Barnardos Annual Review 2010: We Can't Change the World

Barnardos. (2011). Barnardos Annual Review 2010: We Can't Change the World.
With all that is happening in our economy, there is a natural inclination for us to want change to happen right here, right now. While we focus so intently on the present journey of recovery out of our current financial crisis, we simply cannot afford to forget those who are most vulnerable now. We must also ensure we protect the future. Our children are that future. 2010 was a very difficult year for children and families in Ireland. The worsening economic climate, increased unemployment and cuts to income and services all combined to push more families to the edge as they struggled to make ends meet. For families already living in disadvantage, cuts to social welfare meant many families already on the margins saw increased hardship as they struggled to keep up with basic living costs. For many, the impact of the economic crisis meant that all the work they had done to break out of the cycle of poverty was undone. They found themselves once more back in its trap - once more relegated to the sidelines. Services have closed, funding has been cut and the struggle to survive has become even harder. There are whole communities in Ireland today who have never felt the benefit of the boom but are very much suffering the impact of the recession. Being born into in an area of disadvantage can have a direct affect on a child’s future. Children should never be limited by the place of their birth but all too often for the children we work with, that is the sad reality of their lives. Every day in our 42 projects across Ireland, Barnardos staff work with children and families whose lives are marred by poverty and struggle. For the families we work with, their time at Barnardos gives them the opportunity for a brighter future – the reason and where-with-all to hope for change and the skills to make that change happen. Barnardos Annual Review 2010 7 In Barnardos we work with those children and families so that they can see a different future and give them the tools to make it happen. We give them Hope. The hope that they can and will change their lives. The hope of a brighter future. Our work has never been more vital than it is today. With the cuts in funding and closure of many services, ours is often the only place left for children and families to come to. We have worked very hard over the last two years to ensure we keep our doors open and keep hope alive. Barnardos staff and volunteers have given their all to make sure that we are still there for every child who needs us. It has never been more important that those with the least are brought to the fore as Ireland begins the journey towards recovery. We must protect the children of today and provide them with the supports and resources they require to develop to their full potential, to ensure a happy, sustainable and fair future for all of us. We must ensure that no child is left behind in the current whirlwind of change and that while we work hard to secure our present, we also ensure that the future is secured for each and every child. Addressing the social inequalities that prevent so many children from enjoying their childhood must remain a priority. I would like to thank and commend all who work in or with Barnardos – the 410 staff, 300 volunteers, 9 Board Members – for their unfailing dedication and commitment to Barnardos. They have given their all in 2010 to ensure that Barnardos continues to be able to serve the children and families who need it most. To all our supporters too – we thank you for your continued support of Barnardos and our work.