PRESIDENT'S REPORT

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INTERNATIONAL FORUM FOR CHILD WELFARE

 

PRESIDENT’S UPDATE
May, 2007

Dear Friends,

Since I last communicated with you, the Executive Committee of IFCW has met together for its semi-annual face to face meeting in New Delhi, India. For those of you who are new to IFCW, it is tradition for the Executive Committee to meet in the country which will be hosting this year’s upcoming WorldForum. Our meetings typically last for two and half days covering various points of business for the organization. As well, this mid year face to face meeting provides a first hand opportunity to observe the venue for the upcoming WorldForum and review all planning details with the hosting organization. The meeting, which was held on March 6 and 7 in New Delhi and attended by all but one member of the executive committee, was extremely successful on both fronts.


The IFCW Fund

With the untimely death of our Past President, Rolando Quiros, we started our meeting by honouring him and his extraordinary contribution to our cause. It has been suggested by a number of our members that we set up a memorial fund in Rolando’s honour to which individuals and organizations might contribute to remember him. This original concept was further developed in a proposal by Alan Davis, long standing IFCW supporter and leader. Following discussion, the Executive Committee concluded that an IFCW Fund be established to honour our leaders and accept donations that can be used to enhance IFCW and member capacity. I am pleased to advise you that the Mannerheim League of Finland has provided a generous donation to mark the beginning of this new fund and Rolando’s exceptional leadership over the years.


Membership Fees

Membership invoices have been mailed to you for the current year by our treasurer, Sharon Osborne from her office at 3300 NE 65th Street, Seattle, Washington 98115, USA. To ensure receipt, these have been forwarded by both email and regular mail. Please respond by providing your payment for this year at your earliest convenience. As previously stated, the membership dues are very reasonable given the benefits of belonging to IFCW for you and your organization. Overhead for IFCW is extremely low as a result of the extraordinary volunteer effort of the executive and other key members of the IFCW. Membership in IFCW provides you with a critical link to like minded leaders and advocates for children and youth worldwide. It also gives you a reduced rate for the upcoming WorldForum2007. Your dues help to ensure we are properly connected and present at the United Nations, both in New York and Geneva, and helps us to maintain and develop ongoing communication with members worldwide through our website and related avenues.

Plans for IFCW’s new membership exchange program are developing under the leadership of our Vice President, Eeva Kuuskoski with the assistance of other IFCW members. More detail on this front will be forthcoming at our General Assembly meeting in August of this year. Our links and representation with the United Nations have been strengthened this year with the additional participation of the following individuals: for New York, Elba Montalvo and Sharon Osborne; for Geneva, Catriona Williams and Maarit Kuikka. By relying on members of IFCW who are within close proximity of the two headquarters, we are able to keep costs down and maximize representation. At its March meeting the Executive Committee reviewed the Bylaws and rules of procedure pertaining to the NGO Committee on UNICEF and also committed to renewing IFCW’s membership and our participation with this vital organization.


Website Management

Over the past several months, IFCW has been transferring the responsibility for web site development and oversight to its local member, Deepalaya, in India. The decision to centre this responsibility in India followed a review of options and consideration of strategic planning and related issues the previous year. The transfer took a while to effect and has finally been completed. At our Executive Committee meeting in Delhi, considerable time was devoted to a review of current and future content, direction and technological options. To remain relevant and connected to its membership worldwide, the internet and our web presence was identified as a major priority by our membership. Please visit our site at www.ifcw.org for a look at the current content.


Preparation for WorldForum2007

The rest of our meeting was devoted to plans for the upcoming WorldForum which is scheduled to take place in New Delhi, August 21 to 24, 2007. T.K. Mathew and his staff are to be commended for taking leadership in spear heading this year’s event. A committee of local NGOs in India and an international advisory committee have been working closely with T.K., Deepalaya and its staff to ensure this year’s meeting will be a success. Applications have been made to various funding and government bodies to support the participation of members from developing countries. For current information on this year’s program, accommodation, funding opportunities as well as related travel and tourism options, please go to the website at www.worldforum2007.org. If you have not already done so, please register at the WorldForum website and save the date.

Preliminary discussions with regard to WorldForum2008 have been undertaken at the Executive Committee. Plans are underway with Deputy Chair Catriona Williams and Children In Wales with a view to that organization and country hosting at that time.


We want to hear from you

The IFCW exists to address the needs of it membership who have devoted their mission to serving the needs of children and youth worldwide. We strive to support you in that endeavour and welcome any suggestions that you might have to improve in that regard. If you have any suggestions, questions or comments or are interested in becoming more involved in the work of IFCW, please feel free to get to me at brivers@cltoronto.ca

I look forward to seeing you in New Delhi in August…..

Respectfully submitted,


Bruce Rivers
President

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