Fit for purpose and fit for the future.
2020 turned out quite differently to what we had planned. For many of the children, young people and families that we speak out for, 2020 brought incredible hardship. How does Eurochild stay relevant in such a context? How do we prepare for a future which will look very different to what we were accustomed to pre-pandemic?
There are 4 ingredients which are helping Eurochild stay true to its purpose in turbulent times.
- We have a small, but agile Secretariat. In 2019 we restructured the team and created a new position of Director of Programmes. This role is helping to systematise our service culture to members, and to expand our sub-granting and technical assistance work. The change also led to the creation of an Executive Team comprising the Secretary General, Director of Programmes, Director of Operations and Director of Finances.
- Our Management Board remained active and engaged throughout the crisis. In the immediate aftermath of the first lockdown, the Board met fortnightly to assess and manage risks and help guide the Secretariat in adapting its work to a new reality. Despite the pressures in their own countries and organisations, the MB has driven a rigorous review of Eurochild’s statutes and internal rules (for adoption at the 2021 GA) and has prepared the ground for development of a new Strategic Plan 2022-2025.
- We ramped up our dialogue both with members and with children and young people. The Secretariat stayed in regular contact with members of the Eurochild Children’s Council. Even if our bi-annual conference scheduled for November was cancelled, children took up several other opportunities to engage in Eurochild’s work. Thanks to digital technology, conversations with members actually took place more regularly than in previous years. And our online events and investment in digital communications enabled us to reach a wider audience than through in-person conferences.
- We continued our effort to diversify our income sources. Eurochild is fortunate to receive an operating grant from the European Commission. It has enabled us to develop a unique model of work that couples EU influence with support for grassroots organisations to drive change for children. Our engagement with philanthropy and corporate donors has pushed us to sharpen how we define our role and measure our impact. We are very grateful to the private donors who have understood, and invested in, Eurochild’s efforts to bring about systemic change.