Review of the Federal Council meeting, Conference and Professional Exchange visit in Kenya

In the period from 26 March to 2 April FICE International carried out Federal Council meeting, Conference, Professional Exchange visit and Study Visits in Kenya. The events were organized by FICE Kenya in cooperation with FICE International and FICE Austria.

On 26 and 27 March professionals from FICE National Sections in Austria, the Netherlands, Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria and Australia, as well as a representative of the partner organization RELAF from Argentina, took part in a professional exchange with local organizations. They had a chance to observe the daily activities and work of these organizations. Each of the participating professionals spent the evening and night with the family of their Kenyan counterparts, which allowed them to immerse fully in the atmosphere of this lovely country, to gain understanding about the life of the Kenyan family and community. They were warmly welcomed and shared moments of friendliness, mutual understanding and acceptance, cultural exchange.

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During the professional exchange, Jennifer Brooker(FICE Australia) held three trainings with Mentors and Adolescent Girls and Young Women from Make me Smile Kenya.

  • Mentorship training helped mentors develop each mentor’s knowledge and skills to become a more effective and confident when engaging with their mentees.
  • Employability skills- All young people need a set of skills and attributes that will prepare them for both employment and further learning. The Employability Skills Framework includes what employers think makes a good employee. The personal attributes and key skills are were discussed at length.

Another training was carried out by Gitta Griffioen and Haane Peerenboom(FICE Netherlands) on the topic of sexual abuse, covering the following topics:

  1. The situation of sexual abuse in the Dutch youth care over 60 years
  2. Research Samson, what makes it happen and how to prevent it
  3. “Talk to me about sexuality”, attention to the normal sexual development of children
  4. Prevention program “Flag system”
  5. How to use the “Flag system” in Kenya, discussion

Jennifer Brooker(FICE Australia), Jennifer Davidson(CELCIS;IICF) and FICE-Kenya staff held two meetings with The Deputy Vice Chancellor Maseno University, various Deans of schools of Maseno University and Make Me Smile Kenya. The Agenda was Introduction of Child and Youth Care Work as a discipline in the University.

28 March was the day of the Federal Council meeting of FICE International. Delegates from Austria, the Netherlands, Serbia, Bulgaria, Australia, South Africa, Zambia, Scotland, as well as the representative of RELAF. Representatives of membership applicants from Croatia and Bangladesh were also present at the meeting. The Federal Council accepted four new associate members: FICE Croatia, FICE Denmark, FICE Bangladesh and SOS Children’s villages International. The meeting began with a short memorial of Carol Kelly, who passed away a short time before the events in Kenya. All of the delegates who knew her shared memories and experiences that they had with her throughout the years.

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A conference on the topic “Child and youth care in a developing world – global perspectives” took place on 29 March. Distinguished experts from Adrica, Europe, Latin America, Asia and Australia shared  different points of view on the topic, related to the specific problems in their region. Each of the panels was followed by a heated professional discussions.

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During the conference, a special memorial of Carol Kelly, organized by FICE Kenya, took place. Pupils from Maseno Girls Primary School, adorned in white T-Shirts each bearing a photo of the late Carol Kelly and a national emblem of all of the FICE national sections, sang songs praising the role of a mother that the late Carol represented. Watch a video of the song

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After the conference, the participants enjoyed together traditional food, music and dances during the “Cultural night”. It contributed to their full immersion in the atmosphere and traditions of Kenya.  After the long and tiring day everyone was eager to take part in this celebration of African culture. The program continued with a  short theatre, prepared by a group of talented young people. Using acting and comedy, the youth presented a very serious problem, that professionals in Kenya are facing, namely early pregnancies.

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In the next day, the program continued with visits to local institutions and organizations, providing social services for children and young people at risk.

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Afterwards the participants had the chance to visit one of the most famous landmarks of Kisumu – “Kit Mikayi” and to watch the sunset over the Lake Victoria.

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The next days presented a real adventure for the participants – a safari in the National Game Resort “Masai Mara”. The delegates had a chance to enjoy the beautiful nature and to observe various animals in their natural environment. The meeting with the Masai tribe also contributed to the full immersion of the participants in the traditions of Kenya. They were warmly welcomed and learned interesting stories about the tribe’s way of living, which has been preserved throughout the years and   still follows the traditions of their ancestors.

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Undoubtedly, this was an extraordinary experience both on the professional and cultural point of view.


Reports of the participants:

Barbara Kolm from Austria(in German)

Sonja Radler from Austria(in German)

Report by the South African Delegation(in English)

Ljiljana Ban from Croatia (in Croatian)

Emmanuel Grupper from Israel(in Hebrew)

Jennifer Brooker from Australia(in English)

Katerina Simeonova from Bulgaria(in Bulgarian)

Gitta Griffioen and Haane Peerenboom from the  Netherlands(in Dutch)

Gaby Loupatty and Marijt Hallink from the Netherlands(in English)

Zeljka Burgund from Serbia(in Serbian)


Powerpoints from the conference:

1st panel: General Global Perspective on Child and Youth Care:

 Matilde Luna, Director of RELAF

Jennifer Davidson, Executive Director, Institute for Inspiring Children’s Futures & CELCIS

Jennifer Brooker, President of FICE Australia

Tuhinul Islam, PhD, Northern University Bangladesh,Society for Social Service ( SSS) and Moanoghar, Bangladesh

2nd Panel: African Perspective on Child and Youth Care

Donald Nghonyama, Deputy Director of the National Association of Child Care Workers in South Africa

Hloniphile Ndhlovu, National Association of Child and Youth Care Workers

Rev. Robert Sihubwa, Chairperson of Zambia Assosciation of Childcare Workers

Guest Presentations:

David Astiz, President of FICE Spain

Dr.sc. Lucija Vejmelka, Assistant professor, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Law, Department of Social Work


Collection of photos

masai men dance

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