BEIRUT: Family is the ideal space for the development of an individual, the construction of values of solidarity, freedom, responsibility and social participation, experts argued at the "Family, The Face of Society" conference.
The conference, organized by the Association Familiale pour l’Education (AFE), in partnership with International Federation for Family Development (IFFD) and Social Promotion Foundation (FPS), took place at Smallville Hotel Badaro on May 23, 2019.
Two distinguished international speakers Leticia Rodriguez, Director of IFFD Family Enrichment and Rosa Pich-Aguilera, Author of the Best-Seller "Comment être Heureux Avec 1,2,3...Enfants," flew in specially from Spain and were welcomed by a full house and an enthusiastic audience. The conference was held in presence of representatives from IFFD and FPS, who traveled to Beirut specifically for the event.
Representatives from different sectors of the Lebanese government, society and the diplomatic corps also attended the conference, as well as young couples, professionals, entrepreneurs and key players in the educational sector.
The conference was a special opportunity to raise awareness about family challenges and to promote appropriate action.
In her opening speech, Joumana Trad, President of FPS, which supports the promotion of “family enrichment” and civil society organizations, described family as the basic unit and pillar of society.
Emphasizing the crucial role of parents, Fadi Yarak, Director General Ministry of Education and Higher Education, stressed in his speech the involvement of parents in the education of their children during the entire years of education, as it's essential for their stability and success, and as a result, the entire society, which is confirmed by multiple studies and numbers.
AFE President Louise Vasdeboncoeur Aoun also highlighted the importance to invest time and energy as parents for a better education for our children. "We need to start with ourselves as parents, training ourselves and working on the job of 'being a mother and a father,' and parenting can be shaped better thanks to the courses of Family Enrichment.’"
Leticia Rodríguez, Director of IFFD Family Enrichment, presented the wide experience of this institution over the past 41 years, already supporting families in more than 70 countries from the five continents, providing couples with the tools to improve their family lives in order to thrive instead of struggling.
Since 2011, IFFD has been doing research on the social role of families and sharing the results with the United Nations, taking advantage of its privileged position as General Status Consultant. IFFD is also working on the implementation of 8 out of the 17 SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) 2030.
Finally, author of the bestseller “Rosa, what’s your secret? Raising a large family with love,” Rosa Pich, communicated her cheerful enthusiasm and unique experience to the audience. She said: "We must find happiness in our everyday life, in our homes and among our family members, together and every day."
Families are considered to be the basic unit of society and are essential for the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Created in 1978, IFFD is a non-governmental, independent, and non-profit federation, whose primary mission is to support families through training. It is considered an important partner for the UN Division for Social Policy Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Their programs are implemented in 68 countries through local NGOs.
AFE was created for the same purpose by Lebanese families in 2008. Since then, it has run over 15 Family Enrichment courses and many workshops, each given in a period of three months for 200 families in Jounieh and Beirut.
FPS, on the other hand, aims to ensure that all people can live according to their human dignity. Lebanon is the first country in the Middle East region in which the Foundation began to work and is still present until now. Since 1991, FPS has implemented 44 projects in different fields.
Recently, FPS has implemented a project in favor of an inclusive education that promotes equal access to education for children with special needs, some of which are teacher training for 24 schools, training modules in psychomotricity, orthopedagogy, and speech therapy, awareness sessions for parents and students, and psychosocial support staff within public schools.
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