Dear Friends of the ELIANT Alliance,
Children will shape the future building on the values that parents, society and school have modeled for them. The Alliance ELIANT makes an important contribution with its projects and partners to raise the awareness for these issues in decision-makers and civil society. The following projects give you insights into the activities of our alliance:
The Unfolding Conference took place in Brussels from October 23 - 26. It was organized by Learning for Well-being, Universal Education Foundation, Alliance for Childhood, Eurochild, Alliance ELIANT, International Association for Steiner / Waldorf Early Childhood Education and Evens Foundation. The ELIANT project-manager Michaela Sieh was the coordinator for this conference that reached out broadly. During this event, child rights were also discussed. As member of Eurochild, ELIANT supports the Child Rights Manifesto that was presented on November 20 on the occasion of Universal Children’s Day.
The Child Rights Manifesto
This manifesto, signed by 14 child rights organizations, calls on the European Parliament to use its legislative and budgetary powers in the best interest of children. What can you do? Ask your local Member of European Parliament to pledge to be a Child Rights Champion. Find all relevant information here.
Human values and core capacities
The main focus of this central conference in Brussels was to explore: what are the universal human values and how do we support our children to experience them, in relation to themselves and in their personal engagement? Respect for the integrity and dignity of the child from the beginning, truthfulness in encountering each other, loving interest for each other and for the environment in all its details. What does it mean in practice: relaxation, enriching sensory awareness, paying attention, and empathy – sensible listening, giving space for self-organisation and for inquiring? These capacities need to be understood, to be practised and to be brought to expression, also in the physical body. Thus, the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wholeness of the individual develops and can be perceived by the child. The child imitates this in a self-directed manner, and in this way, moving into wholeness can be awakened in the child and the child can take ownership of this process.
Allowing each child to unfold his / her unique potential
130 professionals from research and practice, policy-makers and an amazing number of engaged young people took part in The Unfolding Conference. Coming from 18 different countries, they explored together the question how a culture can be nurtured that allows each child to unfold his/her unique individual and social potential. The most important outcomes of this conference are new initiatives and the hope for a future-oriented education of the generations who will shape the Europe of tomorrow. A true advent theme.
Building a Europe for and with Children
The main focus of our work in 2013 has been on child rights and children’s well-being. We will continue this work in 2014, with the new project “Growing Together – Integrative Pathways to Child Health and Well-being”. This project is supported by Damus-Donata; our main project partner is the Universal Education Foundation (UEF). ELIANT is aiming at “building a Europe for and with children”, as the Council of Europe has phrased it so clearly.
At the conference “Children as Actors for Transforming Society” (CATS), ELIANT was represented by Michaela Sieh with a plenary presentation. A huge number of different international professionals and an engaged group of children and young people came together for CATS. This event was also a perfect preparation for the Brussels Unfolding Conference. Through the joint preparing for the next CATS-conference, this work is continuing on a partnership base, co-creating with young people. Everyone who is involved and interested in these issues is invited to join us for the next CATS conference, taking place from July 26 till August 2, 2014 in Caux (Switzerland). The topic is: Young advocates for change.
During the conferences in Brussels and in Switzerland, it has been absolutely amazing to listen to the young people who presented their issues during plenary sessions. Their insights and their capacity to express their wishes and hopes have deeply impressed all conference participants.
We wish you a lightful time of advent and send our warm greetings
Michaela Glöckler, Ueli Hurter and Susanna Küffer Heer (Executive Committee); Michaela Sieh (project management)