The World Assembly and International Conference of 2011 were held in Hong Kong in mid July. Around 35 countries were represented during the World Assembly, either in person or by proxy votes. We welcomed three new preparatory committees: Croatia from Europe, and Kenya and Cameroon from Africa. Pirjo Honkavaara from Finland was given the title of honorary membership for all she has done within OMEP both in Finland and internationally during a long time. We have also got two new Vice Presidents, Judith Wagner for North America and The Caribbean, and Abimbola Are for Africa. From 2012 they will take over after Madeleine Baillargeon and Victoria Bilewu respectively, who both have done a tremendous job for OMEP, and I am sure they will give their successors great support.
All national presidents will, as usual, get a C.D. with the annual report. The reports can also be down loaded from the OMEP web-page. Please, all of you look at the web and get acquainted with OMEP’s homepage. There is a lot of information that you can find, about national representatives, constitutions and administrative guidebook, but also about ESD and different projects of OMEP.
Talking about the digital media - I want to take this opportunity to tell you all that I often get invitations to Facebook, from many OMEP members all over the world. I once accepted an invitation and it took me 30 minutes to acquire information in my regular emails about friends at Facebook. That made me cancel my membership in Facebook. I simply cannot cope with it on a daily bases, since I have many regular emails every day. So it is not a question of not wanting to become friends with OMEP members, but rather it is because of my workload and survival! However, you are always welcome to send me an ordinary e-mail!
We will go on with the two world projects on ESD. Some countries have just begun interviewing children about the logo of last year’s congress, and others will continue with the more practically oriented project where teachers all over the globe have worked with children inspired by the 7Rs. It was also decided in Hong Kong that we will launch a new project called WASH. It is about water, sanitation and health and is linked to WASH in schools. Each country will get more information about this later.
This year, we are extremely happy in OMEP because our representative at UNICEF, Carol Darcy, has been accepted to stage an exhibition at the 64th Annual UN DPI/NGO (Department of Pubic Information/Non-Governmental organisation) Conference, to be held in Bonn, 3-5 September, 2011. The title of our exhibition is: “Investing and Nurturing Young Children’s Capabilities for a Sustainable Future”, for which Milada Rabušicová will be the coordinator. I am also happy about our cooperation with OAS (Organization of American States) where John Siraj-Blatchford is going to represent OMEP at their next conference in Mexico where ESD will be a theme.
Next year the Research in Early Childhood Education (IRECE) conference will take place in the Republic of Ghana on 22-23 January. The conference theme for 2012 is ‘Childhood, Sustainability, Education and Global Peace’ and is aimed at early childhood education and health researchers and practitioners, trade unionists, welfare organisations, government and non-government aid organisations. Read more about this event at http://www.education.monash.edu.au/research/conferences/irece/ or on OMEP international web page – Regional news, Africa.
All the best to all OMEP national committees and all OMEP work!
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