Coordinator Anne visited three of the nine international partners in October and November. Acodeta (Tanzania), KidsCare (Kenya) and Macheo (Kenya) work on the African continent. Anne encountered great drive and expertise of the team members during the visit. Through their work they show that family-based care is indeed possible!
In this newsletter we will use three short stories to take you through the work of these changemakers. In addition, we will provide an update of the progress we are making together. We are well exceeding expectations. The nine Dutch partners and their international partners are increasingly getting to know each other, which further feds the growing levels of enthusiasm. For example, participants now also started seeking contact with each other before and after the joint meetings. Finally, we briefly report on the meeting of Family Power within the Dutch network. We made a very good start at that level too. This is important because here too, collaboration will create truly strong changemakers.
'Food for today, education for tomorrow'
- Christopher (volunteer Acodeta)
Christopher's house is an hour's drive from Msata in Tanzania (where Acodeta is located). Christopher has been involved with Acodeta for many years and is a champion of fairer sharing. With a smile from ear to ear, he stands in his garden. Between the green fields full of spinach, potatoes, and papaya trees. He shares his knowledge and success in agriculture with his community. He currently has 12 families in his care, all of whom he visits twice a month for training and advice. "I believe in the power of education," says Christopher. "By starting a business, families can become financially self-reliant. For people who have never been to school, that is quite difficult. I am also committed to the education of the children. If we can empower this generation, we can really make a difference! "
'Protect the child for a better tomorrow'
- Patricia (volunteer KidsCare)
It is a warm day in the dry village of Tswaka in Kenya. The rainy season is long overdue. A big problem for the villagers, who are largely dependent on agriculture. In the shade of a large mango tree, the recently established Child Protection Committee (CPC) meets. A group of volunteers who, in collaboration with the KidsCare team and the local Kenyan government, will work to improve the safety of the children in their community. In front of the group is Patricia, a powerful young woman. She is a children’s rights activist and is determined to make the CPC a success. "The safety of the children in Tswaka is our joint responsibility," she says. "We come across many cases of neglect, mistreatment and child labour every day. The children must be protected for a better future. This is only possible if we work together. We will be a source of inspiration for other villages." Despite her soft and friendly appearance, her eyes seem to spit fire. With a gun filled with love, she is ready to create a better future for the children in her region.
'Every child deserves a family'
- Grace (social worker Macheo)
With a beautiful big belly, she gets out of the car. Grace is 37 weeks pregnant and still working with full energy. Today the visit is planned to Jamie (7), Boy (5) and Marie (3). Grace works as a social worker at Macheo in Kenya and knows the children from their stay in the temporary shelter. Their father has died, and their mother is unable to take care of the children due to her psychological and alcoholic problems. After several attempts to improve the home situation, Grace and her colleagues started looking for an alternative. That turned out not to be easy. After a lot of investigative work and conversations, the children were placed in their aunt and uncle's house. With a cup of tea on the couch, the aunt tells about the children. They do a fantastic job at school and already feel quite at home. She could not have children herself. Her man initially had his reservations but now feels completely a father to the children. "This is what I do it for," Grace says in the car back. "The work is sometimes quite tough, but these success stories make it so incredibly worth it!"
Kick-off internal training program!
The internal training program kicked off in September. The first training was about ‘parent – professional relationships’ and was led by Anna from CFEII Kharkiv, Ukraine. Among other things, she presented about 'family-centered approach', which puts the family at the center and builds on their strengths and possibilities. In October, Raymond of Acodeta (Tanzania) and Mary from PWM (Indonesia) delivered the training on ‘community involvement’. Both organizations know how to mobilize their community in an impressive way. The sessions resulted in interesting discussions and reflections. The cross-continent sharing of knowledge and experience is very inspiring!
Late September, Family Power organised a meeting at the offices of Wilde Ganzen in The Netherlands for its network partners. Family Power, Wilde Ganzen, Better Care Network Netherlands, Dutch Coalition on Disability and Development (DCDD), Partin, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Radboud University all work with private initiatives and/or the promotion of de-institutionalization. Every network partner is eager to contribute using its own strengths to ensure that the project activities of Family Power (case research, training & consultancy program and awareness campaign) have a sustainable impact. Through collaboration the living situation of many children can be improved! Follow-up steps are being planned.
Although the world seems to be becoming more and more divided, we all agree on one thing: we want to see a different future. Where to start is an easy question for us to answer: children are the future! Our current world cries for connection and joining forces. Family Power is looking for fellow changemakers. Can you contribute with your knowledge, resources or network? We would like to get in touch with you.