This collection of photographs is a reminder that 2020 has been a year of opposites: Loneliness and community. Despair and hope. Fear and kindness.
We don’t yet know the full impact coronavirus will have on the mental and physical health of people around the world, or on children's education, or gender equality. But we do know that not everyone will have an equal chance in the comeback. If your family’s already living in poverty, you have no safety net. If you're the only breadwinner, you can't take time off to grieve. A pandemic is harder to fight in a refugee camp. Economic catastrophe is exacerbated by conflict.
But this year has shown us what’s possible when the world comes together to fight a deadly outbreak. And the lengths to which teachers, healthcare professionals and community workers will go, to support people in their care.
And as always, our greatest source of hope is children. The moments in these photographs show young people determined to learn, families connecting in isolation, children playing against a backdrop of disaster.
That they can carve out happiness and inspire us despite everything is extraordinary. But that’s not enough. We have to match their optimism with action. We have to make their world better than it is now, despite the year we’ve had and the challenges we face ahead.