Monday morning in the office and last week’s great event, AIEJI’s 18th World Congress in Luxembourg, is still part of my body, still in my heart.
From the opening ceremony with the dance act of the young people and the singing children, to the fantastic theatre play of the closing ceremony. From the young volunteers in the cantina handing over hundreds of coffees every day, to the core of the organizing team of APEG who for many months have worked hard to make this happen. You all did such an amazing job and there are not enough words in the world to thank you for what you did.
Everybody I spoke to – our colleagues from Uruguay, the Italian delegation, people from the Nordic countries, the Brazilians, the young people from Switzerland and many more – was so happy to be part of this great event. There were many interesting workshops (once you found the one you had chosen J) and educational field visits, experiences that make people reflect and which they can bring home to their colleagues and managers.
Once again, AIEJI’s 18th World Congress showed why AIEJI is here and why it is so important to have these opportunities to meet colleagues from other countries. It gives you a broader perspective to know that you are part of a profession which also exists in other countries and it widens your horizon to learn that things can be done differently from how you do it at home. And hopefully some of you will experience how a personal friendship with a colleague from another country will inspire you to try new methods in your daily work.
Our colleagues in Luxembourg set out to make this happen and to give us all an experience for life – and they succeeded very well. It is a great accomplishment to form an idea in your head and make it come alive. Thank you for this.
The next time AIEJI is lucky it will be in Brasil. AIEJI has a strong platform in Latin America and a congress in Brasil will be a great opportunity to reach more people and strengthen the relations with national and regional organisations while also telling local authorities and others, who may not be familiar with the social educational profession, what we are all about. Go Brasil!
We are now less than a month away and many of you are making preparations to attend the congress in Luxembourg.
It will be exciting!
From Denmark we will participate around 70 people, and I know from Italy they will participate a group of 10 people.
Are you attending too? Alone or as a group? Will you be presenting a workshop?
Please reply to this post and let us all know about your participation.
See you in Luxembourg.
Last year, the board of AIEJI decided to contribute financially to the translation of the book Practical Social Pedagogy, written by Norwegian author Jan Storø.
In short, the book aims to show its readers how the theories of social pedagogy are present in practice although many tend to think that the theories are often too abstract and detached from practice.
The book explains how theory and practice are inter-connected and continue to influence one another.
This is how the publisher describes the book:
Social pedagogical work is a field of practice that is indebted to and illuminated by aspects of knowledge from sociology and psychology, but many practitioners feel that social pedagogical theories are too abstract and distant from the challenges faced in practice. In Practical Social Pedagogy Jan Storo shows the reader for the first time how the theories and practices of social pedagogy interlock. The book combines social pedagogy theories, psychology, sociology and social work with a social constructionist perspective to help practitioners guide children and young people to cope better with the challenges they face as they grow up. The author emphasises that the actualities of practice are first disclosed in the meeting between the professional practitioner and the client. The book uses many practical examples to help the application of social pedagogy more accessible and is ideal for students on courses covering work with children.
You can read more and buy the book here.
Dear friends from Latin America
AIEJI’s regional office in Latin America is based in Campinas in the state of São Paulo, Brasil and managed by board member Ney Moraes.
As we would like to find out how many social educators we are in touch with in Latin America it would be great if each of you could write an email to Ney: firstname.lastname@example.org .
You just have to write your name and the town, state and country you live in.
We would like to hear from both member and non-members.
This would be very helpful in getting the regional office in Latin America further established.
The Union of Social Workers and Social Pedagogues of Russia and the Government of the Ulyanovsk region with great satisfaction inform social workers about the fact that the 19-20 June 2013 in Ulyanovsk will be held the 2nd international forum of social workers: “Social Cohesion. Open Society. Equal opportunities”.
The main objective of the forum is to improve social services and the quality of life for people in the vulnerable positions.
Read the invitation to participate here.
I am very pleased to announce that AIEJI has made a new publication: The UN Convention on the rights of the Child and Social Education – children placed outside the home.
In September 2012 AIEJI held a seminar in Italy where the paper was discussed. This was a very fruitful seminar that the status of placed children in national legislations and the role of social educators in terms ensuring the rights of children placed outside the home.
The result is now ready, we hope you will find it useful. Please feel free to make a comment of what you think.
To download the paper, go to our page of publications here.
Our colleague from Argentina, María Cecilia Cunha Ferré, has her own blog about social pedagogy in Argentina. It is in Spanish and for many of you who understand Spanish it will be interesting to read: http://pedagogiasocialargentina.blogspot.com.ar .
María Cecilia is also looking for persons who are interested in volunteer work in social pedagogy in Argentina. So if you are interested please send her an email: email@example.com .
FAIR START ONLINE EDUCATOR EDUCATION ALSO IN RUSSIAN, BULGARIAN,POLISH AND LATVIAN.
The free online education in quality care for children without parents in orphanages and foster families – www.fairstart.net/training – has now led to a second EU project, where the education is tested and applied also in Russia, Poland, Bulgaria, Latvia and Denmark.
The success of the first project, www.fairstart.net 2008-10 started www.transfair-eu.com 2012-14, where the partner countries mentioned are testing and educating their staffs in the program’s quality care practices. The non-profit education program for staff groups and leaders in new langiugages will be available online in these languages also during 2013.
The partner organizations of the second project in those countries can be found at http://transfair-eu.com/partnership/index.html .
The program includes two new versions, where one is for institutional workplaces (orphanages, residential care, kindergartens, etc.) and the other is for foster family managers and their foster families.
Furthermore, the program is spreading in 3rd world countries (please see www.fairstartglobal.com. In India, the Fair Start program will now be applied in establishing a foster family care system in a Hindi version in Rajastan, a very poor region, by the government. In Indonesia the program in Bahasa is now standard education for all orphanages.
One outcome of this work is that the global network of child care researchers are contributing to a special issue of Infant Mental Health Journal. This issue is dedicated to the challenge of how child care research can influence political decisions about child care systems and education of educators/ intervention programs. High quality contributions from 20 countries promise an exciting issue.
I am happy to announce that our colleagues from the Russian Union of Social Pedagogues have translated our document about professional competences into Russian. It may be a small but nevertheless important step towards defining a framework of our profession and getting it recognised more widely internationally.
As more and more local organisations and unions in different countries around the world have a local version of the document and use it in their everyday work to discuss and define social education we will collectively, step by step, obtain a heightened professional awareness.
So every time our document is translated to a new language is a time to celebrate. Congratulations to our Russian colleagues for their efforts and great work!
Find the Russian translation and the rest of our publications here.