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VP Europe Communication Letter(Sep, 2017)

Vice President for Europe
Department of Educational Science
and Early Childhood Education
University of Patras 265 04 RION – Greece September 2017

To European National Committees

Dear Presidents and Dear Members of National Committees in Europe,
First of all I would like to wish you a Peaceful and Fruitful new school year.

1. Many thanks to OMEP Croatia, its President Adrijana Visnjic Jevtic and her great team for such an amazing job in this gorgeous place, Opatija. We are all grateful for the unforgettable moments we carry from 69th World Assembly and Conference.

2. World Declaration 2017 You are kindly requested to find the “OMEP World Declaration 2017: HIGHER INVESTMENT FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE AND EDUCATION (ECCE)” in our website, translate it into your language and use this as extensively as possible, not only for promoting OMEP but also for advocating for quality and equity in ECCE. In “Appendix I” I am sending you some concept notes and references to texts you can use in order to make our argument even stronger and well-documented.

3. Minutes from European Regional Meeting: Opatia, June 2017
In Appendix II you will find the “Minutes” of our Regional Meeting. I am thankful to Liz Hryniewicz, President of OMEP UK. In case you think that something is omitted or you want to add something, please, let me know.

4. 70th World Assembly and Conference: 25-29 of June 2018. Save the date!
World President and I visited Prague, the Conference center and Charles University, the place OMEP was founded 70 years ago. I am sure that Dana Moravcova, President of OMEP in Czech Republic, Milada RAbusicova and their team will organize a great even accompanied with special events to mark the 70th anniversary of OMEP. The official website will be open at 15th of October. We should pay any effort to invite our members and the academia of our countries to send proposals and participate in this special event in this historical and beautiful town in the center of Europe.

5. 70th Anniversary Year
You are kindly requested to participate in the official celebration project, but also I invite you to organize special events and projects for your country. EXCOM has decided to launch an OMEP Journal of Theory into Practice and the Inaugural Issue, which is dedicated to 70th anniversary, has the title: Constructing Early Childhood Cultures of Peace, Rights, Play, and Participation. You will receive further information from World Secretary, but please notice that submissions should be send to me till 30th of November.

6.“Matryoshka: The beauty of Russia” project
During 2016 OMEP Russia invited Greece to participate in a project about Matryoska and exchange national toys. The project had a great success and many of you participated at its presentation at World Conference in Opatija. I am happy to announce that another presentation of this project is going to take place at 13th and 14th of October 2017 at the Archaeological Museum of Patras, my town in Greece. The presentation is organized in collaboration with the Consulant of Russia and it is under the auspices of Department of Educational Sciences and Early Childhood Education at University of Patras. You are invited to participate or join the project by communicating with OMEP Russia at: info@rusomep.ru. At Russian OMEP website, www.rusomep.ru, you can find in ppt format a detailed description of the project.

7. Forthcoming visits
In September I am going to visit Poland and meet Anna Wróbel, President of OMEP Poland, Dr Ewa Lewandowska and all the friends there. Later this month, I will visit for first time Ukraine, Kiev and Lutsk, where I have been invited by OMEP Ukraine and its President, Inessa Filippova. I am looking forward to meeting them and sharing their views and activities.

8. Geneva Peace Week Side Event
I am happy to announce you that on Friday, 10th of November 2017 a Side Event is going to take place for second time in Geneva Peace Week. I am sending you the program and I invite you to participate. Please, take into consideration that you should have been registered in advanced (without paying fees), since there are certain restrictions and regulations for entering Palai de Nations.

Interventions to Break the Inter-Generational Cycle of Violence - Organisation Mondiale Pour L'Éducation Préscolaire (OMEP), CEPPs Global Initiative, Centre of Excellence For Early Childhood Development (CEECD)

  • Place: Palais de Nations (Room IX)
  • Time: 14:15 - 15:30
  • Speakers: Mr Nektarios Stellakis, OMEP Vice-President for Europe
    Ms Maggie Koog, OMEP Past President, International focal point to the CCNGO/EFA Coordination Group, NY, 2017-2019
    Ms Rima Salah, Yale University, Former Deputy Director of UNICEF
    Prof. Richard Tremblay, Emeritus professor of Paediatrics/Psychiatry/Psychology at the University of Montreal, and professor of child development at University College Dublin.
    Centre of Excellence For Early Childhood Development.
    Ms Valerie Unite, Founder and Exec. Director of Childhood and Early Parenting Principles (CEPPs) Global Initiative

9. OMEP Iran preparation committee
I forward you a message from Ebrahim Talaee and I encourage you to support our new team. They are workingon the following projects: a) Developing a national curriculum for early childhood education and care (from 0-6 years old), if you can help us with similar documents in other countries , that would be very helpful. b) Developing a longitudinal research on the development and growth of children from birth to 12, If you can help us with questionnaires which are used in longitudinal studies around the globe, that would be very helpful. c) Developing a mobile app for parents to show them parenting practices in everyday situations to learn how to develop their children's cognitive, social, physical, language development. If you know of similar apps, that would be helpful.

10. Before closing my letter, I would like to remind you two issues. The first one has to do with our collaboration with African countries. UK and recently Norway have developed a scheme for strengthening collaboration. In our meeting in Opatije, Elli, our World Account, from Norway showed us the Memorandum of Understanding signed by OMEP Norway and OMEP Kenya. I ask you to discuss with your Committees and send your support to some African Committees, which really need them. Bimbola, the Regional Vice President for Africa and I are very willing to support this kind of collaboration. The second issue has to do with children from refugee families. The problem is still hot, even though not every day in media as it used to be last year. Please, do not turn your back to these children, to their families and the communities, which try so hard to welcome and support them, and at the same time to stabilize their own living.

With my warmest regards and looking forward to hearing your news, the events organizing by your Committee, initiatives of your members, collaborations and any other activity of yours.

Nektarios Stellakis, Vice President of OMEP for Europe

APPENDIX I
World Delcaration 2017: Concept notes:
- Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. (2015). Resolution adopted by the General Assembly of United Nations on 25 September 2015. http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/70/1&Lang=E
- Education 2030. Incheon Declaration and. Framework for Action. Towards inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all. World Education Forum, 2015. http://www.uis.unesco.org/Education/Documents/incheon-framework-for-action-en.pdf
- Belle, J. (2016). Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) and its long-term effects on educational and labour market outcomes. Cambridge, UK: European Union & RAND Europe http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_reports/RR1600/RR1667/RAND_RR1667.pdf
- Europe 2020 targets:
- EU: Commission Recommendation of 20 February 2013 Investing in children: breaking the cycle of disadvantage. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/eli/reco/2013/112/oj
- UNESCO. (2010). Moscow Framework for Action and Cooperation Harnessing the Wealth of Nations. Moscow http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0018/001898/189882e.pdf
- OECD (2006). Starting Strong II: Early Childhood Education and Care. http://www.oecd.org/edu/school/startingstrongiiearlychildhoodeducationandcare.htm
- OECD (2011). Investing in High-Quality Early Childhood Education and Care. www.oecd.org/edu/school/48980282.pdf
- ILO (2014). Meeting of Experts on Policy Guidelines on the Promotion of Decent Work for Early Childhood Education Personnel 2013 http://www.ilo.org
- UNICEF (2008). The child care transition: A league table of early childhood education and care in economically advanced countries. Report Card 8. Florence: UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre. https://www.unicef-irc.org/publications/pdf/rc8_eng.pdf
- European Commission Network on Childcare and Other Measures to Reconcile the Employment and Family Responsibilities of Men and Women (1996), Quality Targets in Services for Young Children, Brussels. http://www.childcarecanada.org/sites/default/files/Qualitypaperthree.pdf
- Sayre, Rebecca K., Amanda E. Devercelli, Michelle J. Neuman, and Quentin Wodon. (2015). Investing in Early Childhood Development: Review of the World Bank’s Recent Experience. World Bank Studies. Washington, DC: World Bank. https://olc.worldbank.org/sites/default/files/Investing%20in%20Early%20Chidhood%20Development_Review%20of%20the%20WB%20Recent%20Experience_eBook_0.pdf
- Asma Zubairi, A. & Rose, P. (2017). Bright and Early: How financing pre-primary education gives every child a fair start in life. Moving towards quality early childhood development for all. University of Cambridge: REAL Centre. http://s3.amazonaws.com/theirworld-site-resources/Reports/Theirworld-Report-Bright-and-Early-June-2017.pdf
- UNESCO (2012). Expanding equitable early childhood care and education is an urgent need. EFA-GMR: Policy paper 03. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0021/002160/216038E.pdf
- UNICEF (2017). Narrowing the Gaps: The power of investing in the poorest children. New York: UNICEF https://www.unicef.org/publications/files/UNICEF_The_power_of_investing_in_the_poorest_children.pdf
APPENDIX II
Minutes of OMEP European Regional Meeting, held at Opatija, Croatia on Tuesday 20th June 2017.
1. Apologies:
Denice Cunningham: OMEP Ireland
Elena Roussinova: OMEP Bulgaria
2. Welcome.
Dr Nektarios Stellakis (VP Europe) welcomed all to the OMEP European meeting. He thanked Adrijana (Croatia) and OMEP Croatia for hosting the meeting in such beautiful surroundings. He emphasised that the first priority of the meeting would be to focus on ways of improving communication, collaboration and synergies among the countries in Europe. He introduced Christina, an observer from Austria.
3. Migrant Crisis
Nektarios reminded everyone of the continuing migrant crisis in Greece. One million migrants have already passed through Greece and many remain there because of the illegal closing of borders in Europe. Many of these migrants are unaccompanied children. He distributed a book ‘Marek All Alone’, developed under the auspices of UNHCR and asked the meeting to consider how we could support the rights of these children. Dorothy Selleck (OMEP UK) reminded us that OMEP started in 1948 when there were similar conditions in Europe. OMEP was founded to ensure children settled well in their new countries. The founders of Europe would want us to make this a priority now. Following a question from Shirin (Sweden) it was confirmed that no-one can work with migrant children unless through official channels.
4. European Projects
Following discussion at the previous European meeting (2016) about the importance of encouraging formal projects within Europe the following projects were presented.
  • a) Serap (Turkey) distributed an explanatory leaflet for the ‘European Immigrant Intervention Program for Children: Early Childhood’ and explained that this project would seek to establish a common European Migrant Children Intervention Programme’. She called for partners to join this project with the intention of applying for Erasmus Plus funding.
  • a) Larissa (Russia) presented participants with a leaflet describing the Russian Doll Project. This is a participatory project focusing on national toys through a pedagogic exchange. She called for participants throughout Europe.
  • b) Maria (Cyprus) told the meeting of her project which focused on the use of art integration with young children in a museum project for early childhood.
  • c) Adrijana (Croatia) informed the meeting about the Erasmus project which involves Norway, Poland, Croatia, Greece and UK. It focuses on education and training of early childhood teachers to work with families. The outcome of the project is a website and a book.
  • d) Natalia (Russia) informed the meeting of the ongoing exchange with Bosnia Herzegovina. Tamara from Bosnia Herzegovina will be leading this project.
  • e) Eli (World Treasurer, Norway) noted the memorandum of understanding between UK and Kenya and told the meeting that both Norway and UK are supporting the development of a toy library in Kenya.
  • f) Ingrid (Sweden) reminded the meeting of the Moscow Declaration which set out the intention of supporting the most vulnerable children. Participants should use their time in Croatia to investigate funding opportunities for projects.
5. Official Languages of OMEP
Amalia (Spain) asked that all 3 languages of OMEP are used at World and European Conferences and in correspondence. This was supported by Daniele (France) who told the meeting that their policy was to use French wherever possible. Lisbet (France) reminded us that OMEP is an international organisation recognised by UNESCO. French, Spanish and English are official languages and part of OMEP’s identity. French is the 3rd most spoken language in the world. Adrijana asked us to consider that the costs of simultaneous interpretation and translation were considerable, around 30,000 Euros to provide Spanish and French. It was agreed that more discussion should take place to agree how equity between languages would be achieved in practice.
6. Next European Regional Meetings and conferences
The 2018 meeting will be in Prague.
2019 European meeting – Antonio (Portugal) offered to host the meeting in 2019. Nektarios (VP) thanked him for this kind offer.
A proposal was tabled by OMEP Sweden following discussion with Denmark, Finland and Norway regarding the World Conference. Considering the costs and organisational burden of a large world conference it was argued that one larger World Assembly should be held every 3 years with smaller ones in between. They offered to host a smaller meeting in Malmo in 2019 within a more active and consultative approach. Ingrid (Sweden and World OMEP) reminded everyone that a World meeting was a very good opportunity to meet with others and it was up to individuals how they organised Assemblies and Conferences. Perhaps the European meeting should take place on the first morning of the Assembly. European meetings might also be held in Cyprus or Turkey and Serap (Turkey) emphasised how keen Turkey is to participate and to create a life for their children. Dorothy Selleck (UK) reminded us to keep children in the forefront of our thinking. It was agreed that a decision on this issue would be taken next year following a process when all countries will send in their full proposals for conferences. It was suggested that we might hold an interim meeting in Europe before the main World Assembly in Prague. Ewa (Poland) offered to host a meeting on 24th November.
7. Serbia
Adrijana (Croatia) reported that OMEP Serbia is existing within another organisation. Nektarios (VP) asked for more information regarding this and requested that Christina (Serbia) arrange a meeting with him to discuss this. Kristina (Serbia) is in discussion with Bosnia Herzegovina. Tamara (?) from Bosnia- Herzegovina said they had received much help from both Nektarios and Croatia recently to support the development of an OMEP committee.
8. Election of the next VP for Europe.
Bibi (Sweden) emphasised that his should be an open and democratic process. Every country should have a discussion and all countries should both nominate and vote. It was agreed that by 1st Jan 2018 each committee would send in a nomination. Nektarios will open an online survey to include all countries and send this out to enable everyone to vote following nominations.
9. Any other business
OMEP Turkey has a new publication and seeks contributions. The Journal of Early Childhood Studies, Turkey, will be published twice a year. Please encourage all to submit articles.
Inessa and Victor (Ukraine) thanked the World OMEP committee for support in the development of the Ukraine Committee. Ukraine showed the meeting an inspiring film which demonstrates the strong future that OMEP Ukraine has.
Theory and Practice: Journal for Anniversary of OMEP. A working group is required for this. Nektarios (VP) seeks volunteers to form a group.
Date of next meeting: to be advised.
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS
  Nektarios Stellakis VP for Europe  
Croatia Adrijana Visnjic Jevtic Edita Rogulj Slavica Basic
Bosnia & Herzegovina Tamara Pribisev Beleslin Aleksandra Sindic
Czech Republic Dana MORAVCOVA Milada Rabusicova Marek KADLEC

Jarmila KOTRABOVA
Cyprus Maria Vasiliadou
France Danièle PERRUCHON Lisbeth GOUIN
Greece Effrosyni Katsikonouri Sofia Saiti Eleni Didachou

Angeliki Vellopoulou
Denmark Ida Kornerup Unni LIND
Iceland Kristín Dýrfjörð
Latvia RUTA KANEPEJA MARTIN KANEPEJS
Norway Eli Bergesvik
Poland Anna Wróbel Ewa Lewandowska
Portugal António Ponces de CARVALHO
Russia Larisa SHEVCHENKO Maria GERASINA Natalia RYZHOVA

Marina MARTINSON
Serbia Kristina Planjanin Simic
Sweden Eva Arlemalm-Hagser Bibi Karlsson Annika Rosenqvist

Shirin Fazel-Zandy
Switzerland Corinne Wild
Turkey Serap Erdogan Nubanu Parpucu Nalan Kuru Turasli

Mehmet Toran
Ukraine Inessa Filippova Viktor Koszyrec Tamara Bulchyk
United Kingdom Liz Hryniewicz Janet Morris Dorothy Selleck

Helen Davison
Austria (Observer) Christina Pernsteiner