Amsterdam & Paris
Dear Korczak friends and colleagues,
We are happy to send you this international newsletter. It was a year of many activities inside the Korczak World. Conferences, projects, publications, seminars, etc. It is a sign of hope and it proofs that Korczak's ideas and inspiration are winning through, more and more.
In this Newsletter we publish the news-items received after our call some months ago. Perhaps we miss some important facts. Please send us your contribution as soon as possible, it should help us to send the next Newsletter more frequently and also to update the Korczak International news blog. Please, send your texts in English.
We wish all of you a happy and healthy NEW YEAR, and let's hope with less violence and more attention for the rights of children living in situations full of threats (families, schools, society, etc.), and World humanitarian crisis and wars. We also wish you courage in all your activities during the next year.
The IJKnews Team, Bernard Lathuillere and Theo Cappon,
Theo Cappon visit the Korczak Association in Brasil. For years ago, he visited their "Projeto Anchieto" for the last time and he was very curious to see how things had been changed. His report is full of good surprises – [More on the blog]
Our Korczak friends in Brasil organised for the first time an integration camp for children with different backgrounds. The camp was held in Pirenópolis, near Brasilia, in the Central region of Brasil. 24 children, 12 from the North and 12 from the South took part with 8 educators and 5 people from Vaga Lume staff. The Dutch-Russian "Nash Dom" camps served as a model. Sylvia Guimaraes sent us a short report. [More on the blog…]
A call from our friends in Kyrgyzstan. It would be great to find a way to help them, please let us know what if you can do something. See below their letter:
Thank you for sending to Kyrgyzstan the Korczak International Newsletter. We have here now for some years the Janusz Korczak Center/Bishkek. And we would like to do some workshops so that people here could be interested in the ideas of Janusz Korczak. There are so many street children, so much violence against children in Central Asia. And we think that by opening workshops for those who are interested, we could show by the ideas of Janusz Korczak. How children can be treated with respect and dignity, even in such a poor country as Kyrgyzstan. But to prepare we need materials, literature and books of Janusz Korczak. Because we can't find literature and materials here in Central Asia we would like to ask you for help. The literature and the materials can be in Russian, English or German language. And maybe you can send us by email ideas how other organisations in developing countries bring the ideas of Janusz Korczak to their people.
Thank you for understanding […]
Karla-Maria and Igor Shaelike
Children's Rehabilitations Center Umut-Nadjeschda ul. Waldaiskaja 37,
720047 BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan
In current of March 2008 in the Kiev lyceum no. 77 have passed actions devoted to the 130-th anniversary of Korczak's birth. So many lectures, debates, publish readings have been organized by teachers and some students for the schoolchildren. On March, 22th, 2008 there has passed the Action of Janusz Korczak Memory "Wings to Child!". So many kites with Korczak's quotations started. In spring of 2008 there have passed two premieres of the performances connected with creativities of Janusz Korczak:
Svetlana Petrovskaya, Kiev
In France, the Korczak Association not had a sufficient number of activists to be as active on the ground than in the past. We seek a way to focus our efforts on training and education. Our action Internet communication always ask a lot of work. The website IJKnews (www.korczak.info) we have founded with the Dutch Korczak Association as an experimentation to become a possible space to international Korczak’s movement is unfortunaly questioned by a lack of English redactors and webmasters, that could lead to its closure. Only the IJKnews blog seems able to operate pending its necessary technical developments.
About Children's rights in France, a country where children and youth, particularly immigrant and poor but not only (see the perversions of the multimedia and consumer society - More on DCI-France), have to bear more and more denial of their human rights, we report further a very curious (and difficult) experience we did this year trying to help two very young foreigners children to be reunified with their parents, because of a judgement supposed to protect them.
About the Korczak's movement - Regarding the ongoing rebuilding of IKA, the AFJK is still awaiting an evolution towards a genuine international NGO devoted to Children. In fact, we believe priority should be to organize a large international congress to hold a substantive debate between the various associations Korczak of the world on their different perceptions of the universal legacy of Dr. Korczak and the various possible ways to continue promoting respect for the child in the minds and institutions [If interested to talk with us in English language about this project, please contact Jonathan Levy, AFJK Vice president].
International Action - AFJK seems to have found simple ways to be useful to social workers and street educators engaged in African courageous actions to defend the rights of children in their country, not by subsidizing (impossible for us and this is not our vocation), but by developing relationships with them durable and reciprocal exchanges and work from their involvement on the ground. [See below, Chapter 3. Africa].
Bernard Lathuillère, President of AFJK
We would like to draw your attention to a revealing experience.
In 2008, Our Korczak Association (AFJK) was required to meet the shortcomings of the protection of children in France, Poland and Ukraine because of the administrative placement of two young children (3 and 5 years old) by a French judge for children who had found useful to remove them from their parents, foreigners and stateless persons, in transit by Paris. They lived quietly for 15 years in the Jewish community in Warsaw. Madam had fled the Ukraine, where she was persecuted and Mr is a Georgian nationality. The placement was said as justified as a preventive but without evidence of abuse. It has been endlessly extended, which has plunged the family in a tragic situation and total insecurity.
Our moral assistance to parents, a collective legal action for six months, material assistance and support of the foundation CASIP-COJASOR, assistance during months of the municipal SAMU social emergency service, the mobilization of several judges and social workers, two actions before the Court of Appeal to finally get a favorable decision (a big thank you to the volunteer lawyer of the family), all this and more was need to achieve secure the release of children and their return to family in their home country (Poland), eight months after their separation, on April 25, 2008.
Upon their return, they were completely lost and became illegal. Because they are not Polish, it has not been not possible to find enough help. Having lost their home, without work or money, they have tried very hard and very difficult situation, worse than ever. So, they found the way to end up back in France, this time with refugee status asylum seeker.
This case highlights the inadequate supervision of Justice for Children, with its investments administrative far too easily extended and whose misuse seems far too frequent. This plunges into a life of orphan at the expense of the taxpayer, children brutally separated from their families. Paradoxically, the huge resources used to cover the risks of abuse are not intended to give families reported as fragile psychosocial support necessary for them to take itself in hand the education of their children. In our case, none of the four members of this family very poor and do not speak a word of French, could not understand the attitud of the French courts against them.
The AFJK is very grateful to understanding persons (social workers, anonymous, and several judges) who helped reunite this family despite a very complicated administrative record because of the four countries and consulates involved (Poland, Ukraine, France, Australia). In Poland, we thank particularly the French Embassy and the founding of Zielona Domy: Wanda Albinska. We remain very surprised that in both capitals, the Ombudsman for Children has not found it possible to provide any assistance to these children traumatized and endangered: in France because it was a decision of Justice, in Poland, because children are not Polish.
Bernard Lathuillère, President of AFJK
Korczak's Friends adwise us an international course "Children's rights in a globalized world: from principles to practice" has been organised by the Centre for the Rights of Children, in Antwerp and Gent. - More: http://www.iccr.be
Each year UNICEF published its annual report ad some others different publications about the state of Children's right all over the world. The 2007 report shows each year the circumstances of children's life and the health of mothers and new-born infants world-wide. It shows also a list of countries with the death-rate of children below five years old. — http://www.unicef.org/publications/index.html
An other very interesting website is the Innocenti Research Centre. UNICEF IRC publication assesses early childhood services in OECD countries — http://www.unicef-irc.org
The IKA (International Korczak Association) is official partner in the "Working Group on the Quality of Childhood within the European Parliament". After the first year of intensive work (many meetings with partners from several European countries), we assed the results. What is the present situation for children and youngsters in the European countries and what is the role of our working group?
The secretary, Mr Michel Matthes in Brussels, wrote "A vision on children and childhood in the European Union (9.04.2008)" available for download on the Alliance web site [here], in Word [216 Ko, 18p.], also available in PowerPoint [Ppt, 760 Ko]. An interesting text that offers a vision for everyone who works with children (schools, day-care centres, family, children's houses, sport, etc.). Three lines in this paper:
In 2008 the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group had 10 meetings in Brussels, 5 in the network group and 5 with members of the European Parliament. Some of the items were:
An international Conference entitled "Challenges of Childhood in a changing world" is organised from 26-30 September 2009 by the Kempler Institute of Scandinavia and the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group in Brussels. The conference aims to propose a new set of recommendations - VISION 2020 - for how to improve the conditions of childhood for children everywhere. — [More info…]
Three Korczak Associations are currently working relationship with African Social workers and people to help them to propagated Children's right in Africa:
The French Korczak Association AFJK provides a special support to three local NGO in Nord-Kivu, DRCongo, in the very heart of the Great Lakes humanitarian crisis: CHILDREN'S VOICE in Goma and EAD in Beni. The third stay in Burundi: AVES in Bujumbura which was led from its fondation by Dr. Korczak's Thoughts [More below].
In 2008, AFJK decided to opened a new blog created for them and with them a new blog entitled "(Korczak) African blog", designed as a open space for thought and communication around the fate of the African Child (in French): http://africa.afjk.org.
The Dutch Korczak Association started in Ghana a working group with a local NGO in the Northern region: CPYWD in Tamale (see further). Mr. Yakubu Iddrisu, one of his leader, was one of the participants in the Youth Conference in September 2007. After a year of work and various stages, Theo Cappon was invited to visit them on the spot to organize a seminar for adults and children. [More below].
The Swiss Korczak Association started a diplomatic initiative for the promotion of a Korczak Prize in Burundi [More below].
In DRC, in the Great Lakes region, armed conflicts result in 15 years consequences similar to those of the Second World War in Europe for people with a number of deaths estimated at 5.4 million (mostly through preventable disease and starvation) and refugees (1.6 million to date). Daily abuses against women and children are among the largest and most dramatic in the world (massive abuse, exploitation, violence and recruitment of children into armed groups, children accused of witchcraft burned alive, separated from their families, deprived of care, school, education, etc.). Since the resumption of fighting this summer, heralding a possible third inter-African war, GOMA, the capital of the North-Kivu is the Centre of the worst humanitarian crisis in history.
In such a dramatic context, AFJK develops and strengthens the past two years a strong and productive working relationship with an unique Congolese NGO, named Children's Voice, founded in 2002 in GOMA by 12 women from the civil society, personally involved to defend the rights of children, leading awareness of people, authorities and every people. CV chairs the Nord-Kivu Regional Commission for Childcare.
In 2008, we succeed to organised a speaking tour for the CV Coordinator, Ms. Christine Musaidizi, who already came a first time in 2006 in Paris and Warsaw in the footsteps of Korczak. She was first invited in Spain at the World Congress of SIETAR, an international NGO. Then she was our guest in Paris and gave two conferences with two others international NGO: Initiatives of Change, a great actor of peace in Burundi, and EMDH. Whenever, she described the plight of poor children in his region of eastern DR Congo and she explained the useful job the social workers Congolese and foreigners, and all the work still needed to change mental attitudes with children. After that, our friend returned to his country where war had resumed.
Since 2006, one website/blog is developed and maintained by AFJK to make known and support CV (in French): Children's Voice site/blog "children-voice.org"
Since 2004, AFJK (French Korczak Association) maintains a relationship with epistolary fruitful exchange of documents (in French) with a team of young social workers involved in defending the right of children and support of children the streets in BUJUMBURA, capital of the country. In May 2006, they created their own small NGO child protection, entitled AVES (Association of Volunteers for Coaching and Support Vulnerable Children), driven by the personality copy of Dr. Janusz KORCZAK, discovered through reading his main book "How to Love a Child", as say its president, Emmanuel Hyassini Bakundukize, a 25 years old student.
AVES is working on the basis of the only volunteer involvement and dedicated of its members in the precarious and difficulties in a country where peace is still fragile. One year ago, to the anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, AVES had organized with a big success a drawing exhibition in all 17 provinces of Burundi in which 850 children of Burundi have expressed their opinions and concerns.
Recently, Hyassini explain how he "met" Korczak and how he is inspiring his educating work with children in this article "Korczak, une force d’inspiration", to read on the new African blog (in French).
With the help of the Swiss Korczak Association, Joël Hakazimana, a Burundian student and political refugee in Switzerland, started an interesting initiative with the State University of Burundi intitled: "Korczak Prize in Burundi (JKB)". Doing this, Joël ask our attention for the present situation in his country as he did already in 1999 when he got the Janusz Korczak Prize in Children's rights for his work on the human rights through his comic-strip "Où allons-nous – Mbega Tugenda Tuja He - Where are we going?" (put on-line in May 2008, thanks to Bernard).
After the J.K. Youth Conference 2007 in the Netherlands, the Dutch Korczak Association started a Ghana working group. Mr. Yakubu Iddrisu from the town of Tamale (Northern region of Ghana) was one of the participants in the Youth Conference and he explained the situation of youngsters and women in that part of the country. During the "Open Stage" in the conference he told us about the activities of the Community Partnership for Youth and Woman Development (CPYWD) in Tamale, and some communities around the town.
Yakubu made it clear to us that the pedagogical ideas of Janusz Korczak could be a great inspiration for their work. He "met" Korczak during the workshops, lectures and the informal talks and meetings (1). Indeed, because the mission and objectives of CPYWD are:
For that reason he invited the Dutch Janusz Korczak association to continue the contacts and cooperation. We accepted this invitation with great pleasure and we started a Ghana working group with young people to give them feed-back, support and to develop together with CPYWD ideas and materials. The "leading lady" of the Ghana working group is Maartje Bos. She worked already for 6 months in the Tamale-project and brought us in contact with Mr. Yakubu. Maartje Bos herself is also representing the Ghana Haarlem Association. So, at the moment we have a strong triangle and the pedagogy of Janusz Korczak is the red thread. In the meantime the next step was already made. New volunteers went to Tamale and returned with a lot of experiences. They reported and wrote about the continuation and new steps in the project Specially the activities for the after-school program for children and youngsters were successful.
From 6 to 20 October 2008, I had the possibility to visit the project in Tamale myself. Read the full report with some photos on the International Korczak website: "Starting a Korczak Circle in Ghana" (just click on to see it).
(1) Yakubu send an interesting contribution on the new African blog: "Korczak's legacy for African children".
Theo Cappon (chairman of the Dutch Korczak Ass.)
We have been very surprised to discover a curious result due the entry of Poland in Europe on Korczak's legacy because of the extension of the advantageous coverage of copyright in Europe to the benefit Polish authors, with retroactive effect. Clearly, it must know that the Korczak's work is no longer free to copyright. The lack of preparation of this measure caused a problem with the Polish Ministry of Culture. In France, AFJK has recently deplored in 2008 that the startup of two new great projects inspired from Korczak's books remained blocked because of lack of preparation of this decision at the Polish Ministry of Culture.
The question of the evolution of Korczak's copyright should focus on IKA, and we expect a statement from it this year on this serious issue. But in the meantime, we would be interested - and curious - to know the experiences of other Korczak associations, publishers or producers who may have met already this problem or will be facing.
A very interesting report. The principle objective of the Foundation is to develop and implement initiatives to promote a fairer, freer, and more responsible society. In their words: "Our understanding of the concept of well-round education is that a process of intellectual and academic training should go hand in hand with healthy physical, psychological and social growth in order to achieve a sufficient level of well-being, balance, and personal ans social contentment. We consider that Social and Emotional Education is an inseparable part of the well-rounded education of each individual".
For many years now, educational programmes to promote emotional and social development have been researched and applied in several countries around the world. The scientific progress made during the same period has made it possible to test and investigate in detail the importance of emotions for the positive growth of people and for their well-being.
The introduction of the report: "Introducing Social and Emotional Education" [PDF 161 Ko, 9p.], written by Christopher Clouder, underlines the importance of Social and Emotional education, followed by the evaluation of several programs in the United Kingdom, Sweden, The Netherlands, Spain, USA and Germany. The report ends with: "Effectiveness of School-Based Social and Emotional Education Programmes Worldwide".
- Interested to get the full report? Contact: Ms. Fatima Sanchez Santiago,
"fsanchez [x] fundacionmbotin.org"
Joop W. A. Berding, member of board of the Janusz Korczak Association in The Netherlands (JKSN), wrote a new presentation of Korczak, 6 pages long. We add it on the bibliography on the website: [PDF 136 Ko, 7p.].
Title: "There were five Colors" Creativity and Children (in Dutch).
The Janusz Korczak Society in Ukraine in coöperation with the Institute of Judaic and the Centre of European studies in Humanities of the National University "Kyiv - Mohila Academy" published in 2007 a collection of miscellaneous texts of Janusz Korczak.
The title of the book is "Dytya Ludske" ("Human child") included: • How to love a child • Children of the Bible • Moses • Alone with God, prayers of those who don't pray • Senate of Madmen • The ghetto-diary.
Texts for the first time are published in Ukrainian language, without denominations and censorship : ISBN:966-378-043-6. Project heads: Svetlana Petrovskaya, Leonid Finberg, Konstantin Sigov; Composer: Svetlana Petrovskaya, Editor: Miron Petrovsky; Published by "Spirit and a letter".
The presentation of the book took place in the end of 2007. On presentation there were representatives of the Polish embassy, representatives of the government of Kiev, publishers, actors, artists, teachers, students, schoolchildren.
Презентация состоялась в конце 2007 года. На презентации присутствовали представители польского посольства, издатели представители правительства Киева, интеллигенция, актёры, художники, студенты, школьники
Svetlana Petrovskaya, Kiev.
Sandra Joseph in London let us know that the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester played a new original production of David Greig's show Dr. Korczak's Example.
We know this excellent David Greig's play since it has been produced in French in Brussels in 2003 and 2004 by the famous "Théâtre du Rideau".
It met an incredible popular success during two seasons and was the support of many great pedagogical approach about Tolerance, History, and Respect of Human rights (and Children rights) with teachers and teenagers in all the town. The comedians were great and the French Korczak Association (AFJK) had been closely involved a relation ship with the management to deliver documentation on Korczak and to organise the support.
Dr Korczak's Example had been product in other different countries and languages. In Manchester, agree with Sandra Joseph, this new production was a perfect prolongation of the recent Korczak exhibition.
Mike Levy in Cambridge, inform us he performed Tagore's The Post Office in an adaptation by himself called KORCZAK'S POST OFFICE, by the Keystage Company. "Our passion is to bring history, heritage, community and drama together […] Many schools and drama clubs are keen to tackle the issues involved: genocide, racism, tyranny and so on. But how? We have developed a set of resources that come out of drama work with schools. Our resources help to place the Holocaust in its historical context and yet bring out the positive lessons we can learn from that terrible period".
The play is based on the production performed by the doomed children of the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942. It's a unique drama-based programme for educators. It has just won a drama award (Junior Section). [Read more on their site…].
Adam Silverman in New York, the composer, sent us some press release after his last performance when the Opera Company of Brooklyn bring the opera Korczak’s Orphans to the stage for the first time in Manhattan. He add this message: "I would love for interested people to learn about this upcoming performance!".
This opera is based on the life of Janusz Korczak, adapted on the Betty Jean Lifton’s biography by librettist Suzan Gubernat. The New York City Opera’s orchestra and soloists under the baton of Music Director George Manahan performed act II of Korczak’s Orphans in 2004. The New York Times raved that "the music of Act II, performed complete, was pulsing, glitteringly orchestrated and harmonically pungent" [the full article: PDF 148 Ko, 3p.].
Much information is available on his personal website…
The Polish Committee of UNESCO and Information Office of the Council of Europe organized a Summer school on Korczak's ideas and contemporary children and youths problems, on theses two topics:
Participants were supposed to be advanced students of education, psychology, sociology etc., and young academicians, teachers, activists (under 30 years), speaking English and able to pay 120 Euros fee.
A report by two youth members of the Dutch Korczak Ass., Alina Talmanova and Aliya Shakirova. To give you a short feedback, we think that the best way is to make a short description with main points. We divided it into two following groups:
1) What went very good?
2) What went less good?
Colette, from France, has been invited to come as a lecturer, wich has been possible with the help of the french and the financial support Swiss Korczak Association. Her report is more severe. A quick translation on its main points:
First, the preparation has been very difficult, and the program sent only 15 days before.
Second, the program was composed mainly of lectures by qualified teachers, coming from far (Universities of Poland, USA, Great Britain, Israel, Russia, Hong Kong, France) to make interventions magistral, expressing mostly theoretical work more prepared to validate personal thesis as to discuss collectively so contradictory and confront the thoughts, views and social practices. Only one afternoon was devoted to 2 workshops practice that which I was the messenger.
Indeed, this seminar raised many questions. Face to the difficult economic and social situation, made of growing insecurity affecting the education system in the world, I personally constantly ask the question: How Korczak would react? How would it be involved?
Through his writings and especially of its practices every day, he makes with his team, that schools are places of empowerment, to build another report to knowledge which is not consumption, but action/processing, to develop a free thought and an exercise in social responsibility, democracy.
The only transmission by speech or speaking was not enough to create this link, exchange, trigger the urge to do with others.
During the afternoon reserved for workshops, I was the bearer of the experience of the Magazine-Fax college students Versoix [who were asking questions and expecting returns]. It was difficult for participants to imagine the approach of youth, but with the support of our friend Joel Hakizimana (from Switzerland), it was possible to get answers to the attention of students. […]
A next session should be better co-developed of both content and practice. For a next move should be better co-development of both content and practice. On Internet time this seems feasible. At School of Janusz Korczak, It [is surreal to have found] a place yet with those who decide and those who listen them. Colette Charlet
To commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Polish governmental initiative for the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1978-1979, an International Seminar will be held in Geneva with OHCHR and the Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Polish Permanent Mission in Geneva.
This project would be a joint seminar of people thinking and working inspired by Korczak and those who are current members of the Committee on the Rights of the Child. The High Commissar for Human Rights of the EU, Thomas Hammarberg, who is very much devoted to Korczak and had taken part in the drafting of the Convention will be here.
At this time, the organiser, Ms. Waltraut Kerber-Ganse, got the assurance to come from Jadwiga Binczycka, Marta Ciesielska, Batia Gilad, Karl Garnischnig, Daniel Halperin, Gérard Kahn, Malgorzata Kmita, Jonathan Levy and Malgorzata Sobecki. The language will be English.
Who needs more information or might be eager to take part (on his own costs) or even contribute may contact this email-address: "Waltraut.Kerber-Ganse [x] alumni.tu-berlin.de"
By email from Ms. Kerber-Ganse, 8 december 2008
For some months, Tatyana Tsyrlina, a Ph.D. professor in Education that whe know from 1992 as the great and very active President-founder of the Korczak Association in Kurks, inform us in february she had moved on immigration to US of America. Immediately, closely with its president Kurt Bomze, she started to dynamise the Korczak USA Association and she is planifie a J. Korczak International 3-4 days Conference in 2009. — Preliminary program: [PDF, 96 Ko, 2p.]
The Meeting of the International Janusz Korczak Association took place in Israël (1-5 November 2008). Sorry, report in the next Newsletter.
This newsletter wants to be a reflect of Dr. Janusz Korczak’s legacy in the world. It is distributed free on simple requested subscription to this address : email@example.com. Thanks to each contributor.The archives are available online, link below.
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