As part of her practical research, Family Power coordinator Anne Vijverberg visited local partner COLT in Cambodia and DLFF in Sri Lanka. Touched by the work of these organizations, she shares some impressions of her visit. Her most prominent observation was that change actually proves to be possible!
Phnom Penh in development
COLT operates in the suburbs of Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia. Over the past years, COLT has undergone a transition from shelter to community center. At the community center COLT has a daycare center and school where, among other things, English lessons are taught. Here the COLT team offers vulnerable children a safe place to develop, and parents the opportunity to earn money. Additional support is given to those families and children that need it most.
Anne shares: "I had the chance to meet Piseth, the driving force behind COLT. We visited the garbage dump together. A place that you can find with your nose from a long distance. A place unworthy for humans to live. And yet many children played there and people were continuously searching for of something of any value. A message of hope is that the situation in Phnom Penh is improving tremendously. The average living situation has improved substantially, and COLT's support has definitely contributed to that! Piseth even dares to dream about a new working environment."
An inclusive society in Sri Lanka
Subsequently DLFF's visit was planned. In Eastern Sri Lanka, the organization has a school, a day care and a vocational training center for children and young adults with disabilities. In addition, they work hard to create an inclusive society by, among other things, creating awareness and providing employment.
The visit to Sustantha's family impressed Anne a lot. Susantha is 23 years old and has been going to DLFF for two years now. Before that, he didn't go outside and the neighbors didn't even know about his existence. Susantha was fully dependent on the care of his mother, an elderly woman with health problems. During the visit, Susantha proudly showed where he cooks, grows vegetables and how he makes wooden spoons at home to sell. His mother looked at him with tears in her eyes. Change is possible.
11 new organizations join the Mutual Learning Program
11 organizations from all over the world (Armenia, Ghana, Kenya, Peru, Sri Lanka, Syria and more) will participate in the Mutual Learning Program in the coming months. A wonderfully diverse group sharing rich conversations and reflections together. The third live session took place last Thursday. Harlene Anderson, psychologist and cofounder of the Postmodern Collaborative Approach, joined the conversation this time. The more than 20 attendees discussed together about the importance of dialogue and how to keep the conversation going.
‘This session was inspiring and an eye opener in modifying our thought process’ - deelnemer George
A new step in our network collaboration
This week Family Power will again meet with the Dutch network partners. Where the focus previously was on the Private Initiative, the group is now being expanded with other partners from the sector. The purpose of the meeting is to shape the initiative for creating a structural think tank on qualitative (family)care for children worldwide, and to introduce the organizations that will participate for the first time.