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2020 has yielded to 2021: This, I celebrate

Dear friends and colleagues, 

2020 is a year that leaves unforgettable marks. Many of us will remember it for many different reasons. A year that has taken so much. A year that has given so much. I believe that it is OK to grieve and celebrate its passing – however, we feel.  

2020 has yielded to 2021. This, I celebrate.

YPARD began 2020 with the primary goal of reviewing YPARD’s hosting arrangement and strengthening our community across our operational levels – from the national chapters to the global coordination unit. Within the first quarter of 2020, we transitioned, like many other agencies, to virtual working spaces. Here are examples of our key achievements as a community in 2020:

  1. Following our agenda to explore avenues to strengthen our network, we transitioned administratively from FAO in Rome while maintaining our operational relationships through continuous engagement in shared agenda.  
  2. We co-developed an operational plan for 2021 -2025 with our strategic partner, GFRAS 
  3. We re-launched the YPARD Café into Global YPARD Café with some interesting cafes done including: YPARD Café Armenia, YPARD Café Rwanda, YPARD Café Cameroon, YPARD Café PeruYPARD Café Nigeria, YPARD Café Benin, YPARD Café Albania, YPARD Café Nepal and more is still coming!
  4. Our community all organized many e-forums as a way to maintain our community interlinkages and to discuss emerging issues related to COVID-19, these e-forums include; the YPARD Philippines example, the YPARD Pakistan example and more…

Despite the difficulties of 2020, we have illustrated the strength of YPARD as a community and a member-driven international network. This, we should celebrate :)

2021 has already begun with a bang – our virtual spaces (e.g. global news) have shown that we need to bound together, stay strong and resilient. As a community, and given the new operational and administrative phases we are starting, being a network and a community is our strength. Together we can identify newer ways to handle a post-COVID19 world, for us as individuals and as a community. Our operational plan clearly identify 4 key areas of activities: 

  1. Advocating support for an enabling policy environment and appropriate investment 
  2. Enhanced access to capacity development opportunities
  3. Facilitation and enhancement of effective and continuous knowledge generation and exchange
  4. Building YPARD into a functional and financially sustainable network.

These four areas capture our agreement about how to develop our network. There is a lot to do to manage these times. Going by how much we were able to do despite the global shock of 2020, I am confident about 2021 - and the future of YPARD. In all we do, please remember that YPARD is us.

As 2020 has yielded to 2021. I hope that the days to come are better than the ones we have had, that by the end of 2021, our world and us are in a better state.  

Best wishes for 2021,

Yemi Adeyeye, Director.