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INTERNATIONAL FORUM FOR CHILD WELFARE
San José, Costa Rica, August 4th, 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 www.ifcw.org
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!
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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