PRESIDENT'S REPORT

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INTERNATIONAL FORUM FOR CHILD WELFARE


San José, Costa Rica, February 7, 2005

Dear Members and Colleagues:

Solidarity.

Several months ago I received the book "Global Marshall Plan" with a novel proposal to solve the world's most pressing and unjust problems: poverty and exclusion (a theme very much related, by the way, with our forthcoming WorldForum 2005). A fellow IFCW member from Germany, Mr. Peter Hesse, sent this book to me.

After reading the book I wrote to Mr. Hesse not only expressing my thanks for his troubles in sending it to me and with a suggestion about the possibility of making it available to all IFCW members.

Mr. Hesse's reply was positive and due to his, and his organization's very real way of practicing solidarity, you have now in your hands a copy of this book, which I am sure you will enjoy. The cost of the books and their shipment to Costa Rica was at no cost to IFCW , we are only paying the cost of postage to reach every member.

More Solidarity

Let me, then, continue talking about solidarity, but this time related with participation in WorldForum 2005. A year ago I appealed to all members for their support, through the Kirkley Fund, to assist members and non-members of NGOs from developing nations so that they could participate in WF 2004. The answer was very limited and many individuals from Africa, Asia and Latin America were not able to participate due to lack of funding. Not everybody requires the full payment of travel and lodging expenses. Some times the participants are able to finance their travel, but have no way of paying for hotel expenses, for example.

What I would like to propose this year is that you let me know if you are in a position to provide some assistance, no matter how small or limited, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, so that when requests for support are received they can be matched with the offers received from you. The support can be either in cash deposited in IFCW's account or "in kind" in the sense that you would commit yourselves to cover the cost of a plane ticket, a registration fee, or a hotel room for the duration of the event.

Frankly, sometimes I fee that these appeals are like "plowing in the sea" as the answers, at best, can be counted with the fingers of one hand. Nevertheless, I feel it is my duty to advocate for those that have the will and the experience to enlighten a WorldForum, but not the necessary funds to pay for its cost.

Stepping Down .

A few days ago I received from Past President Owen Keenan a memo headed with the same words above indicated. Owen has decided to leave the position of Chief Executive of Barnardos Ireland next June. It is a good opportunity to recognize more than 30 years of Owen's dedication to the fulfillment of IFCW's most important principles: improving the welfare of children and for me it is an honor to recognize Owen's imprint not only in Barnardos but also in IFCW's recent history.

The good news is that Owen's stepping down from Barnardos' management does not mean that he is leaving IFCW or his interest in the field of children and welfare in general. He has been invited to join Barnardos' Board and will work independently in projects. We wish him all the success in his new undertakings.

WorldForum 2005 - Tallinn, Estonia .

"Children in Poverty" is the overall theme of the upcoming WorldForum. It will be approached from three different perspectives: a) The perspective of children (how does poverty reflects on children's lives); b) The perspective of parents (how to reconcile work and family life, the impact of unemployment, social exclusion); and, c) A socio-political perspective (what are the roles of the government, the communities, the NGOs? Access to education and health, children as citizens.)

Within these general themes there will be possibilities to focus on specific problems and situations where your particular experiences will be of great interest to participants.

For further preliminary information and registration please visit the homepage: www.lastekaitseliit.ee/lkl.php/16/92

You will be kept informed of further developments within the next few weeks. For the time being, please do keep in mind the dates of WF 2005: September 19/23 . The venue: Tallinn, Estonia.

Sincerely,

Rolando Quiros

PRESIDENT

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