.

Hopeland is a proud recipient of the EPIQ Women’s Advocacy Award

The award ceremony took place as part of the New York City Bar Association’s International Law Conference on the Status of Women at the Bar Association’s Headquarters in Midtown Manhattan. The event saw influential female speakers from around the world speaking on what there was to celebrate in the fight to defend and expand women’s rights but also highlighting what more needs to be done.

Hopeland’s CEO Nick Evans (center) with board members Raegan Moya-Jones (left) and Fiona Bassett (right)

Hopeland was delighted to be included amongst some incredible winners, from fighters for justice for Yazidi women to those making waves in the boardroom and the United Nations! We were moved by their stories of injustice, and inspired by their fight to change the world.

As part of the conference, Hopeland’s newest Board Member Fiona Bassett spoke about the gender economics separating women from their children and Hopeland’s work to tackle this. Fiona is a Managing Director at Deutsche Bank’s subsidiary DWS and is widely recognized for her leadership and innovation in the financial services industry receiving acclaim from American Banker, the Institute of International Finance, Mutual Fund Industry and Crain’s New York Business.

Addressing the room, Fiona said “Hopeland is seeking to effect change through policy, through advocacy, and through campaigns that focus on mobilizing a movement to support the most vulnerable to family separation, to deliver better futures to people, and drive long term equality and opportunity”.

Fiona Bassett addresses the NYC Bar Association on Hopeland’s work

Hopeland’s number one policy goal is to prevent family separation. This forum, which focused on the progress of women internationally, was a particularly significant one at which to discuss this issue because if we improve the lives of women worldwide we also can reduce family separation.

Extreme poverty is the major factor in causing family separation and the World Bank tells us it is one that affects women and girls disproportionately. For every 100 boys in extreme poverty there are 105 girls and, extraordinarily, in the key childbearing age cohort of 25-34 there are 122 women in extreme poverty for every 100 men.

Additionally, female-headed single parent families are more likely to be vulnerable to family separation – in Indonesia for example 75% of single-headed families are female-led and those families are three times more likely to live in poverty.

This fact and the high prevalence of family separation (up to 500,000 children are growing up apart from their families) is why Hopeland’s global work is currently focused on Indonesia.

Hopeland and our partners are developing a landmark intervention to evaluate the impact of community support and economic empowerment tools as a cost-effective solution to address the drivers of family separation, and improve the overall wellbeing of at-risk children and families, with a special focus on households living in poverty.

Fiona discussed this work at the conference and encouraged support for it. The initiative is incredibly important because it aims to support some of the most vulnerable families in Indonesia whilst also developing vital data to change the way the world cares for families vulnerable to separation. If successful our first of its kind project can disrupt a centuries old funding model that supports orphanages and other institutions.

For too long international development and philanthropic efforts have promoted efforts that too often hurt not help vulnerable children – Hopeland is working to change that and so we were proud to be involved in such an important event and to have the opportunity to spread the message of our work.