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INTERNATIONAL FORUM FOR CHILD WELFARE
San José, Costa Rica, April 4, 2003
Let me start this month's letter by thanking those members that
have expressed their opinion about this effort to establish and
maintain a close and permanent dialogue among members and the person
you elected as your president. To be sure, they are still
but a handful, but to me it signals the start of what - hopefully
- will soon become a two-way communication system that should increase
the opportunities for sharing experiences amongst ourselves.
I encourage all of you to express your frank opinion about any aspect
or our work that you would like to share with other members.
As if hunger, violence, sexual abuse and sickness were not enough
suffering for so many of the world's children, we now must add thousands
more who this very day experience in Iraq the consequences of a
ruthless war. It is hard to reconcile your asleep when your
thoughts are with the children of Baghdad, threatened by missile
explosion after missile explosion, day and night.without any fault
of their own. I would very much appreciate your sharing with
us your thoughts regarding whether IFCW should play some
kind of role during the post-war period for the benefit of the children
involved in this tragedy.
As offered last month, we now have a Spanish translation of the
"10 Reasons" booklet available for distribution. Should you
need some or should you wish us to mail some copies to friends and
prospective members, just let me know.
Latin America is one of the regions where we count the least number
of IFCW members. When WorldForum 1995 was held
in Costa Rica we expected to see an increase in the number of members
from the region, but this expectation never materialized.
Is it the language barrier? Is it a question of financial
constraints? It is lack of information? I do not think
that we have an answer. However, we now do have printed materials
in Spanish and a president that speaks Spanish. With the approval
of the Executive Committee I will be travel to Argentina, Uruguay
and Peru for meetings with the Interamerican Children's Institute
in Montevideo, the Children's Rights NGO Coordinating Organization
of Argentina, as well as with CEOs of NGOs that work with and for
children in those countries. I go in this trip with the best
of intentions, but with no illusions about immediate results as
far as gains in membership is concerned. I will report on
the results of this trip next month.
I wish to remind you of the upcoming Second Congress on Violence,
sponsored by the International Network on Family Violence, which
will take place in Prague, June 19 - 24. IFCW is a Cooperating
Organization of this event.
And, of course, you cannot miss our first WorldForum in
Africa next October. The venue for WF 2003 is Cape
Town, South Africa. Our website will soon carry all the necessary
information for arranging your participation and making the pertinent
I took advantage of our Executive Committee Meeting in New York
to meet with Ms. Nina Massen, Coordinator of the NGO Committee on
Unicef. At present I am evaluating the feasibility of IFCW
becoming an active member of this Committee. If the Executive
Committee agrees, we would probably present a recommendation to
this effect to the next General Assembly.
While we are not members at present, the Committee has invited
all our members to participate on a survey regarding relations with
Unicef. I am enclosing an explanatory letter as well as the
survey template in case you are interested in taking advantage of
this opportunity to record your views regarding this UN agency.
Rolando Quirós F.
P.O. Box 393-2010, San José, Costa Rica
Telephone (506) 228 6601 - Fax: (506) 228 0945
- e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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