It’s a first: a coin depicting a missing a child. And the world seems to have embraced this initiative launched by Child Focus & communication agency These Days. Both on social media (#coinsofhope) and in real life. So far the coin has surfaced in over a dozen countries and it has even been spotted outside the eurozone, according to a report from Brussels.
Liam, symbol for all missing children
For the first time ever, a regular coin bears the likeness of a missing child. The day of the launch was not selected at random because 25th May is International Missing Children’s Day. Set up by Belgian organisation Child Focus, this campaign will simply continue , just like the coin will continue to circulate.
The €2 coin depicts Liam Vanden Branden, who went missing exactly twenty years ago at the age of two. Since then Liam has been the youngest child to remain missing in Belgium. He symbolises all children that have been missing for short or longer periods.
One million coins were struck which are now used as regular currency throughout the eurozone. This means you can use them at the baker’s or the florist. The aim of the campaign is to give everyone who receives or spends such a coin a moment of pause to reflect on the fate of all missing children – yesterday, today and tomorrow. Hence the name: Coins of Hope.
Heartwarming reactions on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Social media picked up on the initiative right away and a host of media figures gave the campaign an additional boost: so far, the coin has been shared by Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca (President of Malta), Rob Wainwright(director of Europol), Baroness Joanna Shields (UK Minister for Internet Safety and Security), Andre Greipel(professional cyclist), Sir Martin Sorrell (CEO of the world’s largest communication group).
The initial results are encouraging: to date it has reached over 15 million people through social media. And counting…
Make your own Coin of Hope!
Even if you don’t get your hands on an actual Coin of Hope, you can still share it. Athttp://www.coinsofhope.eu you can transform any photograph with a coin into a photo with a Coin of Hope.
Child Focus hopes that millions of people will spare a thought for the fate of missing children and their loved ones each time they come across a Coin of Hope in their purse or when they discover one on a social network site. Because anyone may one day be a crucial witness in a missing children case. But raising awareness doesn’t stop there: you can help by sharing missing persons bulletins, making a donation or by becoming a volunteer to help bring a missing child back home. – PRNewswire