ALTERNATIVE CARE CONFERENCECambodia, and recognition of the work of 3PC partners there, was very much in the spotlight at the recent International Conference on Alternative Care held in Geneva, Switzerland, at the beginning of the month.
In attendance were Government of Cambodia representatives along with representatives from Save the Children’s ‘Families Are Stronger Together (FAST)’ initiative, UNICEF and the USAID funded ‘Family Care First Cambodia (FCFC)’ project among others. 3PC implementing members are heavily involved with the outcomes of these programs, as of course among the key objectives of 3PC are strengthening family based care and reintegrating children and youth who are out of parental care with their families.
The following review of some of the conference activities comes from Katherine Neidorf (Children in Adversity (Family Care First) and Education Advisor USAID/Cambodia). We are very pleased indeed that the significant work being undertaken in Cambodia by 3PC on implementing alternative care options and helping families to stay together is receiving recognition on the international stage, as of course this also runs in tandem with the global awareness raising and behaviour change campaigns our ChildSafe Movement are currently spearheading.
Over to Katherine –
“With over 400 participants from 76 countries, the momentum is strong for alternative care reform on a global scale and ensuring children are thriving in healthy family settings.
Presenters are here to share lessons learned in Rwanda, Uganda, Moldova, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Uruguay, and Cambodia to name only a few. It’s encouraging to see the key themes of emerging practice align with the work we are doing in Cambodia. Further, FCFC will be able to build off of partners’ learning and experience working children with disabilities and engaging with the health sector to strengthen our own approach.
The work happening in Cambodia has been strongly represented with the presentation on the Government Action Plan on Alternative Care by MoSVY’s Ros Sokha; the poster presentation manned by USAID, UNICEF, Save the Children, and Global Alliance for Children (GAC); Rebecca Nhep’s presentation “Establishing a Foster Care System in Cambodia” highlighting the work of Children in Families (CIF) and their partners and the emerging alternative care panel; and finally later today, GAC’s networking champion, Kathleen Strottman, will be moderating the “Leaving Care” session.
There have been a number of rich side meetings and smaller conversations between partners and colleagues, typically separated by oceans and timezones, as well as with old and potentially new partners. Jamie Gow presented on the Columbia research at the data side meeting and John Williamson facilitated a side meeting regarding children with disabilities.
A big thank you to the team who took time out of their busy work schedules and spent many hours designing the poster with 17 Triggers: GAC, Save the Children, UNICEF, M’lup Russey, Cambodian Children’s Trust, and Friends International (shout out to Robert Common for spending his weekend perfecting the visuals with 17 Triggers).
Additional special ‘thank yous’ to:
Save the Children, for submitting the abstract, organizing the partners in preparation for the poster presentation, and creating the terrific film highlighting FCFC’s direct service providers doing the work on the ground.
Global Alliance for Children (GAC) for funding the beautiful scarves and poster design and making the powerful visuals a reality.
Royal Government of Cambodia for their engagement, specifically Ros Sokha, the Director of the Child Welfare Department, for the acknowledgment of USAID, FCFC, and 3PC during the fantastic presentation on the Royal Government of Cambodia’s Action Plan on Alternative Care.
UNICEF for the facilitation that ensured the RGC could be present.
GHR for the demonstration of their continued support by being present and their support for FCFC activities.
Friends International for creating the scarves and offering office support in Geneva.
17 Triggers for designing the poster on such short notice.”
Further information on the conference can be found at the following link –http://www.alternativecaregeneva2016.com/index.php/en/