Last month, children and adults spent a beautiful day at the Intergenerational Forum for Citizen Participation, a space for reflection between authorities, child leaders, teachers, parents, and civil society actors. Filled with energy everyone could work together interactively to identify the current conditions of the status of child participation in Bolivia. 

During the Forum, the Study on ‘Social Factors that Determine the Participation of Children’, carried out by the Institute for Research in Behavioural Sciences (IICC) of the Bolivian Catholic University San Pablo (UCB), was presented. This research provides recommendations on how to strengthen the children’s right to participation in various sectors, the State, academic units, families, and civil society and collects relevant information on the status of child participation in the country.

Also, PICA, a news tv show made by and for children, made an audiovisual manifesto collecting the testimonies and experiences of the participants. The Audiovisual Manifesto for a Paradigm Shift in Citizen Participation is the result of the work of all the parties. It aims to call for action and contribute ideas and commitments in favour of a paradigm shift in citizen participation. It also seeks to generate intergenerational spaces for work and dialogue. 

It is essential to thank the Act2gether Latin America’s team for the efforts put into carrying out this event, Educo Bolivia, and the Institute for Research in Behavioural Sciences (IICC) of the Bolivian Catholic University San Pablo (UCB) for the support provided by in this process.

Let me present myself, my name is Carolina Ledezma, and I am the Communications Director at the Learning for Well-being Foundation, and I am based in Bolivia. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to participate at 2getherLAND Germany last month. It meant not only a change of mindset but joy by seeing that working with intergenerational partnerships  is a promising path. 

I could feel the bubbly energy and expectation from the moment I came; I witnessed the delegations arriving and the smiles and excitement on the faces of the children and young people. I have experienced camps before, but not one involved the participation of people from different generations. I felt welcome and got excited seeing how everyone approached to meet me, from little children, adults in charge of the delegations, and, of course, the young people from the Young Expert Team. During the week, I met many people and could see how each of them enjoyed the camp in their own way; the diversity of available activities made it possible for each one to express themselves without feeling judged. One of the main aims of ACT2gether Germany is fighting social inequality, and I could see that reflected on the event they organised.

I also had the opportunity to facilitate a workshop. One of my passions is art and calligraphy, so I decided to use those techniques to organise the activities I wanted to do. I proposed to play with letters created with different materials, first to understand the power of communicating with words and how the words are constructed. Afterwards, the participants could create a piece expressing a word or short phrase they found essential for them that came from their hearts. Most of the participants that joined my workshop were young children, which pushed me to find the best way to connect with them and create a moment to enjoy, learn and express themselves. We ended with our hands full of paint and ink, a heart full of joy, and shared many laughs and exciting ideas.

A curious fact was that I was the only person from Latin America and the one who had travelled the longest to be there. But even though my journey to arrive meant flying many kilometres from home, the event was so full of people from different cultures and backgrounds that it enriched the entire experience greatly. Of course, some might not have flight as long as I, but still, the varied stories they had and shared were something to be treasured.

After this experience, I can not wait to participate in future 2getherLANDs, maybe from other sites, like the one in The Netherlands scheduled for 2023. I am sure many things would be different considering the uniqueness of the projects being developed in each country. Still, I am convinced that the feeling would be as warm and fulfilling as I experienced in Germany.

I am grateful to the German ACT2gether team and the Young Expert Team and also express my admiration to them; it was a beautiful event that, I am sure, nurtured the lives of many.

2getherLAND, one of the main components of the ACT2gether initiative, stewarded by the Learning for Well-being Foundation, designed to create an experiential opportunity that acts as a catalyst for children’s participation in any region by gathering a community of allies, inspiring and equipping them with the motivation and knowledge, and incubating local projects to be carried out through intergenerational partnership. One of the main differentiators of this event is that it employs a holistic approach, which encourages participants to use their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects.

During the first week of May, ACT2gether Germany implemented the 2getherLAND experience in a week-long camp at Werbellinsee, a beautiful natural space surrounded by forests and a lake near Berlin.

Delegations from all over Germany gathered and enjoyed the scheduled activities. The activities included workshops, spaces for reflection, moments to play and enjoy the surroundings, and the opportunity to join a community where everyone felt comfortable being themselves and meeting new people from different backgrounds. The Young Expert Team played an important role in encouraging this spirit; it was a group of energetic young people committed to making everyone feel welcome, guiding and accompanying the participants during the day, making creative dynamics, facilitating workshops, and working hand to hand with the team. 

The activities were rigorously planned from early morning to starting the day with a COVID test, followed by breakfast and the workshops. Besides the numerous and varied activities and learning spaces, children, young people, and adults met at meal times to share laughs and get to know each other more. The organising team also planned a time to encourage attendees of different ages to gather in working groups to think about potential projects for their communities.

It was a successful event that applied all of the principles of ACT2gether and the Learning for Well-being Foundation. It proved that working with heart, mind, and hands and engaging with people of different ages works and is a path to creating a more inclusive and sustainable society.

ACT2gether Palestine keeps building networks to work on children’s well-being

During the first days of June, ACT2gether Palestine signed a memorandum of understanding with The Palestinian Child institute / An-Najah National University, which cares for children with special needs and development difficulties. The primary role of ACT2gether Palestine will be to work with the staff and parents of this institute on developing skills to promote well-being and conduct recreational activities for children to integrate them with other children volunteers in the community.

Creating networks to promote children and youth inclusion helps build a more inclusive and sustainable world.

One step closer to 2getherLAND Netherlands

ACT2gether Netherlands has been working hard to make 2getherLAND Netherlands a reality, and it is a pleasure to announce that 2023 will be the year! On the 15th of April, children and adults will gather at an event to work and reflect on different topics. The ACT2getherether Netherlands Coordinators, Carolien van Eeghen and Fenne Bagust, with the support of the new Youth Team, are developing a plan and schedule for the event.

An Endorsing Committee has also been established, and consists of the several organisations like Defense for Children, UptoUs, Kinderrechtencollectief, Roland Pelle van Flex Mates, KinderrechtenNU, and Zeer Makkelijk en St. Janusz Korczak. They will advise the Core Team and support each step in the event’s planning. 

To expand the team and include new talented people in the group, ACT2gether Netherlands is currently looking for a new Project Manager.

Please find more information about this job opening here

Between 29th May and 1st June, I had the great opportunity to attend the Philea Forum with the Learning for Well-being Foundation, alongside 18 incredible and diverse young changemakers.

The Youth Pre-Meeting, co-facilitated by Learning for Well-being’s Director Child Participation & Safeguarding, Darren Bird, and Emily Sullivan from Fondation Botnar, became a safe space to brainstorm the philanthropy of today and our vision for its future. My three takeaways from the discussion: philanthropy is sometimes seen as rigid, exclusive, and disconnected from the causes and communities it seeks to support; philanthropic foundations must prioritise inclusion and diversity if they want to become more impactful, innovative, and attractive to young people; young people’s expertise on youth participation matters must be recognised and appreciated. 

I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet the other young people at the Philea Forum. I was inspired by their commitment and passion for their respective causes, diverse backgrounds, and unique insights into working as a young person with foundations. 

During the “Children and Youth Participation in Philanthropy- Stories of Transformation” workshop, run by Luis Manuel Pinto from Learning for Wellbeing and Lucia Patuzzi from Philea, 12 stories of foundations working with children and young people were shared by the professionals and young people themselves. In addition, Yakarah Attias-Rosen, Managing Director of Learning for Wellbeing, and I shared the reasoning behind, process, and experience of having an intergenerational Board. The attendees showed great interest in Learning for Well-being’s unique approach and my experience as a Young Board Member. 

I hope the workshop has inspired other foundations to involve children and young people in their decision-making.  

Philanthropy Europe Association (Philea) gathers many foundations, philanthropic organisations, and networks in over 30 countries that work for the common good. Among the many actions Philea pulls forward, the Philea Forum is one of the most important; it allows members to meet with over 650 professionals and representatives from philanthropy, corporates, (I)NGOs, the EU, multilateral institutions, and the media.

The Philea Forum 2022 took place in Barcelona from the 30th of May to the 1st of June. This year, the event focused on three overlapping strands:

– One planet, one health

– United in diversity

– Culture and creativity

Also, as 2022 marks the European Year of Youth, it was essential to guarantee the voice of and focus on young people to be present in the conversations. For the first time, Philea decided to have young people take an active role in the implementation of the Forum. Through a supported process 20 young people actively led workshops and participated in the Forum’s plenaries.

The Learning for Well-being Foundation attended with the participation of our Chief and Founder, Daniel Kropf, four of our directors, and a youth member from the Board. Not only could they immerse themselves in deep conversations with other institutions, but they played an essential role by supporting the young people at the Forum and by presenting the study “Child and youth participation in philanthropy ‒ Stories of transformation,” published by the Children and Youth Thematic Network which the L4WB-F chairs.

This report, created as a contribution to  ACT2gether, shows organisational variety and proves no foundation is too big or too small to embark on the journey of child and youth participation. The 12 case studies are based on interviews with philanthropy professionals and the children and young people they work with. 

In this publication, the Learning for Well-being Foundation shares its experience integrating young members into the Board within 11 other stories about the work of other foundations that involve children in decision-making. These stories share the context and motivations for engaging children directly, the processes through which children were involved, some of the learnings and outcomes derived from the project, and also some of the obstacles that had to be overcome.

The presentation was followed by a storytelling workshop where several case studies from the publication shared their experience of working directly with children. . Our Director of Programs, Luis Manuel Pinto, presented the study and facilitated the workshop. He illustrated how inclusion enabled organisations to embody their principles and ensure their programs are more aligned with the needs of the children and young people they serve.

The Philea Forum 2022 presented an opportunity to think about where we go next, how we engage new generations of philanthropists, and how we can create a new, uniting paradigm for the world from our diverse perspectives.

With the presented study and the inspiring stories shared by executives from different foundations and brilliant young participants, we trust that giving young people a space to spread their voices and work in equal conditions with adults is a promising path.

Germany

Meeting of the A2G-youth experts to plan the 2GETHERLAND-Camp!

Only a few weeks are left until the German 2GETHERLAND camp kicks off from 1st to 6th of May 2022!

 

Preparations are in full swing. An in-person meeting with the Youth-Expert-Team (YET) was held from the 25th to the 27th of April in Gütersloh, aspiring to finalise the content of the camp workshops and the time-out program. The camp is getting shaped!

 

The workshops will cover the following topics: A: Needs of children & young people, B: Participation, C: Living together in our diverse world, D: The school of the future. After defining the workshops’ content, the YETs created guidelines and videotaped a little teaser to announce them. Besides, the YETs team has suggested integrating the Ukraine war as a transversal issue in many of the workshops since it is a matter that affects participants emotionally and sometimes personally. In some cases, due to their own migration experience and trauma; in others, because they have integrated Ukrainian refugees into school and daily life.

 

The team also worked on the Camp Families and figured out that almost every youngster in the YET is motivated and willing to lead a Camp Family together with an adult person; there will be a genuinely intergenerational experience with ACT2gether’s spirit. Last but not least, the team worked to further develop social media activities to raise awareness among other young people on social inequality and promote the 2GETHERLAND-camp.

 

There is still a lot of work to do. Regardless, thanks to the expertise of the international L4WB- F community, the YET support, and the great team spirit shared in Gütersloh, there is a lot of excitement in building a wonderful camp experience for the participants!

 

The Netherlands  

The process of forming  the new A2G Netherlands Youth Team continues 

Act2gether Netherlands is finally completing its Youth Team recruiting phase, expecting to find 8 motivated young people between the ages of 16 and 25 willing to join the group.

 

The first introductory call will take place in April to discuss the goals for ACT2gether Netherlands and start working on a plan for the activities. Afterward, the ACT2gether Youth training will begin with the support of ACT2gether Global Directors from different places worldwide.

 

Additionally, ACT2gether Netherlands is becoming more active on Instagram! So follow @act2getherNL for updates on their activities and meet the new A2G NL Youth Team members!

Children from Palestine participated in the presentation of a child-friendly version of the annual report to the Human Rights Council

On March 12th, the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children, Dr. Najat Maalla M’jid, presented and shared directly with children a child-friendly version of the annual report to the Human Rights Council for the first time. The provided translation into Arabic allowed children from ACT2gether Palestine to participate in this session, get insights into the reality of violence against children, and share ideas with their peers.

Mira, Karmel, and Yara were three children who participated in the event and later shared their experiences with the whole team. 

Mira Ibraheem

This meeting was the best experience I had in this field. Everything was great, the discussion and the inquiries. I liked the translation into several languages because this is sometimes an obstacle for some children from all over the world to participate in these events, so this was clever, I loved it. 

The meeting focused on children’s rights, I asked questions that aroused my curiosity, and all of them were answered by Dr. Nagat. It was like a school lesson, but never dull. After listening to this interview, I feel wiser. I liked how children’s rights were explained as a fundamental matter, the information shared about the problems children face, and getting to know people from different countries and what they suffer from. This was a very important and wonderful meeting, I wouldn’t mind attending another one soon.

 

 

Karmel Taqash

It was very good and educational. It showed me that we can make a change. I hadn’t realized how much kids worldwide suffer from violence, whether it comes from a romantic partner, a peer, or perhaps a stranger; these kids’ lives are harsh and heartbreaking. I love this topic, and I want to help. We should all have a voice in this to make a change, adults or children, it doesn’t matter. I learned from my younger peers, and they learned from me; it was a great conference, one I would like to be a part of and speak in someday soon.

 

 

 

 

Yara Ibraheem

The meeting was an excellent opportunity for kids like me to learn more about some things we were wondering about, like violence against children or how to deal with it, important information for every child to know. I really appreciated the information and learned a lot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Such spaces are vital to opening doors for children to take part in important matters in society. Congratulations Yara, Karmel, and Mira, for your sharp participation in this session!

ACT2gether Palestine established connections with a new key partner

In line with the aim of encouraging  more partners to promote intergenerational work and cooperation, ACT2gether Palestine signed a new MoU with one of the famous Taekwondo Academy Soqoor Falastine / Ramallah. This alliance hopes to develop children’s skills in the physical and mental aspects, refine their personalities, encourage them to adopt a healthy lifestyle, and share their skills locally and internationally. 

 

Following  this agreement, an additional 15 children of different ages became members of ACT2gether Youth. Two meetings were already held with them, the first one to present L4WB-F and Act2Gether frameworks and the second one to plan future activities.

 

We are looking forward to starting working with them!

Children and young people are agents of social change with the ability to become leaders and positively transform their communities. Und

er this conviction, last November, Educo Bolivia and Act2gether Latin America, in alliance with the Kolibrí International Festival for Children and Adolescents, launched a call for submissions of projects to be designed and executed by and for children and adolescents, responding to their needs. This project, called Semilleros, concluded this month by implementing the selected projects. 

 

An intergenerational jury chose two out of eighteen submitted proposals. The winning projects (Radio Revive, from La Paz, and Galaxia del Saber, from El Alto) received funding and training to execute their programs, aiming to be a seed of social transformation in their communities. Thanks to this opportunity, they led the development and implementation of processes, which is  usually done by adults. 

 

Radio Revive is a collective of young people that seeks to create spaces to talk about rights and fight against disinformation and adult-centrism. Their project aims to allow participation, education, and active listening for children from 10 to 17 through creating collective videos. They provide the essential tools for video making and editing and aspire to make children’s rights visible through their own contexts and needs.

 

Galaxia del Saber is a team of young leaders who work on building a more conscious society through the development of social projects. Their

 

 proposal aspires to raise awareness to reduce beliefs in the myths of romantic love and prevent abusive and violent relationships. The proposal mainly focuses on working with girls, boys, adolescents, and young people from El Alto Municipality. Still, it also aims to create awareness among adults and other members of society.

There are no better actions than those born from personal experiences, allowing individuals to raise their voices and claim their demands.

 

During 2013 and 2018, The Learning for Well-being Foundation was an active partner (in collaboration with the Caux Foundation and IoFC France) in the implementation of  CATS (Children as Actors for Transforming Society) Conference. L4WB-F participated in 6 conferences, where more than 1600 children and adults encountered a living experience of intergenerational collaboration to advance children’s rights and well-being. 

 

When this project ended, the L4WB-F started working on a new initiative implementing the Foundation’s approach, seeking to encourage child participation and empowerment and, most importantly,  intergenerational partnerships  creating spaces where adults and children could partner. This initiative, named ACT2gether, was born as a social movement, aspiring to change how society sees children and youth, positioning them as active actors in society. The L4WB-F built ACT2gether to support intergenerational collaborations that would allow these changes to take place from a human and holistic perspective. Therefore, A2G tries to give an answer to primarily one question: how can we connect with others on a human level, establish dialogue, and enhance the development of ourselves, recognising each one’s unique potential.

 

The official launch of ACT2gether took place virtually in March of 2019, with functioning sites in Bolivia and Germany. The launch enjoyed the participation of people and organisations from over 50 countries that acknowledged the importance of the proposed framework and topics.

 

For the past three years, ACT2gether Latinoamerica has worked in Bolivia on democracy, child participation, and other matters that became more relevant due to the country’s political situation and the posterior COVID-19 crisis. In Germany, the work was carried out in partnership with Bertelsmann Stiftung and focused on working on inequality and poverty. In addition, ACT2gether Germany held numerous projects, including a 2GETHERLAND Germany in  2019 which gathered children and adults during a week camp full of various activities.

 

ACT2gether had planned an in-person global event in The Netherlands – 2GETHERLAND Global- for 2020, which then happened virtually due to the pandemic. Nevertheless, the event, which extended over three months, was a success and approached different topics meaningful to both children and adults and established the movement’s global presence.

 

Two new sites have been established over the past one and a half years, in Palestine and in The Netherlands. These two newer locations have been working on health, education, and mental health among children and adolescents, topics that became even more relevant after the COVID-19 crisis. 

 

After these three years, numerous activities and projects successfully maintained, the ACT2gether team is full of dreams and enthusiasm to face new challenges. It recognises the need to expand and implement its particular approach to work on children’s and adults’ well-being topics.

 

This time has been vital to creating alliances and influencing different organisations; the movement is growing and is preparing to implement news sites and partnerships. ACT2gether is ready for the new chapter, looking to the future with expectancy.

 

The Learning for Wellbeing Foundation’s team shares this hope and some of them have expressed some wishes for A2G:

 

  • I wish that ACT2gether motivates children and adults to partner as competent partners for their mutual benefit.
  • That organisations working for and with children ACT2gether to shift attitudes towards children, so that they are included at the decision making level on matters that affect them.
  • That adults and children relate towards each other with curiosity and that adults are prepared to let go of power so that they can enjoy the gifts that children offer.

Daniel Kropf, Chair and Founder of The Learning for Well-being Foundation

 

  • That the adults and children of today are able to break through the current conceptions of adulthood and childhood and co-create a new way of living together. 

Yakarah Attias – Managing Director

 

  • For children and adults to become co-constructors of being, helping each other on their life journeys.  

Luis Manuel Pinto – Director of Programs and Learning

 

  • Looking forward to the day when different generations act together, fairly and sustainably — may that day come soon!

Shanti George – Qualitative Researcher

 

  • That all children can claim all of their rights. The only way this can be achieved is by adults and children working together.

 Darren Bird – Director Child Participation & Safeguarding

 

  • I wish for all human beings, regardless of age, gender or backgrounds, to live in harmony.

 Caroline van Eeghen –Senior Relationship Manager

 

  • That it will be recognised and lifted by young people around the world. 

Fenne Baugust – Project Manager / ACT2gether Netherlands

 

Thank you to all that have accompanied this process throughout these years. If you would like to know more about ACT2gether or participate in our activities, please get in touch with maria@learningforwellbeing.org

 

“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” — Nelson Mandela (8 May 1995)

The vision of the L4WB-F is to promote inclusive and supportive societies where everyone realises their unique potential throughout their life, focusing on supporting environments and processes that allow individuals and groups to develop as competent systems. 

 

This vision starts from within, so in March, the L4WB-F team participated in a three-day online retreat that focused on strengthening the team bonds, supporting each of its members in exploring their unique patterns of processing and discussing the L4WB framework and some of its essential concepts.

 

Stimulating discussions were held. Everyone had the opportunity to share their thoughts and then, as a team, understand how the uniqueness of each person, their particular way of approaching tasks, solving problems, or simply the way they interact with the other is what enriches the work of the organisation. Furthermore, one of the sessions was entirely dedicated to exploring and understanding the spiritual perspective, one of the 4 perspectives – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual – that represent the dynamic human experience of well-being and wholeness within the L4WB framework.

 

Team members left with a sense of clarity, calm, and connection, feeling more confident in understanding how to continue developing themselves within their personal lives and the work environment. 

 

Changes to societies are only possible through individuals and groups engaging in holistic and systemic processes for themselves and others.

 

The Netherlands  

Act2gether Youth Netherland’s first discussion

 

On Thursday, the 3rd of March, Act2gether Netherlands will hold its first Act2gether NL Youth Discussion! 

 

The main aim is to have an informative discussion where the possible future A2G NL youth members can learn more about the A2G NL Youth programme and all the opportunities they can expect by participating. For example, some of the aspects in which young people can expect to develop themselves are: gaining experience by helping organise events and start-up projects, learning new skills, being part of an international team of young people and adults, and muchmore!

 

This will also be a space for the A2G NL coordinators to get to know the interested youth,their expectations and aspirations in order to tailor the programme for them and for A2G NL.

 

We are looking forward to it!

 

Germany

What are the young people’s main concerns right now?

After two years of the pandemic, surrounded by uncertainty, young people need more than ever safe spaces to discuss the matters that matter to them; ACT2gether Germany is working in providing these spaces and giving young people support.

 

‘Global Voices’ is a project developed by ACT2gether Youth for young people globally. It aims at allowing people from different backgrounds to share their perspectives and talk about the issues that matter most to them, providing safe spaces to raise their voices and acknowledge that some problems and passions transcend borders.

 

The first Global Voices activity was an online LIVE discussion with four guests held in September 2021; amid various topics, mental health was the one that generated the most interest between both the guests and the audience. Mental health has become one of the most critical topics in light of the pandemic, rates of depression and other conditions in children, young people, and adults have risen. The topic is broad, and there was not enough time  to talk about the many concerns young people had around it; this is why the idea to dedicate an entire Global Voices campaign to mental health came up.

 

After many discussions among the  Youth Team, the mental health campaign is taking form and is ready to see the light. ACT2gether Youth will create activities to raise awareness and discuss mental health from March to June. 

 

Mental health is a vast topic; issues already raised by young people range from grief to the anxiety that young people are experiencing because of the lack of job opportunities, depression, eating disorders, and so forth. As such, we recognise the genuine issues many young people are facing. 

 

A2G Youth team is seeking to partner young people with a range of professionals in mental health to raise awareness and create dialogue around these sensitive issues. The campaign will develop interviews, social media posts, private conversations, workshops, and other activities. While our campaign will not shy away from complex subjects, we would like to provide balance and discuss positive mental health in theory and practical ideas.

 

Our quest is just beginning. Therefore, if you are a young person and want to help us create this programme, please get in touch with our Youth Participation Officer, Arshad Mozumder. Likewise, if you are a health professional and would like to support young people in this campaign, don’t hesitate to contact our Director of Child Participation, Darren Bird.

 

Arshad: arshad97@hotmail.co.uk

Darren: bird.darren.j@gmail.com

 

The ‘Art Sessions’ were created to allow all ages to come together to do something fun, learn something new, and most importantly, reconnect in times of isolation. In 2021, ACT2gether ran four successful editions from painting like Mondrian to writing poetry.

 

This year, reality has changed; as some countries have returned  to in-person classes and activities the team wondered whether it was possible to continue with the art activities. However, children and young people from ACT2gether Palestine showed a lot of interest in giving continuity to these sessions and gave the team the green flag to go ahead and plan the next online meeting.

 

The first online art session of 2022, ‘Painting with coffee,’  took place last month with the participation of the artist Toubie Jack as a facilitator. Children and adults from different parts of the world joined and spent quality time relaxing, sharing thoughts and laughs with people from different backgrounds, and learnt painting techniques using basic materials like instant coffee, a piece of cardboard, and some brushes.

 

Everyone enjoyed the experience and is looking forward to participating in the next session: ‘Painting with spices,’ scheduled for the fourth week of March. More details will be shared on A2G’s social media soon. 

 

Everybody is welcome to join! You just need enthusiasm, and some materials you can find in your kitchen to have a good time, let your imagination fly, and create a piece of art.

 

For more information, please contact: arshad97@hotmail.co.uk

Matafuegos is an animated series created in 2020 aimed at raising awareness among teenagers and young people on the impact of forest fires. It also tackles several environmental issues that challenge our societies by sharing preventive actions and valuable information to encourage people to take a more active role in a very innovative way.

 

The series stars Capibara and Vizcacha – are very representative Bolivian animals. Capi and Viz live in a post-apocalyptic future, where their home, family, and friends no longer exist due to the fires that destroyed everything. Now, they’re back from the future in search of justice.

 

The second season was released this year alongside an intergenerational educational process. One hundred volunteers from all over the country worked during five weeks in interactive sessions, addressing different topics related to current environmental challenges. Their purpose is to generate concrete and sustainable projects and proposals to face the challenging context our planet faces.

 

 

This is the first time that Act2gether in Bolivia has actively participated in producing an animated series linked to an intergenerational process that impacts communities all around Bolivia.

If you want to see this incredible animation and more of the pedagogical process, you can follow their Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/matafuegosbo

 

This extraordinary project is carried out in partnership between La Casa de la Televisión Inteligente, PICA, and Act2gether Latin America.

The European Council for Steiner Waldorf education gathered together with their representatives around Europe in an online session to plan for 2022. Delegates shared recent developments in their countries, updated each other on their work in different thematic working groups, and deepened the connection with international partners.

 

In a working session, Daniel Kropf, Founder and Chairman of The Learning for Well-being Foundation and Dominic Richardson, Chief of Social and Economic Policy of UNICEF Office of Research Innocenti, presented ‘What Makes Me?’, the report on Core Capacities for Living and Learning. After the research’s introduction, the participants embarked on a conversation to explore the already existing practice of core capacities in Waldorf schools. 

 

Evidence supports that promoting the development of core capacities in early childhood only benefits the full growth of children, enhancing their uniqueness. Implementing these practices in schools could help children expand their potential and give them tools to explore the world in their unique way, enriching their desire and ability to learn. 

 

What could be the following steps to encourage the inclusion of teaching techniques that promote the development of core capacities in schools? These kinds of questions encouraged the different parties to deepen the research on the capacities.

 

Learn more about the report here: https://www.unicef-irc.org/what-makes-me.

Palestine

ACT2gether Palestine: starting 2022 with enthusiasm 

 

A2G Palestine and its advisory children group started the new year with activism and enthusiasm. Their main hope for 2022 is to have a year full of activities focused on reducing the gaps between generations, raising the voice of children, and involving them in decision-making on topics that affect them. 

 

During the past month, the team held three meetings to discuss and plan their upcoming actions, exploring how to start peer-to-peer education targeting children’s clubs and schools.

 

One stimulating activity the children developed was expressing their opinions on promoting intergenerational relations through drawings. Some of the depicted ideas showed the importance of having love, cooperation, trust, and encouragement between different generations. After the exercise, the children wanted to share these visions with their friends and teachers at school, so they went out to do it with the team and their parents’ support.

 

We are looking forward to hearing more about their accomplishments!

Germany

2getherLAND-Camp 2022 in sight

 

The planning process for the German 2GETHERLAND-camp, which will take place during the first week of May, is in full swing. 

 

In January, the German Youth-Expert-Team (YET) gathered online to work on the content of the camp workshops. Previously, through a broad participatory process between YET and partners and colleagues from the Bertelsmann Foundation, they had defined four fields of content to address during the camp:

 

– A: Needs of children & young people

– B: Participation

– C: Living together in our diverse world

– D: The school of the future

 

In every area, the camp participants will have the opportunity to share their individual experiences gained at school and in their leisure time; next, participants will create projects to develop in their hometowns after the camp. Over the following weeks, the team plans to refine the workshop, working together with partners and colleagues.

 

The planning process of the workshops on skills, creativity, and relaxation time will also start soon. Furthermore, the coordination team in Gütersloh is spending a lot of energy and thoughts on the corona-protection measures and the integration of the final days of Ramadan in the definitive schedule to make the camp inclusive for Muslim kids. 

 

We are looking forward to the camp with high enthusiasm and joy! 

 

The Netherlands  

Youth, power and change

 

ACT2gether Netherlands started its activities with a  workshop on Empowerment and Leadership for young people between 16-21 years old.

 

The workshop was held on the t 2nd of February through a Zoom session. Facilitators from the Learning for Well-being Foundation team, with different backgrounds and from various countries, joined to share their experience and knowledge with a group of XX young people. The main focus was on how to bring each one’s unique potential for leadership to become a changemaker in these challenging times.

 

ACT2gether Netherlands is also preparing a first information session about the A2G Netherlands Youth Team, to be formed in the upcoming months.

 

Stay tuned for further news and activities!

 

 

After two years of effort, we can celebrate this achievement! Last December, the Plurinational Committee for Children and Adolescents in Bolivia was formed. It is the highest form of representation of children at a national level. Having this means opening spaces for participation and activism for children and adolescents at every level of decision-making and opens important doors for intergenerational partnerships in creating public policies.

 

Over two days, participants from all over the country met and participated in a 2getherland experience. They had the opportunity to get to know each other, themselves, understand how they function, review and discuss the current state  of the rights of children and adolescents, the post covid situation in the country, and reflect on their personal and collective roles concerning child participation and partnership between generations. 

 

Through this process, the participants were able to express their dreams and projects:

‘We dream (of a world) where authorities and adults value our talents and goals so that we can partner and carry out projects in favor of children and adolescents. Furthermore, we hope to get support to facilitate communities and societies that respect Children’s rights,’ expressed Raquel, vice-president of the Plurinational Committee.

 

Among other projects, there are:

  1. Respect for the rights of children and adolescents
  2. Information, accessible to all
  3. Quality and accessibility to health care for all children and adolescents
  4. Respect the right of Education and re-imagine a more just post covid education
  5. Reduce the digital and technology gap
  6. Respect and care for the environmental diversity of Bolivia
  7. Safe spaces for children and adolescents participation 
  8. Inclusive participation for all sectors of childhood
  9. Intergenerational partnerships with authorities, parents, and the community to create public policies in favor of children
  10. Real data on violence against children and adolescents in Bolivia

 

The Committee has 18 members, each with a different role and responsibilities, representing equally men and women and all departments of Bolivia. Susan, president of the Plurinational Committee, thinks that ‘It is time to work together for the country we all want, girls, boys, adolescents, and adults. Today, each one of us is a leader of their department. We must all work together to carry out social projects and public policies that can contribute to the well-being of children and adolescents with the support of governmental and non-governmental institutions. Being a team must be our priority.’

 

This work was carried out thanks to the joint efforts of the Bolivian Government, with the support of UNICEF Bolivia and Act2gether Latin America.

 

The exploration of core capacities emerged years ago, from the work of Linda O’Toole, senior fellow and researcher from The Learning for Well-being Foundation, with processing patterns and individual differences. The capacities were instruments to explore subtle differences in how people learn and communicate. Still, they also revealed something about people’s unique ways of processing, as she realised some people relied more on certain capacities than others. Inner differences were also present in how people engaged with each capacity; for example, how one listens and what one listens for was different from person to person.

 

After all this work and the deeper exploration of the capacities within The Learning for Well-being Foundation, the research on Core Capacities for Living and Learning represents a significant step in the inquiry into holistic development of children and adults. Their elementary nature and individualised expression demonstrate these capacities seem to be closer to the ways children naturally explore their inner and outer worlds. Some research results show that capacities such as listening or empathising are expressed even before birth; this ensures a strength-based view of human beings, equipped with the necessary abilities to relate. Also, to see how abilities are mutually supportive with sensing, listening, and observing, acting like gateway capacities.

 

Now, there is a particular interest in listening from children how they experience these core capacities and whether there is a connection with spirituality. 

 

Does empathy help us feel connected to the whole of humanity? 

Does observing create a sense of awe and wonder about the universe? 

 

These are some of the questions to explore in the following research phases.

In 2016, the then Director General of Education in the European Commission invited select civil society organisations to provide policymakers with inspiring stories that would illustrate that educational systems in Europe can change for the better.

 

The Learning for Well-being Foundation partnered with two like-minded organisations, the European Council of Steiner Waldorf Education (ECSWE) and the Hungarian Waldorf Federation,  in an Erasmus+ project which collected stories from classrooms and schools across Europe demonstrating alternatives to the exam factory. Twenty inspiring practices from twelve European countries were found, and no doubt there are many more being developed by creative teachers who care about their pupils. 

These practices are presented within the storyline of how children evolve as learners, starting with the young child entering school, later moving from primary school through secondary school, and confidently stepping into the wider world. This is a story of personal and collective learning journeys and not about schools as factory production lines.

 

Now that the book is available, how do we encourage policymakers and other key actors to learn from these inspiring stories? 

The inspiring assessment practices share essential features:

  • Pupils are addressed as whole individuals and not as machines for learning.
  • The unique potential of each pupil is nurtured in terms of different inner patterns of learning.
  • Warm relationships and lively learning processes are the focus rather than the outcomes from testing.
  • A pupil’s learning journey is nested in the learning journeys of everyone within the school community.
  • Assessment is incorporated as a support to learning, and not a means to ‘select’ pupils through exams.
  • The emphasis is on ‘measuring what matters’ in pupils’ learning and not only through grades.

 

These practices nurture core capacities for living and learning – such as relaxing, listening, observing, inquiring, sensing, embodying, empathising, reflecting and discerning patterns – both among pupils and teachers.

 

There is hope for rethinking assessment beyond the exam factory –the twenty inspiring practices demonstrate that teachers and school leaders are already busy innovating with creative and sensitive assessment approaches.

How can we foster such innovative assessment practices within classrooms and schools?How can we influence policymakers to nurture such innovation?

 

Download the book here.

 

Visit the Assessment as Dialogue website!

Since 2019, The Learning for Well-Being Foundation, the European Council of Steiner Waldorf Education (ECSWE) and the Hungarian Waldorf Federation took the challenge to work on the project “Personalised and Formative Assessment Practices Supporting School and Learner Development” as part of the Erasmus + Programme. The project aims to collect at least 15-20 practices on innovative and formative assessment methods. The guiding question throughout the project has been: How can the unfolding of the unique potential of every child/youngster be best supported through contextualised, individualised, participatory assessment processes that give learners a feeling of agency and self-efficacy?

 

The last QoC Talk, part of Lifelong Learning Week hosted by the Lifelong Learning Platform (LLLWeek), was also dedicated to showing the results of these years and presenting the book titled “Assessment as Dialogue: Twenty inspiring practices from classrooms and schools around Europe.” A strong message of hope from this book is that change is not only possible, but it has already happened in classrooms and schools. Some examples are depicted in twenty stories from twelve diverse European countries, and many other stories are still waiting to be told. In these schools, children experience formal learning as building naturally on their innate desire and ability to learn. The book offers readers some essential elements of ‘Assessment as Dialogue,’ from the first step into primary school to the final step out of secondary school. The organisations behind the book hold that this is a personal and collective journey whereby each child — addressed as a whole person — should realise the unique potential in terms of valued inner diversity.

 

The QoC Talk had exciting discussions around a better understanding of the Quality of Childhood in the EU Member States, reflecting on the European institutions’ role to improve the situation and form an influential working group to get a sense of moving on. On that matter, The Learning for Well-being Foundation brought different strengths and networks to identify additional ‘inspiring stories of change.’ One was the International Step by Step Association (ISSA) focuses on high-quality inclusive early

childhood education and care, and the other was NIVOZ, a reputed think tank in the Netherlands oriented towards progressive and sensitive pedagogy in schools. In addition, NIVOZ and L4WB-F had co-organised the Unfolding Symposium in 2017 that featured exemplary practice from classrooms and schools around the Netherlands, and certain schools and professionals highlighted there contributed their innovative assessment practices.

 

Download the book here.

If you have any further questions, please send a mail to chiara.piccolo@allianceforchildhood.eu 

On Thursday the 9th of December on a virtual Policy Panel Discussion at the WISE Summit,

UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti and The Fetzer institute and The Learning for Well-being Fundation,  released What Makes Me, a report built on Core Capacities for Living and Learning. This report, reveals nine core capacities and underscores the importance of noticing and nourishing these capacities from birth through adulthood. 

Core capacities represent fundamental human skills expressed differently by each individual to varying degrees. These skills’ unique nature and development is precious; education systems should promote, support and protect them.

“These capacities are windows to our unique potential; they allow us to recognize our vital differences and those of others so that we can build on our natural complementarity as we learn and live.

We dream of a world where, by embodying and embracing core capacities in a holistic way, parents, teachers, doctors, nurses, social workers —all humanity, really— will fulfill their own unique potential and enable the same for those who they serve.”

Daniel Kropf, Founder and Chair of The Learning for Well-being Foundation

Recognizing the negative impact of COVID-19 on today’s children, the report makes the case that these core capacities are even more critical in helping children cope, solve problems, and overcome stress, as well as develop the skills needed to learn and rebuild their societies and economies when they reach adulthood. 

Key findings from the report include: 

  • Children come equipped with capacities that support lifelong learning and development. These capacities need to be promoted and protected. 
  • There are critical windows of opportunity to develop these capacities in early childhood and adolescence. Policy, Educational and Parental practice should pay close attention to these periods. 
  • These capacities are often overlooked and yet they are foundational (the basis) for developing more complex social-emotional and academic competences. 
  • These capacities support one another, with some being “gateway” capacities that support many others. 
  • Children’s capacities are interconnected with the capacities of adults, who play a modelling role and influence children’s chances of developing such capacities themselves.
     
  • An evaluation of an eight-week mindfulness training programme for children aged 7-9 in England found significant gains in children’s emotional well-being and metacognition skills.
     
  • Children’s levels of empathy significantly affect their social functioning, such as prosocial behaviours, bullying, and quality of relationships with parents and peers.
     
  • Listening improves early reading and later reading comprehension, learning outcomes and concentration. Furthermore, listening is associated with various mental health outcomes, including coping, self-esteem, and happiness and relaxing – particularly in the ‘listening to music’ literature.
     
  • Reflecting improves working memory, cognition and generosity. 

 

We invite you to visit the report microsite and download the full report: http://www.unicef-irc.org/what-makes-me

Policy panel discussion: https://youtu.be/BDgG0QzztX4

 

On September the 30th, we held a meeting with the Learning for Well-Being Foundation family to talk about something that touches our hearts and drives us to work for a better society: CORE CAPACITIES.

 

The meeting took about two hours, including more than 40 people committed to reconnecting despite digital times. The discussion of our gathering led us to question how we incorporate core capacities in our daily activities (with our peers, community and jobs) and how we can adapt these notions and practices to environments with greater vulnerability or diverse cultures around the world.

 

Also, Dominic Richardson (from UNICEF) held a conversation with Luis M. Pinto (from L4WB) on the research and its implications in the relationships between adults and children. These reflections are part of a research conducted with the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti and The Fetzer Institute that will be presented publicly in December.

 

Some of these discussions and reflections are part of a study conducted with UNICEF that will be presented publicly in December.

Stay tuned for more information.

We are delighted to be able to share our Interactive Annual Report for 2020.

 

There is no doubt that 2020 will be a year to remember, exceptional in almost every way, and even with all its challenges we have been able to be of service in so many ways. Please have a look at our accomplishments, our initiatives and the work we did with our partners this past year.

 

In addition, we would like to thank our Board, our staff, our many volunteers both young and old, and partners for their work and commitment in helping us achieve our goals. We extend warm thanks also to all supporters and friends of the Learning for Well-being Foundation who join us on our journey.

 

Read our Annual Report for 2020

Representing the L4WB Foundation, our Director of Development and ACT2gether Latin America, Maria Paz was elected to the Child Rights Connect Executive Committee 

 

In its call for nomination of new candidates to stand for election to the ExCo, the following priorities were identified with a view to achieving a more balanced regional representation within ExCo, as well as a transition in the office of the Treasurer.

 

Maria was chosen in light of her amazing work in the region and the development of A2G Latin America. Additionally Child Rights Connect is establishing a Network Working Group on Child Participation. The overall objective of this proposed Working Group is to provide strategic advice and support to the CRCnct Network and partners on children and young people’s participation by harnessing the strong, collective, and influential voice of the Network in empowering children to exercise their rights to participate under the UNCRC.

 

The  Learning for Well-Being Foundation is  sure that Maria will be a wonderful addition to the ExCo of CRCcnt and will be a great asset to CRCcnt, bringing the L4WB approach and our take on participation and intergenerational collaboration to their work.

 

 

Congratulations Maria, we are so proud!!

[Project Summary]

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) establishes economic, social, cultural, civil, political, and participation rights of persons under 18 years. Since its adoption in 1989, it has been ratified by 196 countries. As an early leader in child rights advocacy, Canada helped draft the CRC and was an early adopter, but Canada’s advancement of CRC principles has since waned, reflecting a global stagnation in child rights progress. The International & Canadian Child Rights Partnership (ICCRP) formed in 2015 as a response to this concerning trend. Through our prior work, the ICCRP identified a critically overlooked element in realizing child rights: intergenerational relationships. The expanded ICCRP will now focus on this new, innovative research direction to examine how intergenerational relationships can transcend current barriers to realizing child rights, through intergenerational partnerships (IPs).

We will address critical gaps in international knowledge about how to advance the CRC and transform research, policy, and practice via IPs supporting child participation through 4 objectives: 1) expand conceptual frameworks for IPs; 2) investigate processes to foster IPs to support child rights, including child and youth activism; 3) identify and develop relational practices to reform and stimulate research, policy initiatives, and practice supporting child rights; and 4) examine how child rights education supports or obstructs children’s understanding of rights and IPs.

 

Informed by relational child rights and decolonization theories, as well as new ethical frameworks, we will engage in case study analysis in 4 Research Streams to examine existing innovative initiatives, conduct our own participatory research with young people, and assess child rights education. Mixed methods will be used in each case study, and we will analyze data via 4 Working Groups focused on 4 cross-cutting themes: participatory methodologies, ethics, policy, and conceptual interconnections.

 

Our diverse mix of countries and case studies will reveal commonalities and unique features across contexts and geographies. As examples, we will explore South Africa’s constitutional child rights guarantees; child rights councils in Brazil; and child participation within New Brunswick’s Child Rights Impact Assessment process. Such diverse contexts will help us clarify effective models and processes for intergenerational partnerships that support child rights understanding and implementation. ICCRP includes young people with lived experience, 41 researchers, and 30 partner organizations from universities, NGOs, major human rights institutions, and governments in Canada and in multiple countries across the Americas, Africa, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Guided by the expertise of an intergenerational advisory committee, ICCRP partners will actively engage in research planning and implementation, governance, supporting student trainees and youth participants, and KMb.

We will generate the first integrated international knowledge base capturing relational practices, frameworks, processes, and child rights education initiatives that facilitate (or impede) equitable IPs. Our KMb plan builds on our established networks with key human and child rights organizations and institutions, young people, and those working in the field. Over 7 years, ICCRP will build student, practitioner/policy, and HQP capacity, and produce training

The “new normal” is for all ages
— Luis Manuel Pinto &Daniel Kropf

The pandemic revealed the colours of the embedded ageism in our societies. Children and older adults— two edges of the age spectrum—have been the most impacted by social isolation and access to education and healthcare. Still, children are rarely directly present in conversations about how we should organise our lives. They count on good-willed adults as representatives, gatekeepers—and sometimes translators—of children’s views into knowledge that decision-makers.

The pandemic has been devastating, but also brought an important awareness to the surface and is giving us all an opportunity to fundamentally change the narrative of how different generations relate and participate together in creating the post-pandemic world—the so-called “new normal”.

People wearing masks

Image credits: freepik.com

In this article Daniel and Luis would like to make a holistic case for promoting partnership between children and adults, quickly navigating rights, well-being, sustainability and humanistic perspectives. The next era can be one of partnership across generations.

Read the full opinion article on the OECD Forum platform.

 

 

“This article is part of a series in which OECD experts and thought leaders — from around the world and all parts of society — address the COVID-19 crisis, discussing and developing solutions now and for the future. Aiming to foster the fruitful exchange of expertise and perspectives across fields to help us rise to this critical challenge”

 

How can the path towards gender equality take in consideration the role of children?
How can children’s rights, and in particular, child participation, be a vehicle for creating gender equality?


These were some of the questions explored in a joint meeting of the Gender Equality and the Children and Youth Network, both interest groups within the European Foundation Centre. Andrea from ACT2gether Latin America and Luís from the Learning for Well-being Foundation, talked about their experience with supporting competent partnerships between children and adults as means to address gender-based discrimination.

They talked about the mutually feeding relationship between patriarchy and adultism, and the need for new visions of childhood and adulthood based on mutual learning. The group agreed to meet again in a few months to explore potential partnerships. We support initiatives like these, that create connections between different fields of social change and
expand our view of what’s at stake for children and adults alike.

If you want more information about this event please contact:

Luis Manuel Pinto
Director for Programmes & Learning
Learning for Well-being Foundation
luis@learningforwellbeing.org

The Learning for Well-being Foundation launched a social media campaign on human core capacities.

Core capacities are abilities that we use every day in order to explore and connect with ourselves, each other, and the world we live in. These are the cornerstones of the Learning for Well-Being Foundation’s work.

As social networks and the digital world are increasingly present, we want to find new ways of informing and working with the core capacities that are fun and feel more like a conversation.

During the month of April we laid the ground for the campaign by sharing some thoughts about why core capacities are important. Each month will follow a thematic calendar with inspiration and practices for each core capacity (starting from May). We are sure you will like them!

Stay tuned to our Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn profile for new posts every week.

“When it comes to supporting the rights of children and addressing the harsh consequences of the pandemic, philanthropic organisations also play a key role. Already today, many foundations contribute actively to the well-being and support of children – and this both during the crisis as well as before and beyond”.

In that sense the  Chief Executive Officer at European Foundation Centre, Delphine Moralis, talks about the journey of counting (now) with the EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child. It “provides for yet another opportunity for foundations to engage. As is the case for the European Commission, philanthropy too can choose to embed a child rights perspective in different areas of work”. mentioned Moralis

Children represent 27 % of today’s world population.  “They are rights holders entitled to special protection as children, but are also the future adults who will either benefit from or live with the consequences of decisions we all take now”. The Learning for Well- Being Foundation and  EFC, chaired  a  Thematic Network to bring members together to learn and exchange best practices on how to contribute to the plight of children and youth.

If you want to read Delphine Moralis Article, please click here

 

The EU Strategy on Children’s Rights was developed in consultation with 10,000 children, it includes actions and recommendations targeting the EU, Member States and the private sector.

It will provide the framework for EU action to better promote and protect children’s rights and contains a set of measures for the EU to implement, addressing among others:

  • the rights of the most vulnerable children
  • children’s rights in the digital age
  • the prevention of and fight against violence
  • the promotion of child-friendly justice.

Download the EU Strategy on Children’s Rights here

The presentation at our last Qoc meeting has been given by Professor Dr. Mathias Urban, who holds the Desmond Chair of Early Childhood Education at Dublin City University.  He presented the OECD’s International Early Learning and Child Well-being Study (IELS). Is this the way forward for the EU?’   

The talk was followed by a group discussion on how children’s well-being, centrally important to the Learning for Well-being Foundation, is threatened by standardized testing even among five year olds, as with the IELS criticized by Mathias Urban.
Such ‘testology’ ignores the rich complexity and diversity within the different contexts where children spend their earliest years.  The speaker and audience argued instead for holistic approaches to children’s learning processes that address basic inequalities.
The Learning for Well-being Foundation has long supported Mathias Urban’s plea for early childhood to be governed by competent systems , and we complement this with nurturing grassroots initiatives for sensitive assessment [click here to know more].

 

2getherLAND Online is a  campaign to promote partnership between children and adults for fairness and sustainability using different social media and virtual platforms in order to overcome  physical distancing and still create together.

In this campaign we aim to share the opinions, needs, feelings and ideas of children and adults from all ages on the current world situation. We also aim to nurture the development of the ACT2gether community, to build a platform where people can inspire and be inspired in order to ACT2gether. 

It will run until July 2020 with the following activities for all generations to experience together at home and online:

 

In the first strand of the campaign we have shared on April, with a series of challenges and suggestions for activities to inspire and connect people from different generations to take action together at home and online. In the difficult situation our world is facing at the moment, we try to spread small acts of kindness. 

This part of the campaign has now come to an end, however, all the Acts of Kindness are still to be found on our social media! 

In this strand of the campaign we will share stories of partnership and connection between generations. We will share stories of children and adults that ACT2gether towards a more fair and sustainable world. We hope that these stories are a source of inspiration and motivation for children and adults across the world! 

In the third strand of the campaign, we will organize a series of facilitated online conversations between children and adults, from different regions of the world, about the issues that are dividing and connecting different generations. These conversations will be hosted by our intergenerational team. 

In the last strand of the campaign we will host an online 2getherLAND! This will be a series of video tutorials, workshops, and webinars to help develop the skills of children and adults to plan, decide, communicate and ACT2gether. We will organize powerful activities and virtual gatherings led by our 2GETHERLAND community to share knowledge in many creative  ways. 

 

Explore the ACT2gether Online Campaign here!

Facebook / Instagram 

 

Digital hugs from the whole ACT2gether team.

A big thank you to the EFC for allowing us to present Act2gether and be part of the kick off meeting of their Children’s Thematic Network!

The new EFC Children’s Thematic Network kicks off with an exploratory meeting looking at children’s participation and the next steps of the network

Quality of Childhood at the European Parliament, on Tuesday 3rd September, 2019

“Our last Qoc meeting at the Parliament welcomed Marshall Marcus, the founder and the chairman of the Sistema Europe https://www.sistemaeurope.org

This organisation gathers volunteer musical teachers, children and young people in orchestral and ensemble music-making programmes, to inspire and transform positively the lives of these children, young people & their families in communities from all sections of society.

We had the great pleasure to listen to a concert they performed in front of the Parliament.”

Brussels, 13 September 2019

Measuring what matters — according to Learning for Well-being perspectives — is essential for well-being, including for school children.  Too often, however, standardized assessment in schools undermines children’s well-being rather than enabling each child to develop her or his unique potential.  Yet even within the constraints of the existing system, teachers exercise creativity and empathy for their pupils’ engagement with learning and these teachers develop good practices within assessment.

 

A new Erasmus+ project will seek to collect 20 such good assessment practices from teachers across Europe and to share these practices in a readable and appealing publication, both in print and on line.  A peer learning workshop will also be held towards the end of this fifteen month project.  The project partners — the European Council for Steiner Waldorf Education, the Hungarian Waldorf Federation and the Learning for Well-being Foundation — will meet five times to discuss the stimulating methodological and logistical issues involved, the first of these five already scheduled for the 29th-30th of October in Brussels.

This partnership is one more successful ERASMUS+ applications launched by or within Learning for Well-being Foundation over the past few years.

 

In 2015 L4WB-F joined a consortium of partners to undertake “INTESYS” a three year (November 2015 – October 2018) Forward Looking Cooperation Project co-funded by the European Commission’s Erasmus+ Programme. The project focuses on piloting new approaches to Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) systems in Europe with a view to ensuring that children and families in vulnerable situations have access to high quality ECEC provided by services that are better integrated across the different sectors (education, health, welfare, etc.), professions and across age groups and governance levels.

ISSA: International Step by Step Association

Children’s wellbeing in their early years is crucial and it depends tremendously on the physical, mental, social-emotional, cultural, economic, and political conditions of the environment where they live or where they were born. The conference ‘Nurturing Environments, for the wellbeing of young children and families’, organized by ISSA aims to bring this systemic and dynamic approach to building and ensuring environments where all children live, develop and learn, especially the most vulnerable and at risk.

SCHEDULE AND LOCATION

The conference will take place in Leiden, the Netherlands on Tuesday and Wednesday June 18th and 19th, 2019.  More information on the program and registration, you can find here.

PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOPS

Prior to the Conference, on Monday June 17th, several workshops are being offered, click here for more information.

 

 

Pre-conference workshop ‘Partnering with Young Children across Sectors – Beginning a Movement’ offered by the L4WB Foundation

Objectives
This one-day workshop aims to facilitate the exchange of note-worthy practices in the collaboration between (young) children and adults, and to involve participants in contributing to the definition and development of a new international initiative that supports partnership between generations – for the sake of social equity and sustainability.

The theme
The theme of the workshop highlights ways for very young children to fulfil their right to be heard and to be taken seriously in discussions involving well-being outcomes for children and adults. We will dedicate particular attention to exploring the conditions required for environments to be more supportive of children’s participation, and the core capacities that enable and improve quality of relationships between children and adults.

Participants 
This workshop welcomes representatives of any child-serving organisation, who wish to learn more about a partnership approach between young and adults, or who have their own experiences to share.

Process 
The workshop is roughly structured according to the metaphor of ‘head, heart and hand.’

More info and registration
Click here for more information and for registration at this pre-conference event. This event has a limited number of seats.

Date: June 17th, 2019
Time: From 10:00 to 16:00
Location: Leiden

Can learning for well-being over the life course be achieved through lifelong learning community centres in neighbourhoods? A new briefing paper, called ‘Implementing a holistic approach to lifelong learning: Community Lifelong Learning Centres as a gateway to multidisciplinary support teams’ argues that such centres can act as ‘one stop shops’ for multidisciplinary teams that respond to the unique situations of children and families. Click here to read the paper.

 

Produced through a collaboration between the Lifelong Learning Platform, the Educational Disadvantage Centre of the Institute of Education at Dublin City University, Cedefop and L4WB-F, the briefing paper will be launched at an event on Early School Leaving to be held in Brussels on 29 May. A day earlier, 28 May, the Learning for Well-being Foundation will chair a related working group on the ‘Wider benefits of learning.’

The children’s rights community will gather in Brussels for Eurochilds 2019 General Assembly and Members’ Day on 17-18 April, 2019. 

Eurochild, member of the L4WB Community, is organizing her annual meeting at the office of ‘KindEnGezin’, Avenue de la Porte de Hal 27, in Brussels. Participants will be expected to travel to Brussels on 16 April. The schedule for these two days event is as follows:

 

17 April, 9.00 until lunch time: Members Day sessions
17 April, after lunch until about 18:00: General Assembly
17 April evening: organized dinner for all participants
18 April, 9:00-15:30: Members Day sessions

 

Further details on the agendas will be published in end of January.

Registration will open from January 17th onwards. Click here for more information.

After the successful L4WB Community Day last year, we invited our community composed by young people and adults to participate at our annual Community Day in Brussels. After the amazing virtual launch we had for our new project called ‘Act2Gether’ in February, we were really excited to be able to continue the discussion focused on how to develop and further implement this global movement. For more information on Act2Gether, click here.

Agenda:

Session 1 / 9:30 – 10:45

Guiding Questions:

·  Why are we here, and how will we make decisions?

·  What will we do for children (and adults) in the next year?

·  What is ACT2GETHER, and what opportunities and challenges does it present to the community?

Session 2 / 11:10 – 12:30

Guiding Questions:

·  Who are the children and adults we want to support, and what do they need?

·  How do we as a community act together – what as a collective do we have to offer?

·  In what ways can we best bridge our resources and opportunities, for the needs of those we want to serve?

Session 3 / 13:30 – 15:00

Guiding Questions:

·  In what ways can we align our interests and activities with the ACT2GETHER initiative?

·  What new initiatives can we collaborate on to strengthen the impact of ACT2GETHER?

Session 4 / 15:30 – 16:30

Guiding Questions:

·  What ideas show greatest feasibility, leverage and carry greatest enthusiasm?

·  What should we collectively prioritize as activities?

Session 5 / 17:00 – 18:00

Guiding Questions:

·  What do we commit to individually and collectively?

·  What are the next steps?

·  What do I keep from this experience?

 

 

Quality of Childhood at the European Parliament, on Tuesday March 5th, 2019

Helping, sharing, collaborating… are not words generally associated with adolescents.  Drawing on insightful new neurocognitive research, however, Professor Eveline Crone – winner of the Spinoza Prize, the highest scientific award in the Netherlands – will highlight the potential for learning and social-affective engagement during adolescence that can be effectively supported if understood.

Organized by the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group and the Learning for Well-being Foundation, this QoC session, taking place from 12.30-14.30, will be followed immediately by a more intimate ‘Post QoC’ discussion with the speaker hosted by L4WB-F.

If you wish to attend this inspiring talk and sharing of experiences, please do send an email to Michiel Matthes.

 

CONFERENCE

The Conference Strengthening integration within early childhood systems – why and how? will bring together European and country policy makers and programs implementers to discuss about the rationale for strengthening integration in the early childhood systems and about ways in which it can be achieved. The conference will build on the results and the policy recommendations coming from INTESYS, an Erasmus+ Key Action 3 pilot project implemented in four European countries: Belgium, Italy, Portugal and Slovenia.

DAY AND LOCATION

The Conference will take place at the Royal Library in Brussels, Belgium on Tuesday April 2nd, 2019, from 10.30 till 16.00 o’clock.

It will provide a platform for learning about the achievements and challenges in the four different pilots from quite diverse country contexts, and for discussing what policies at European and national/local level are needed to create a more enabling environment for integration within early childhood systems.

 

INTESYS

INTESYS proposed and piloted an innovative Reference Framework and the Toolkit Towards Integrated Early Childhood Systems- Building the Foundations. Both are aimed at supporting the early childhood actors at national/local level in their efforts to increase the cooperation and coordination among early childhood sectors and services, to better serve the young children and their families, especially the most disadvantaged. For more info on the INTESYS project, click here.

 

 

 

On Tuesday December 4th, 2018 another Quality of Childhood (QoC) session took place at the European Parliament in Brussels.

 

A ‘Republic for children’ where children and adults recognize each other as competent partners sounds like a contemporary idea resonant with L4WB perspectives, but Janusz Korczak created such a republic within a Jewish orphanage in a Warsaw ghetto during the Nazi occupation that ultimately killed Korczak and the children concerned.

 

Helma Brouwers, Olga Middendorp and Theo Cappon from the Janusz Korczak Association in the Netherlands argued that Korczak’s ideas are more relevant than ever, at this Quality of Childhood session. The session at the European Parliament was followed by a ‘Post QoC’ discussion with the speakers afterwards.

The Lifelong Learning Week began on 3 December and brought the 42 member organisations of the Lifelong Learning Platform (LLLP), who address formal and non-formal education throughout the life course and across Europe, to Brussels.  Many events took place at the European Parliament, including the Learning for Well-being Foundation’s QoC and Post QoC.  The L4WB Foundation chairs the LLLP working group on the Wider Benefits of Learning and convened a meeting to embark on a ten year plan to revitalise education, at which the European Parents Association, the European Vocational Training Association and the European Council for Steiner Waldorf Education provided stimulating contributions.

Trainings on listening to children

The Learning for Well-being Foundation and Eurochild are partnering in creating a training programme that helps children and adults partner in initiatives that support the right of children to be heard and taken seriously.

 

The programme is aimed at equipping children with the necessary skills to be able to participate in consultation processes, to represent others and to facilitate group discussions where children and adults are present.

The first activities have been piloted in Eurochild events such as their Conference which took place from 29 to 31 October 2018, in Opatja, Croatia.

Children flourish through artistic expression, so cutting budgets for art programmes undermines children’s development, as argued during the Quality of Childhood (QoC) session at the European Parliament, organized with the Alliance for Children European Network Group on 4 September 2018 and chaired by MEP Julie Ward.

Ruth Churchill Dower from EarlyArts, UK, explained compellingly why schools need art programmes. Iina Berden, representing Finland’s Ministry of Education and Culture, described putting imaginative policies into effective practice, with feedback from children. L4WB perspectives encouraged these insights, also at the informal Post QoC gathering thereafter, that enabled deeper exploration and wider sharing.

If you wish to attend future Quality of Child sessions taking place at the European Parliament, you can send an email to Michiel Matthes.

Children as Actors Transforming Society 2018: ‘Safe Together’

The CATS Forum 2018 (Children as Actors Transforming Society) was dedicated to creating safety in partnership, as way to address violence against children. The forum gathered almost 300 participants, of which about half were under 18 years old. The heart intention of this forum’s edition was to equip participants with tools that can help them deal with violence through partnership between children and adults.

 

This year’s theme was ‘Safe Togehter’, which was approached through theProtective Environment Framework’ (PEF) developed by UNICEF, which offers eight key focuses for ending all violence against all children. CATS displayed these eight areas as sections of a colourful umbrella. If one part of the umbrella is not working, the rain will get through and the child will not be protected.

Workshops, group activities

The framework was used in workshops, group activities and social times throughout the week. There was one workshop for each section of the umbrella, allowing smaller groups to discuss the topic, delve into personal issues and come up with solutions. Parallel arts and skills workshops aimed to help participants put what they learnt in the PEF workshops into practice. These included sessions on dance, poetry and on helping children speak out. Lauriann from the UK said, ‘I have learnt so much from the workshops. I can take ideas to help me with my job. They also helped me understand more about other cultures.’

A series of Together Times for the whole forum built community and allowed children and adults to work together. One of the highlights was the Human Library, in which participants volunteer to share their stories of combatting violence against children with small groups. Many hard-hitting and inspirational stories were shared, from overcoming bullying to supporting victims of violence in different countries.

Outcomes

Both children and adults developed their knowledge and skills to implement actions to fulfil the strategies needed for a safer environment for children. At the same time, they were supported in imagining and planning their own social action. With the aim of addressing the root causes of violence against children in their local environments. Through an ongoing collaboration between children and adults.

Here you can find the year book with all the activities of CATS 2018 (please, scroll down to ‘other documents’).

 

 

 

The annual Lifelong Learning Platform (LLLP) event in Vienna was the usual vibrant interchange between 43 networks around formal, non-formal and informal education that together cover 50,000 institutions.  The Learning for Well-being Foundation was invited to offer an energizing moment at the LLLP General Assembly, led by Daniel Kropf, that encouraged those present to make decisions and take action through a process — facilitated by music and journal notes — that comprised of the four steps of ‘Stillness-Lift-Choose-Connect.’

 

The Learning for Well-being Foundation was also invited to chair the LLLP working group on the ‘Wider benefits of Learning’ that emphasizes education as key to social cohesion and well-being, as well as employability.  The ten organizations that attended this meeting represented students, parents, school heads, volunteers and migrants from across Europe as well as special pedagogies such as Steiner Waldorf education, in addition to vocational training and adult education.  All these representatives spoke eloquently about the principles of Learning for Well-being, and notably about unique potential, relationships, diversity, engaged participation and feedback.

Click here  to read more about the Lifelong Learning Platform.

 

 

 

 

On June 5th, 2018 another Quality of Childhood (QoC) session took place in the European Parliament in Brussels. The organizers as usual were the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group and the Learning for Well-being Foundation. This time a formal forum and a large audience was provided for Nancy Mannix of the Palix Foundation in

Canada, for her experiences of how “New discoveries in the field of brain science can contribute significantly to a healthy childhood and the well-being of children. Presentation of an initiative in Alberta, Canada.” The striking lesson here was that this Initiative was able to exert major policy influence so that all legislation in Alberta is required to explore consequences for local children and the contexts for childhood in the province.

Nancy also recounted how the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative emerged in order to share knowledge effectively about the development of human brain from birth onwards, to enable children to grow up in healthier and happier ways that will move individuals and societies away from the negative consequences of uninformed behavior.

Immediately after the Qoc, in the more intimate setting of the Post QoC, Nancy Mannix shared a film about the Alberta Initiative that stimulated a discussion of “What activities can civic society undertake to help support systems to become more competent, i.e. more focused on the development of the
unique potential of each and every child in its care?” The exchange became intercontinental as those present contributed their comparative experience from Europe more widely and from Finland in particular.  The basis of the discussion consisted of micro-experiences with children, families and communities that resonated on both continents.

‘Transforming ourselves,’ ‘transforming relationships,’ ‘transforming societies’ and ‘expanding research’ – these current themes of the Learning for Well-being Foundation generate the questions ‘Can we transform ourselves/ relationships/ societies — and can we expand the related research — and if we can then how do we stimulate such transformations and expand research?’ During both this QoC and Post QoC session we tried to answer these questions, with the help of the input of Nancy Mannix and lessons learned from the Alberta Initiative.

 

 

Test 1

Test 2

Test 3