This blog was written by Youth RISE’s Executive Director, Ailish Brennan, who attended this Annual Meeting with other representatives from IDPC, HRI, MENAHRA, EHRA, INPUD, and EuroNPUD. This collection of organizations make up the ‘Harm Reduction Consortium of the Robert Carr Civil Society Network Fund’.

The Harm Reduction Consortium of the Robert Carr Civil Society Network Fund held its annual meeting at the beginning of the year. This would normally involve a face-to-face meeting, such as the one held in Beirut last year, however this year we had to make do with another Zoom meeting. Without the usual benefits experienced at an in-person meeting with the opportunity to interact and develop plans for the year ahead the meeting took on a slightly more streamlined format.

Youth RISE were happy to report on our many successful activities from 2020, most notably our Small Grants Programme which had the opportunity to thrive when many other plans fell victim to the pandemic. Our Annual Report for 2020 was also presented and will be used to show our donors and partners the fantastic work Youth RISE has achieved this year.

Plans for the year ahead were also discussed, with many difficult questions needing to be discussed regarding Covid-19 and its continued impact on our work. We have made an effort to focus our attention on Covid-friendly projects for the year ahead whenever possible, including developing a position paper and other possible materials relevant specifically to young women who use drugs in partnership with the Women and Harm Reduction International Network. The year ahead will present many challenges and our work will undoubtedly still be impacted, but we are excited by the many opportunities we will have this year to continue our work promoting full spectrum hard reduction.