Our second General Assembly – our annual meeting – was hosted by our Mexican member organisation JUCONI in Puebla, Mexico from 24 to 27 March 2015. It  was a great opportunity to flesh out how, through Family for Every Child, we will deliver impactful change for children and families all over the world. It was an inspiring week of exchanging experiences and learning from each other and of building our identity as one, as we all shared our passion and drive for our common vision of a world where every child grows up in a safe and caring family environment.

We welcomed two new members to Family: the Jordan River Foundation (JRF) from Jordan, and Taller de Vida (TdV) from  Colombia. We are now strong with 17 member organisations from 16 countries. Both add new perspectives to our work, with JRF pioneering systems to protect children from abuse in the Middle-East and TdV working with children affected by the civil conflict in Colombia.

Throughout the week, we explored common practices and learnt from each other’s unique perspectives on working with children to improve their lives. We visited JUCONI’s centres in Puebla, Mexico, to see how JUCONI works through therapy with children and parents to (re)build their relationships, with the goal to break several generations’ cycles of domestic violence. The visit included a boys’ home where 23 boys between 7 and 17 from difficult backgrounds live and work on building a better future for themselves, a family centre where parents and children connect with each other through play and therapy sessions, and ended at JUCONI’s new youth centre.

“It has been an amazing week, we are officially on the road to become a member-led alliance” Rekha Nathoo, President of Family for Every Child and Director of CINDI

We also looked back at common achievements, with a particular focus on our Multi-Country Initiatives, which are priority areas for action across several countries with the aim to achieve large scale change. So far, we have focused our work on researching the links between social protection and care in Sub-Saharan Africa, education and care, foster care, digital storytelling and developing inter-agency guidelines on reintegration. For the year to come, we will also implement projects in the areas of kinship care and prevention of family separation.

On the last day of the General Assembly we also signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Family Alliance, our sister non-profit organization established in the US to support our mission with fundraising and external relations in the US market.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” – Aristotle

After a week of dynamic engagement from everyone, we all  left the General Assembly feeling inspired and eager to take the next steps to achieve greater change in children’s lives together. Our next General Assembly will take place in September 2015.