In 2023, AMADE, the World Association of Children's Friends, is celebrating sixty years since its creation by Princess Grace of Monaco. The association’s Annual Conference was held on 31 March, in the presence of HRH The Princess of Hanover and around fifty guests, associations, partners, patron companies, and donors, affording the opportunity to highlight the programmes supported by the association.
AMADE’s Annual Conference: A Moment of Sharing and Talks
AMADE chose, from its creation, not to be a direct operator, since local stakeholders are better suited to provide adapted, effective, and enduring responses at grassroots to the problems children face within their communities. AMADE thus favours the support and strengthening of NGOs or social providers, with proven expertise, borne by a vision and represented by strong and inspiring leadership, armed with strong development potential. These partners are selected after rigorous and detailed analysis of their governance, strategy, operational and financial processes, human resources, and ability to illustrate the programmes devised by AMADE in practical terms.
Every year, on the occasion of its general assembly, AMADE brings together its local partners, so that they can attest to the problems that they encounter in the field, results obtained, and share their best practices. As an example, Sister Sophie de Jésus, Chair of ACAY, the association that helps young women and girls who are victims of violence and abuse, thus shared her support method for the young women – “Metamorphosis” – capitalising on twenty-five years of experience. This innovative methodology was able to be developed by ACAY within the framework of AMADE’s “Dignity for Women” programme and is now able to be spread to other local actors in the AMADE network.
5 Programmes to Facilitate the Protection and Fulfilment of Children
To respond to the challenge of providing children’s protection and development, AMADE created five complementary programmes: “Dignity for Women”, “Civil Status for All”, “Energy of Hope”, “Capoeira for Peace”, and “Unaccompanied Minors”. The Annual Conference provided an opportunity to assess the progress of the key projects from 2022 illustrating these 2023 programmes and prospects.
Ukraine Emergency: One Year After the Start of the Conflict, What Is the Humanitarian Situation in the Ukraine?
Since the start of the conflict, AMADE mobilised donors to support the populations who are the victims of the conflict, particularly children. It wished to associate its NGO partner ALIMA, present on site, as an operator specialising in the fields of access to healthcare in emergency situations and wartime.
Dr Richard Kojan, Chair of ALIMA, reflected on the emergency aid provided with AMADE’s support, calling on providers from hospitals and associations offering obstetrics, gynaecological and psychological services within the oblasts of Mykolaiv and Kherson, with a view to ensuring continuity of care and meeting the priority needs in terms of facilities, health staff training, psychosocial support and the care of women and children who are victims of sexual violence.
Dignity for Women: Guiding Young Women in Their Reconstruction
AMADE’s Dignity for Women programme aims to give vulnerable young women and girls access to menstrual hygiene and anticipate sexual abuse, to care medically and psychologically for young women and girls who are victims of sexual violence, guide their social reinsertion and promote their access to secondary education.
Sister Sophie de Jésus presented the innovative Metamorphosis methodology, developed with young people, to enable them to accept and overcome their traumatisms and acquire skills and talents to render them autonomous. She was accompanied by Diakira, a young Filipino woman who joined ACAY’s School of Life for two years and who is now the administrative head of the association in Manila; Diakira shared her powerful testimony and showed the concrete impact and success of this methodology within her own life path.
Mr Bertin Rutega, director of the programmes of the Panzi Foundation, presented the disastrous situation of young women and children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in a country torn by recurrent armed conflicts for many years now, in which rape is used as a weapon of war. The Panzi Foundation cares for victims of brutal violence, notably by providing medical, psychosocial, legal, and economic support.
Civil Status for All: Giving Ghost Children Back Their Identity
Worldwide, 237 million children under five do not have a birth certificate and 166 million are not registered with civil status (Source: UNICEF); without an identity, these “invisible” children are deprived of any access to basic health, education, and social services. To respond to this objective, AMADE launched the Civil Status for All programme and currently supports two projects in Burkina Faso and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Mr Yves Ouoba, executive director of the NGO Tin Tua in Burkina Faso, recalled the situation of civil status in this country, where only nearly one in two children has a birth certificate, and where the security context leads to forced displacement of populations, very often leading to the loss of official documents. He also presented the project, co-constructed with AMADE, which, in its pilot phase planned to regularise ten thousand children under fifteen years old without birth certificates, to allow them to pursue their education and access all of the basic social services.
Ms Emilie Lafargue, head of the international section of the Voice of the Child association presented the project undertaken in consortium with several Congolese NGOs in the territories of Beni, Lubero and Goma, in the province of North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This project, scheduled to last three years, will allow the technical and human bases to be established for the systematic registration of births in the region, but will also allow 230 000 children under three months old without birth certificates to be regularised.
Energy of Hope: The Technology in Favour of the Education of Intermediate School Children
Within the framework of its “Energy of Hope” programme, AMADE supports projects that strengthen the quality of secondary education via access to digital tools and identifies, develops, and distributes suitable digital solutions in support of favourable education, health, and protection outcomes. Ms Caroline Maitrot-Feugeas, general director of NOMAD, came to present the application that she developed to help intermediate and high school students to make progress within their academic cursus. The partnership between AMADE and NOMAD has enabled one hundred and fifty young people on ASE (Aide Sociale à l’Enfance or French Social Welfare for Children) from the SUD-PACA region to gain free access to the paywalled version of the application; on the international level, the content of the application has been adapted to respond to the Senegalese academic syllabus in Mathematics and translated into Wolof. The ambition is therefore to give one hundred thousand Senegalese intermediate and high-school students access to free content, with a view to guiding them through their secondary schooling.
Promoting Philanthropy in the Principality
One last round-table talk allowed another mission of AMADE’s to be evoked: that of philanthropy promotion. Fabio Vitale, Head of Wealth Planning and Impact Solutions at BNP Paribas Wealth Management thus presented the bank’s expertise in terms of advice in individual philanthropy and why it is important to work with partners like AMADE. For stakeholders in the banking sector, philanthropy effectively constitutes an additional element of attractiveness.