October 2009 Delegation from German association I.B Behindertehilfe Hessen visited AKIM-Jerusalem. This one-week visit was in return to the delegation AKIM-Jerusalem sent to Germany in November of 2008. The German delegation consisted of professionals similar to the AKIM-Jerusalem professionals, with whom they met, creating fertile ground for interesting exchanges on day-to-day challenges, experiences and practices.
The week was divided into professional visits, discussions and tourism. Every day the German visitors were taken to apartments, occupational placements, leisure time programs run by AKIM-Jerusalem and by other associations working in both the Jewish and Moslem sectors of Jerusalem. The visitors also toured the Holy sites, “Yad Vashem” (Holocaust) museum, Massada, the Dead Sea and Tel Aviv.
The Municipality of Jerusalem invited the visitors from Germany who were taken to tour the top floor of the building where they saw the Mayor’s office, the municipal council’s meeting room and the panoramic view of the whole city of Jerusalem.
Together, they discussed the challenges imposed by the increasingly multi-cultural character of both clients and staff in both countries. Both Israel and Germany are countries of immigration and similarly, welfare authorities must deal with the needs of low-income and low education migrants.
17 -24 May 2009 the artistic festival International Meetings with Creativity of People with Intellectual Disability “World not Known Enough” took place in Gdańsk, Poland.
The festival gathered over 120 artists from France, Germany, Poland, Slovakia and Sweden.
The festival is organized every other year and is the important and recognized event in the cultural landscape of Gdańsk and Pomorskie Region in Poland. The festival brings together professional and non-professional artists of different art domains who have the unique occasion to work together during this week. The festival is organized under the honorary patronage of the the Marshal of Pomorskie Region and the Mayor of Gdańsk and under the auspices of the Caravan 2000.
This year the opening ceremony took place in the Baltic Philharmonic Hall in the presence of Vive Mayor of Gdańsk Mrs. Ewa Kamińska. The Vita Activa orchestra was accompanied by three soloists – famous Polish artists. The exhibition of paintings and photography was presented in the foyer of the Philharmonic Hall. During the week 18th – 22th May 2009 six artistic workshops took place: fine arts – big forms in open-air, theatrical with elements of circus art, music – drums & percussion, handcrafts, culinary and photo-reportage. The leaders of the workshops were the professional artists.
One of the most spectacular events of the festival was the culinary show – the famous Polish chef Joseph Seeletso, a TV celebrity, shared his cooking show with people with disability. The greatest attraction of the festival was the Saturday evening show where “Zakopower” – famous Polish folk band, the star of the evening was accompanied by Remont Pomp – integrative musical & rhythm group from Gdańsk.
The festival ended with the PARADE – happening, march of the participants of workshops in artistic pageant accompanied by the music of drums along the Long Street to the Long Market completed with the artistic show prepared by the participants of the workshops and professional artists.
18th - 22nd March 2009, the conference „Family at the Heart of Social Work in Europe” was organized by Caravan 2000/France and it’s member organization EPDF in Arras, France. The participants in the conference included 31 experts from 9 countries: Greece, Malta, Israel, France, Germany, Poland, Latvia, Turkey and Italy.
Different viewpoints on the three following topics were examined during the conference:
The possible establishment of a common basis of values connecting the partners in our network was explored, how to encourage the creation of new initiatives for young people with disadvantages and disabilities that are respectful of their special needs and self esteem. New ideas and actions will be implemented collectively and in each country, respectively.
During the conference, the participants conducted several field-trips to institutions, like the “Pépinière”, a school for blind children and youth, the “Parenthood Centre” of EPDF and the “Maison de Pierre”, a government-supported respite care center in which people with disabilities are welcomed for a limited time as a means of providing their families with some temporary relief and support. The conference participants had the chance to exchange experiences and ideas with the experts on site.
Two summary reports were prepared of the conference and will be made available upon request. Please contact: Philip Mazereau from France at: firstname.lastname@example.org and Stefan Rothschild from Israel at: email@example.com
After the presentation of the financial and activity reports and a statement by the outgoing president Michael Thiele and the formal approval of actions of the outgoing board, a new president and new board were elected.
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