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Record-breaking total raised for Hope and Homes for Children in First Hour, First Day campaign

This year’s First Hour, First Day campaign – where we ask partners and staff to donate the equivalent of their first hour or day of their January pay to our Global Charity Partner – has raised over GBP475,000 with 990 donors taking part. This is the most money we’ve ever raised through this campaign, beating our previous record of GBP467,000 raised for War Child in 2018. 

Woman and four children standing against wall

Pictured: Therese with her family, who have been able to stay together thanks to Hope and Homes for Children’s work.

Our relationship with Hope and Homes for Children was extended to July this year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, making this partnership the first to benefit from three First Hour, First Day campaigns. Our fundraising total for the whole partnership stands at GBP1.8 million.

Facing one of the greatest challenges in the charity’s history

Mark Waddington, CEO at Hope and Homes for Children, said, “our challenge in 2020 was to continue fighting for a world in which no child has to suffer the torment of institutionalisation in the face of the global pandemic, which threatened to drive children into institutions in horrifying numbers. At the same time, we needed to protect children already in orphanages from the rush of panic closures which saw thousands sent back to their families with no planning, preparation or oversight. It is not an exaggeration to say that we were facing one of the greatest challenges of our 26-year history.

With A&O’s support, we reached 136,000 children last year – our highest number ever, keeping them safe in families and sparing them the trauma of a childhood in an orphanage.

Mark Waddington, CEO at Hope and Homes for Children

“A&O’s decision to extend our Global Charity Partnership was a game changer. Your generosity helped us to support some of the most vulnerable children and families through this crisis by enabling us to pay the rent for those families at risk of eviction. We provided food and hard-to-source medicines, and deployed frontline social workers to prevent and respond to an explosion in domestic violence. Children who might have been trafficked into sex work and forced labour, or even for their body parts, were protected.”

“We can’t thank A&O enough for making the decision to donate to us once more through First Hour, First Day – your generosity is remarkable and has never been more vital as we work to put children and their families at the heart of efforts to build back better post-Covid.”

Our impact

In a year where Hope and Homes for Children’s teams were stretched to their limits, A&O has helped to:

  • Close six orphanages while continuing to work on the closure of a further 34 orphanages across Hope and Homes for Children’s countries of operation
  • Support 519 children to leave orphanages to live safely in families or community-based care
  • Facilitate 66 older teenagers and young adults to begin independent living
  • Develop seven new alternative care and family support services to keep children safe from orphanages in Romania, Bosnia and Moldova
  • Train 4,340 childcare professionals alongside giving technical assistance to 748 practitioners and decision-makers in Europe, Africa and Asia

Not only is A&O supporting Hope and Homes for Children’s wider programmatic work, approximately GBP500,000 is being spent supporting two life-changing projects in Nepal and India.

In Nepal, where thousands of children from poor communities are exploited for profit in orphanages, Hope and Homes for Children continues to engage with stakeholders from government officials to social workers to drive political reform. The charity is working with local partners Forget Me Not and The Himalayan Innovative Society to progress the pilot closure of one of the largest orphanages in the country, demonstrating that ending the use of orphanages is possible.

In India, the team is progressing its strategic pilot in the state of Jharkhand, working with local partner CINI to provide technical support and training to help transform seven institutions, reinforce local child protection measures, and develop services to support children to remain in their communities.

A&O’s partnership with Hope and Homes for Children will end in July 2021. The focus of A&O’s next partnership, which will launch in September 2021, will be social mobility.

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