By Marc Thomas Jenni
Co-Founder & Managing Director Operations
DECEMBER 3, 2020
Who would have guessed that the year 2020 would turn out like this? Who would have assumed that the current crisis is still far from over and who would have believed that the aftermath of COVID-19 would be felt well beyond the coming few years? Everyone was taken by surprise and most of us are still trying to come to terms with all the changes and challenges ahead. Back in April, when the virus locked down the entire world, we at Child’s Dream took swift action and identified our two top priorities for the rest of the year: continuing to serve our beneficiaries in the best possible way, and preserving not only the jobs of the many staff in our programmes in the region, but also the 50 jobs of our very own staff in our three offices. Back then, we assumed that the worst would be over by the turn of the year so that 2021 could be a year of recovery.
Though we have managed to weather the storm in 2020 without any major damage, and have lived up to our two top priorities, we have also witnessed a strong surge in demand for our help. As a result of the economic pressure and fallout, unemployment rates, as well as the needs of our beneficiaries, have increased significantly. The loss of jobs, the closure of schools and the absence of income have pushed families and entire communities back into poverty. The direct result of this is not only less food on the table, more mental distress and increased suicide rates, but also a much higher than normal school dropout rate in most of our schools.
Children are seen as a source of income and are deployed during crises. Putting them back into the educational cycle will be a fight we hope to win.
Only a quick and robust turnaround in the economy can prevent many more children from losing out on education once and for all. However, we all know this turnaround is not happening. Poverty reduction goals have ventured out of sight and indicators such as the Gini coefficient, measuring the wealth gap of a nation, is going strongly in the wrong direction. All these are reasons for us to worry about the wellbeing of our hundreds of thousands of children. Unlike residents in more affluent societies, the people of our countries cannot fall back on state support simply because governments lack the necessary resources. Hence, the work of organisations like ours becomes even more essential than during more ‘normal’ times.
So all this explains why we are facing a monumental task in the coming few years. Greater need calls for more money; however, states and governments will not be able to fill that void. A prolonged economic crisis will also results in lower donations for charities like ours. Yes, we are worried looking into 2021 and beyond and, again, we have set two top priorities for next year: continuing to serve all our beneficiaries as we did in 2020 and preserving jobs not only within Child’s Dream, but also within our many programme partner organisations. In addition, emergency relief operations will further have to be continued to avoid a catastrophe.
In order to achieve all this, we need the support of each and every one of you. We wish and hope that all our donors and friends will stand beside us so that we can go through this crisis together, avoiding another humanitarian disaster and showing our beneficiaries that we really care. Your support is the fuel keeping our engine running and we truly hope that you keep on fueling that engine, financially and with your presence and trust. Thank you very much in advance.
We now wish you a nice festive season, hopefully among your family and friends, and we also wish you all a very healthy and happy 2021.
Many thanks for your outstanding support in the past and for believing in us during an unprecedented 2020. Please do not forget us!
Alone we can do so little; together we can change the world.