How 2020 consolidated our model of work
In 2020, we changed and that made us a stronger network. From the start of the first lockdown, we were concerned about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and on the work of our members across Europe. The crisis required us to adapt quickly. It accelerated changes in how we operate and pushed us to rethink some of our functions - including the role Eurochild plays in protecting children’s rights across Europe.
Despite the limitations imposed by the pandemic, within the first 3 months of the lockdown we met with almost 150 child rights advocates, heard their experiences and supported exchange and learning. We created spaces for a diverse community of passionate people to come together and make sense of what we all were going through, and asses the impact of the pandemic on children and their rights.
With the same community, we published the Growing up in Lockdown report, building a picture of the many worrying consequences of the pandemic on children in 25 European countries. The report became a powerful tool for us to engage with over 150 European parliamentarians, with Permanent Representatives and Ambassadors of 27 countries. The report reached hundreds of European Commission officials and enabled us to build important alliances to advocate for putting children at the heart of recovery.
In 2020 we relentlessly advocated for:
- A European Child Guarantee that prevents and combats child poverty and social exclusion
- Earmarking 5% of ESF+ resources to support the goals of the European Child Guarantee
- An ambitious European Strategy on the Rights of the Child representing children’s voices.
Thanks to our membership and grassroots activism, our advocacy efforts were successful. Engaging in timely dialogue with our members to track pressing issues and needs, empowering and build capacity became a core part of Eurochild’s strategy.
In 2020 we also worked closely with donors to adapt and refine our model of work. Through re-granting, tailored capacity building, and technical assistance, we successfully supported 12 NGOs to improve child protection systems and early childhood development. We developed a capacity building offer including training and peer learning sessions for the broader community of child rights advocates. Topics varied from advocacy and effective responses to the COVID-19 crisis, to strategies to prevent family separation.
As we approach the end of our current strategic plan and work towards the adoption on a new one, we intend to reinforce this model of work. Our collaborative work, capacity building and influencing ensures that EU policy and funding initiatives create a large-scale and sustainable impact on the lives of children all over Europe.