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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!

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