1. Participation in the ISSA Conference (Budapest, 10-12 October 2014)
After informing the previous Vice President for Europe, Milada Rabusicova, about this Conference in which OMEP usually sends a representative, I discussed the possibility of participating with the World President. I am really grateful to her for accepting this proposal and supporting financially my participation.
The topic of the Conference was “Creating a society for all: re-considering early childhood services”. The Conference was very well organized and there were about 400 participants from all over Europe and especially from East Europe and Central Asia. During the Conference, I had the chance to discuss about our Organization with a lot of participants from Hungary and other countries which are not members of OMEP.
Moreover, I had the chance to participate in two meetings. The first one was with Arelys de Yánez, who is acting as Transition Manager for the Consultative Group on Early Childhood Care and Development. CG is in a transitional phase and moves to a new location in Leiden in The Netherlands. We had a brainstorming session for the formulation of a strategic plan. The second one was with representatives of World Forum on Early Care and Education. They asked me for deepening collaboration and our possible participation in Working Groups. They will organize a Conference on 11-14 March 2015 in Rotorua, New Zealand with the topic “Working Forum on Design and Nature: Designing Inspiring and Effective Spaces for Children”.
Unfortunately, people were very busy during the Conference, so there was not much time to discuss about the “Early Years Regional Alliance” of which OMEP is a member. But, it was good to meet some of the people involved.
As you may know, in June 2013, OMEP was accepted as a full member of the Eurochild Network. We consider our participation in this network very important, as it links with the European Union. There were 350 participants from 36 countries throughout Europe. Once more, I am grateful to the World President for financial support.
The topic of the Conference was “Children First: Better Public Spending for Better Outcomes for Children & Families” and it was really very well organized and all the lectures and workshops were very well concentrated on the topic with very valuable argumentation. The European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Crețu, addressed the Conference during the closing ceremony.
During the Conference, I had the chance to meet and discuss about OMEP with Eurochild members from different countries and promote our work and visions. Also presented in this Conference were Seppo Sauro (Honorary Member of OMEP) and Kaisu Muuronen from The Central Union for Child Welfare, who is also our representative in Finland.
Our participation in both Conferences was important. In the first one, it was important that we met a lot of people from countries in which OMEP is not very well known and, in the second one, because we had the chance to discuss and promote OMEP’s work and vision in the context of European Union.
Regional Vice President for Europe