Latest News

The Learning to Live Together Programme and Strengthening Family Systems

A Basic Training workshop on Ethics Education took place in Porto, Portugal from 14 to 17 May 2014. The workshop was organized in collaboration with GNRC Portugal and aimed to train 23 educators and social workers working with children and families in Porto on how to use the Learning to Live Together programme. 
The training workshop took place in the framework of the Strengthening Family Systems Programme of Arigatou International Geneva. The participants came from formal and non-formal educational settings: schools, child-focused NGOs, foster care centers and from the Portuguese Commission for Child and Youth protection. The institutions that attended the workshop will be working with children and families during the next six to 12 months after the workshop to implement the programme with children and youth in schools and with families.  

During the four-day workshop participants presented their institutions, were introduced to the Learning to Live Together manual, explored the educational frramework and pedagogical approach of the manual, while discussing how practically they can implement it with children and in the family context.

This was the first time that Arigatou International Geneva organized a workshop focused on the family setting to address, among others, how to create a safe and nurturing environment in the family where the children can develop fully and thrive; how parents and caregivers can nurture and discover their own spirituality so they can create spaces to nurture spirituality in children; how to nurture values in the family; how to strengthen the bonds and attachment with the family when children live in a different environment than home such as foster care centers. Participants shared their expertise working with children and families in vulnerable and at risk situations and provided valuable insights that will support the development of the Strengthening Family Systems programme and positively influence the pilot processes in Porto.

A follow-up plan was defined and participants will be in regular contact from now on to exchange ideas, experiences and materials. Participants requested further training to deepen the understanding of the educational framework of the manual, to share more experiences of how the manual has been implemented in other countries and contexts, to be in direct contact with other countries and organizations that are working in similar projects; to share materials and keep in regular contact. A Community of Practice was created for this purpose and meetings will take place periodically at the different institutions to share experiences of implementation and support each other.

Ms Rita Esteves, GNRC member, who has been trained on how to use the Learning to Live Together programme was appointed to manage and accompany the Community of Practice and the pilot-projects during this year. Special thanks goes to the trainers, Ms Mercedes Román, former GNRC Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean and Ms Vera Leal, Program Officer of Arigatou Internatonal.  We also thank Ms Rita Esteves and the GNRC Committe of Porto for their support and coordination.  

This workshop was developed in the framework of the Strengthening Family Systems that is a new programme of Arigatou International Geneva that aims to develop resources for positive parenting and child rearing skills, for the creation of safe environments for children and for early childhood development activities that suppor the full and healthy development of the child.