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San José, Costa Rica, April 4, 2003

Dear Colleagues:

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 reservations.


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.

Sincerely yours,

Rolando Quirós F.


P.O. Box 393-2010, San José, Costa Rica

Telephone (506) 228 6601 - Fax: (506) 228 0945 - e-mail:


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