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November 7th, 2003

Dear colleagues:


Upon my return form Cape Town, venue of our 2003 WorldForum, I wish to start this letter with my warmest thanks to the organizers of this event.  The uncertainties of war and SARS created many apprehensions about international travel in the early part of the year.  That WorldForum 2003 was a success and kept to its schedule, is the merit, in the first place, of the host organization, the Cape Town Child Welfare Society and, in the second place, of IFCW's membership that voted - by its participation in this event - for a continued and permanent activity of our association.


WorldForum 2003 was also fruitful in the harvest of new members.  I am happy to report that 12 membership applications were received during the event, mostly from African countries wishing to be an active part of IFCW and 3 more are expected to be formalized in the near future.  Their participation in WF 2003 was possible in part because of the benefits of a Kirkley Scholarship Fund grant.  The Executive Committee will process these applications expeditiously so that this very month we can count these childcare organizations as new members.

This again, shows the importance of the Kirkley Scholarship Fund as a solidarity tool, by channelling  to small NGOs that are in need of assistance, resources from those able to provide some financial support.

I would suggest to those that might be able to provide this type of support for WF2004 inform me as soon as possible of their intention so that we can provide as many grants as it is possible.


For the benefit of those members that were not able to share with us WorldForum 2003 in Cape Town, I wish to inform that the city of Mar del Plata, Argentina has been designated as venue for WorldForum 2004, thanks to the offer of the Argentine Commission for the Follow Up of the Convention of the Rights of the Child.   This NGO, now our member, gathers 20 organizations that work for the improvement of children's rights in that country.

The date of WF 2004 will be announced shortly so that all of you can mark it in next year's agenda.


The organizers of WF 2004 have asked me to transmit to all members their desire to receive suggestions about possible themes that should be discussed in that event.  If you feel that there is a special aspect of child welfare and rights that should be brought forth in our next WorldForum, please do send us a note at your earliest convenience so that the Program Committee can consider it from the very start of the organization of the meeting.


The 2003 General Assembly agenda included the election of officers and members-at-large of the Executive Committee.

I am happy to announce the results of this election:

-         Mauri Upanne - Central Union for Child Welfare, Finland, was elected as vice-president for a three-year period.

-         Catriona Williams - Children in Wales, UK, was elected Secretary also for a three-year period.

-         Felicitas Rixhon - Consuelo Foundation, The Philippines, was re-elected as member-at large for a two-year period.

As President, I feel honoured to continue to have these distinguished members sharing with me the responsibilities of the direction of IFCW.

I am also happy to inform that I have appointed  Owen Keenan - Barnardos, Ireland; and Patti Lyons, Consuelo Foundation, USA as Special Advisors to the President for the year 2004.

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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