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San José, Costa Rica, August 4th, 2003

Dear Colleagues:

WorldForum 2003

I hope that by now you have already made arrangements to be in Cape Town, South Africa for WorldForum 2003.  Time is running short, so - if you have not yet made your reservations - please do so at your earliest convenience to save time and money.  For further information please visit

Strategic Planning.

Among the many aspects discussed during the Strategic planning Sessions there are two that require further inputs:  a) financing, and b) membership retention.  I am asking several fellow members to help us by participating in two "task forces" that will address these questions immediately.  I am sure that their experience and willingness to help will result in concrete proposals for IFCW to consider.  Next month I will announce the composition of these groups.  If you also wish to make a contribution to this effort, by all means do tell me so that I can direct you to respective the task force coordinator.


Also as a result of the Strategic Planning exercise we have prepared multi-colored membership certificates suitable for framing and displaying in your office or reception.  Those members that have paid their 2003 dues will receive their certificate with this letter.  Those that have not yet paid their fees will have to wait until they do so to receive the certificate.  Additional copies of the certificate may be obtained at a cost of US$15.00 each.

Work and Commitment.

There is no doubt in my mind that we all strive to do the very best for the children, youth and families to whom we are committed.  But there are special cases where someone has gone that "extra mile" for the benefit of children even on the face of legal and political pressures.  One such case has been called to my attention and I wish to share it with you:

"In January Luis (Luis Villas-Boas, director of Refugio Aboim Ascensao and IFCW founding member) was asked to chair a national commission to revise the adoption laws in Portugal.  The commission was made up of representatives of five ministries and other leading citizens.  The commission completed its work on schedule and presented its proposals on April 1st.  The parliament debated the proposed changes and voted them.  In June, at the end of the session of parliament, the only legislation that was passed unanimously in the session was the report of the commission on the adoption law.

All this was triggered by an incident in Faro almost two years ago when a young British woman abandoned her baby son in a field near the airport before flying back to England.   The baby was taken to the Refugio.  Luis protested the child's privacy and cared for the child until the courts determined the citizenship of the child.  It was declared that the child was Portuguese.  Luis received calls from BBC, the Foreign Office and the Prime Minister, Tony Blair.  But he held firm that the child was Portuguese.  Las week, the court approved the initial step in the adoption of the child by a Portuguese family.

It was a very stressful time for Luis.  But he was an outstanding example as a defender of child rights to the extent that his country picked him to oversee a revision in legal protection of children available for adoption."

It is in cases such as this that one feels proud to belong to IFCW and have such colleagues!

General Assembly.

The next General Assembly of IFCW will take place in Cape Town, concurrent with WorldForum 2003.  The documentation required by members, as well as the convocation, is being prepared and will be sent to all of you in due time.


Again, my thanks to all those that have expressed to me their opinion about our communications and an invitation to continue to share ideas, projects, news, etc.


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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