Speakers

Adham Khedr is a care leaver from Jordan and the general manager of Sakeena foundation (Princess Alia Foundation Project (PAF)), where he works with care leavers and care residents in empowering youth programs to develop skills and maintain better wellbeing. He was recently selected to become an Ashoka fellow. He is also a Child Protection Consultant for USAID FHI360 and King Hussein Foundation Project, where he provides strategic guidance and technical support for the development and implementation of policy and programme documents related to care leavers. He is a holder of Nursing Diploma (2000-2001) from Al Quds College and a Psychology Bachelors from Amman Al Ahleye University (2011-2016).
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Amanda Bissex recently joined the UNICEF South Asia regional office as Regional Advisor for Child Protection. Amanda has more than 18 years of experience in leading child protection system strengthening in Asia, Pacific and Africa. Prior to joining the regional office, Amanda was the Chief of Child Protection for UNICEF in Indonesia from 2016. She has also held child protection leadership positions in the UNICEF Multi-Country Office for the Pacific covering 14 Pacific Island countries, Thailand, Lao PDR and Zambia. In her previous positions with UNICEF she has supported strengthening child protection system, capacity development for the social welfare workforce, strengthening alternative care including family-based care, social norms change programmes, research and advocacy and law reform. Prior to joining UNICEF she worked with international NGOs in Cambodia and Lao PDR. She has a Masters Degree in International Relations with a focus on human rights and humanitarian law.
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Dr. Anna Katharina Schmid is a psychologist, co-creator, researcher; board member of FICE Switzerland. My special interest is how young people take charge of their lives and realise their own ideas of the future, and how youth homes can best support them. In my project “Creating Futures”, Young Experts (aged 14-24), leaders and staff from youth homes in Switzerland and Hungary together develop new, better solutions for this support. I have lived and worked with up to 84 “street boys” at a time in a grassroots project in Brazil. The first ones I knew are aged 43 now. They are my best teachers!
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Benjamin Strahl, phD, is a research associate and lecturer at the Institute of Social Pedagogics and Organizational Studies, University of Hildesheim (Germany). His research interests are: children and youth care (esp. alternative care), transitions to adulthood, social work & religion, school education of children and youth in care. Beside others, he is member of the German FICE section (IGfH) and INTRAC (International Research Network on Transitions to Adulthood from Care) and Co-Initiator of the German Care Leavers Association.
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Dr. Carolin Ehlke is a researcher and teacher at the Institute of Social Pedagogy and Organisation Studies, University of Hildesheim (Germany). Since many years she is doing national and international research on the topic of leaving care from residential and foster care. She finished her PhD in 2019 (title of the PhD-thesis: “Care leavers from foster families. Coping with the transition from foster care to an independent living from the young people’s point of view“). Other research focusses are: biographical and institutional transitions, child and youth care in the German Democratic Republic, socio-pedagogial professionalism.
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Chandrika Khatiwada is currently working as Director of Institute for Legal Research and Consultancy (ILRC), Kathmandu, Nepal. He is an Advocate from Nepal, working for promotion and protection of rights of the child since 1992 by engaging in research, education and training. He has written a number of books, research reports and articles on different aspects of the rights of the child. He has been part of several research projects such as “the Study on Towards the Right Care for Children: Orientation for reforming alternative care systems in Africa, Asia, Latin America”, the
“Social Impact Assessment of SOS Children’s Village Programes in Nepal” and “Assessment of Quality Care in Alternative Care System in Nepal”. He has contributed in State party reporting of Nepal on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) as a consultant. He has supported/ facilitated the process of Children-led report on CRC prepared by children in 2014 and Girl-led report on the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 2018. He has contributed as an advisor to Consortium Nepal that facilitated children to prepare Child-led report on Universal Periodic Review of Nepal (cycle III) in 2020.
 

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Deepak KC was grown up in SOS Children Village Jorpati, Kathmandu,Nepal. He is an architect and an active leader in the disability movement. He is a cofounder of Independent Living Center Kathmandu, which leads Nepal’s efforts for the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability. He is a registered life member of the Society of Nepalese Architects. In addition, he is an active member of National Paralympic Committee and currently serves as its deputy secretary-general. Currently, he is working as a short-term accessibility consultant at Work Bank Group Nepal in Earthquake Housing Reconstruction Project.
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Delia Pop, a sought after thought leader and communicator, regularly contributing to conferences and events on care reform, as a key speaker, facilitator or trainer, is the Director of Tanya’s Dream Fund, a time-bound, grant-making special initiative supporting families so children can thrive, in Bulgaria. Delia is a passionate advocate for children rights, with over 20 years’ experience in leading, advocating and implementing care reform and deinstitutionalisation across over 30 countries in Europe, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean Region and Southern Asia. She has a successful track record in developing new initiatives, supporting change at scale both at organisational and at systems level, working with children and young people and in child protection and care reform strategies..   She co-authored ‘De-institutionalisation of Children’s Services in Romania’, published by UNICEF in 2004, ‘IMPACT’, a custom curriculum for providing support for children and adults with special needs, published in 2011,  ‘Preventing the separation of children from their families in Bosnia and Herzegovina’ published in 2012 and ‘The Financial Impact of the Child Protection System Reform in Romania’ published in 2013 and ‘A Practical Guide to Deinstitutionalisation – Tools, Standards of Operations and Models of Implementation’. Delia’s most recent contribution to care reform is Beyond Institutional Care, a Roadmap for Care Reform, a collaboration with UNICEF Latin America and the Caribbean Region Office.
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Dhuwarakha Sriram, is an international development expert, with more than 18 years of strategic planning and programming experience with UNICEF and UNHCR in the areas of adolescent/youth development and participation, child protection and gender. As the Chief of Adolescent Development and Generation Unlimited with UNICEF India Country office, she currently leads and coordinates one of the largest adolescent and youth development and participation initiative of UNICEF. She has previously worked in the Regional Office of West and Central Africa and Sierra Leone, where she managed the programme on child protection and adolescents including the support to the Ebola response. Prior to this, she worked in Afghanistan and Sri Lanka with UNICEF and UNHCR, and she was involved in design and implementation of child protection and education programmes in complex emergency settings including the Tsunami response in 2004 – 05. She has also worked as a Research Fellow with University of Melbourne in 2007 and she has contributed to research articles and studies in the area of adolescent development and participation and child protection. Ms. Sriram is a national of Sri Lanka. She holds Masters in in Law specializing in Child Rights Law from University of London, leadership courses from University of Melbourne and INSEAD and Bachelors in Business Administration from Curtin University of Technology, Australia.
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Divakar Ratnadurai has over 30 years of experience at SOS Children’s Villages Sri Lanka. He is currently serving as its National Director. He started as an Accountant at the Nuwara-Eliya SOS Children’s Village in 1987. Since then, he has dedicated his career and life to childcare and development of children who have lost parental care, in order to support them in regaining a family life at SOS Children’s Villages through its unique care system called SOS Family Care. Participated in several planning phases of the organizational strategies specially the 2008 – 2016 strategy phase, one child development strategy, drafting the quality management approach policy and emergency relief policy of the organization.  A team member developing  the Youth Development User Guide for SOS Children’s Villages international.
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Ebrahim Salama is a care leavers and a fresh graduate with a Bachelor of Mass Communication. His passion has lead him to receiving a film and television production course and his hobby for creative drawing (painting) has allowed him to participate in several exhibitions of figurative art. Ebrahim professionally received a (drawing skills) Training at the Faculty of Art Education for 3 years. He has also been an ambitious member of an acknowledged Egyptian choir since 2015 and has participated in numerous concerts. His work in the film industry as an audio engineer, has lead him to participate in a number of films, series and advertisements. For the past two years, Ebrahim has been a dedicated and active member of the Care Leaver’s Forum.
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Emmanuel Grupper, Ph.D, is Professor for child and youth care at the Ono Academic College in Israel. On the international level, serves as President of the International Federation of Educative Communities (FICE), chairman of its Editorial Board and the President of FICE-Israel. Until 2012 was Director of the Residential education and care department in the Israeli Ministry of Education. His academic work encompasses child and youth care work, with special focus on out-of-home care for children and adolescents at risk situations and also the professionalization process of child and youth care workers. Emmanuel Grupper has published numerous researches, papers and books regarding adolescents and young adults in residential education and care facilities.
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Fabienne Landerer is a care leaver from Austria. After leaving Care, I travelled around Europe to broaden my horizon, and then started my university studies in Vienna and proceeded them in France. Since I left Care, I’m participating in a lot of Projects and Organisations whose aim is to improve the life of Care Leaver. I’m striving to change things to help them to more rights and thus more freedom and peace in their lives. Life hasn’t been easy for them, so we need to change things in order to give the same chances as everyone when they start into their life as adults.
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Farah Al Sayyed has a bachelor in business administration but her passion of community service especially working with orphans ,vulnerable youth and children at risk led her to finish recent diploma degree in child developmental skills  in 2014 by affiliation from Wisconsin university. Her diploma analysed the relevance of early childhood wellbeing on parenting, care and awareness of children needs. She created the program of TLC Tender, lov and Care that focuses on improving the wellbeing of orphans in care centers as much as possible by interactive programs as a mechanism to engage and respond to the social, emotional, cognitive needs and aspirations of children deprived from family ties. Farah has extensive experience in working on projects related to protection program as well as knowledge in policies and regulations related to children right. She lead Sakeena which started working with Care leavers responding to the urgent situation of these youth. Managing Humanitarian aid programs, responding to emergencies and mitigating vulnerability is another area of Farah’s experience and competencies. She led emergency response program in sheltering, psychosocial intervention,conditional cash, health and non-food, during her work. Her expertise essentially include resource mobilisation, monitoring and evaluation on a programme and project level, networking and donor relations, which is demonstrated in Farah’s ability to secure only individuals funding until this moment ,mentioning that sponsoring an orphan to study medicine abroad was the largest. Farah was recently nominated to Ashoka Fellowship social interprenuership , was selected and in the process of becoming an Ashoka Fellow.
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Gabriella Rask is a project coordinator in the Youth & ICT4D team at SOS Children’s Villages International. For the past four years, she has been working on the cross-national EU co-funded projects “Training Professionals Working with Children in Care”, “Prepare for Leaving Care” and “Leaving Care”. The projects have aimed at building the capacity of child and youth care professionals with a focus on child rights, leaving care and youth participation. Gabriella is also coordinating the work of SOS Children’s Villages International Youth Coalition, which is the highest body in the federation representing young people.
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Georg Thurnwalder is a care leaver from Austria. He was in care between the age of 15 to 18. After leaving care a legal gap and the lack of flexibility of social welfare institutions became a problem. Eventually, a local private social-profit-company helped him to gain a new perspective and become independent. He is currently studying business law in Vienna. In 2018 he participated in the EU-project “CareLeaving Dialog” which aimed at better conditions and laws for supporting care leavers. Georg believes that providing young people with the right opportunities to build a purposeful life is an important investment that benefits not only the individual but also society as a whole.
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Gurmeet came to be cared for in small group home care in India after she lost her parents. She soon started participating in dance and theater while in school and college and after leaving care, she soon realized her calling, and too a career in the entertainment industry. She has a graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication and currently works as a script writer for the Indian Television industry.in India.
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Hadeel Al-Amayreh is the Senior Communications Specialist at the Information and Research Center – King Hussein Foundation (IRCKHF), a center that mobilizes knowledge for positive social change in Jordan and the region. Since 2011, Hadeel has been closely involved in various projects researching children’s rights, focusing on sensitive and critical issues, and where possible using participatory action research methods with children. Hadeel has more than 8 years of experience in designing, implementing and managing research, advocacy and awareness projects. She was part of the first national civil society organizations (CSO) network for care leavers in Jordan in  2018.
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Ian Anand Forber Pratt, MSW works in the field of child protection and child care system reform in India, Sri Lanka, the United States and globally. He lived in an institution for a short time in India and is an international adoptee. Ian completed his Masters in Social Work (MSW) from Washington University’s George Warren Brown School of Social Work [Brown School] and serves as the Director of Global Advocacy at CERI, USA and the Executive Director of the Institute for Child Welfare Innovation in St Louis, Missouri, USA. He lives with his wife, their son, his sister-in-law and an ever-revolving door worth of family and guests in St Louis, Missouri, USA and travels often.
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DR JOSEPH MCDOWALL Executive Director of Research Joseph has a PhD in social psychology from the University of Queensland and has lectured at both the University of Queensland and Griffith University in the areas of research methods, statistics, social skills training and the theory and practice of photography. His research interests range from empirical aesthetics to his current concerns with child protection. Joseph authored the 2008 and 2009 CREATE Report Cards dealing with Transitioning from Care in Australia. He also has served as a consultant to the Queensland Department of Child Safety. He became a Director of CREATE in 2008.
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Jeffreys Chasi is a care leaver from Zimbabwe. He studied arts management with specialization in Filmmaking and Sound Engineering. He has worked with different art companies in Zimbabwe. Jeffreys has done lots of films, locals and international and was the Tour Manager for Edith WeUtonga a renount jazz artist. In 2006-2007, Jeffreys worked with Kuaba Humanitarian Organization which was based in USA, and he worked as a project coordinator, where he could teach others young people from the home how to do sound, lighting and other different things in arts. He is one of the founding members of the Simbabwe care leavers network since 2006 and it is a passion for him now to give back what he has received.  Currently Jeffreys Chasi is working as a Programs Coordinator voluntarily for Zimbabwe Care Leavers Network.
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Karishma is a care experienced young adult, passionate about bringing about meaningful changes in people’s lives. She started her career in 2017 as an Human Resource professional and she loves meeting people. She believes in herself no matter what the situation may be like. In 2018, along with a group of young people with care experience in Delhi, India, she set up the Care Leavers Association and Network (CLAN) with the help and support of some Civil Society Organizations. CLAN is a youth-led initiative which envisions to collectivize, support and mentor Care Leavers and to sensitize people about the concerns, needs and rights of Care Leavers. She has represented CLAN at various platforms and strongly feels that a plethora of domains related to Care Leavers remains untouched and unrecognized.
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Katharina Höffken is a Care Leaver as well as a Social Worker from Germany. She has her Masters Thesis on the subject of self-reliance of Care Leavers and how the child and youth care organizations can support Care Leavers to become independent. She is currently working in a Child Care Institution for traumatized girls and young women.
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Dr. Kiran Modi is the founder managing Trustee of Udayan Care. She founded Udayan Care, in Delhi, India, in 1994, with the vision of ‘Making Young Lives Shine’, which runs group homes for orphaned and at-risk children, amongst many of its projects. With a doctorate in American Literature from IIT, Delhi, Dr. Modi is a person of varied experiences in diverse fields, such as child protection, media, health and children’s theatre. Besides running programmes for Alternative Care of ‘Out of Home Care’ children, education and Livelihood programmes for disadvantaged girls and youth, she is keenly interested in raising standards of care in Alternative Care, and has been organising trainings and research, and publishing papers on Child & Youth Care. She is Founder Editor of an international bi-annual journal on Alternative Care: ‘Institutionalised Children: Explorations and Beyond’ (ICEB). Besides her management responsibilities, she is a “Mentor Mother” to many children and youth, giving them personalised care and attention. Recipient of many prestigious awards, Dr. Modi continues to strive towards ensuring the rights of the underprivileged children and youth with the same passion and zeal as when she started out more than two and a half decades ago.
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Ljiljana Ban was born in Zagreb, Croatia. She finished formal education at University of Zagreb, Faculty of Law, Department of Social Work, with the degree of Master of social work. After finishing formal education, she started working for organisations of civil society with prime focus on children and youth at risk and youth in alternative care. During her work in Croatia and Austria, she gained rich experience in managing international projects for young people leaving care, some of which received various awards. She was the first president of FICE Croatia. Worked as project manager, support expert for care leavers, counsellor for international cooperation, trainer for professionals working with children and youth in care. Currently works at SOS Children’s Village Croatia as project assistant on the topic of trauma informed practice and mentor for care leavers in need. During the years, enriched her work with different non formal educations, mainly in the field of drama work and other creative techniques. She is also certificated practitioner of reality therapy.
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Lucas Moore is the National Marketing and Communications Manager for the CREATE Foundation, where he works to promote the voices and experiences of young care leavers to the out-of-home care sector and wider community. Lucas has worked with children and young people in out of home care for the twelve years and believes that children and young people’s opinions provide a crucial contribution to the design and delivery of any service. He believes the state has a moral obligation to ensure care leavers are supported to overcome the impacts of childhood trauma to lead fulfilling lives.
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Maria Groinig, MA, born in Austria; studied educational science and educational research (BA) and inclusive research (MA) at the Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt (Austria); psychotherapeutic propaedeutic (Austria); since 2019 training at the Anne Ancelin Schützenberger International School of Transgenerational Therapy; since 2016 research assistant, lecturer and PhD student at the Alpen-Adria-University Klagenfurt in the field of social pedagogy and inclusive research; Work and research focus: Child and youth welfare, leaving care, educational and inclusive research, qualitative and participatory research, violence protection; participation in the international Care Leaver youth exchange at the FICE Congress in Vienna and further commitment for Care Leaver.
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Mark Riddell left local authority care in 1984 and spent years working with a range of organisations to campaign for better support for care leavers before training as a social worker in 1990. He was the Service Manager for children in care and leaving care at Trafford council until 2017. In 2015 Ofsted rated the Trafford’s quality of Care Leaver provision at the council as ‘outstanding’. Trafford was the first in the country to achieve this. In 2017 he received an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list for his outstanding contribution to children in care and care leavers. He was appointed as the National Implementation Adviser for Care Leavers within the DfE. Previous to this he worked informally alongside the Children’s Minister Edward Timpson on the Care Leavers Strategy – Keep on Caring and the C&SW Act that introduced a new set of Corporate Parenting Duties, the consultation and publication of the local offer to care leavers and the PA duty to 25 years for all care leavers. Mark also penned a book called The Cornflake Kid which about his time in the care system and subsequent travels around the world – including a chance casting in one of Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo movies.
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Mark Riley , MSc, Alternative Care Consultant, Hope and Homes for Children, is an international child protection and international development consultant. Mark has been living in East Africa since 2010 working on child welfare reforms in Africa and more recently in Asia. He has worked with a wide range of actors including government ministries, foreign embassies, international organisations and private foundations. Mark’s work is focused on systems strengthening and child protection, with particular emphasis on de-institutionalisation and alternative family based care for children. Mark authored the Uganda National Alternative Care Framework, the Child Policy for Uganda and undertook the 2012 study on institutional care in Uganda which prompted a significant emphasis and investment to address the high levels of children in institutional care in Uganda. More recently, Mark has been advising on alternative care and deinstitutionalization programs in the region and globally. Since July 2016 Mark has been working for HHC supporting CINI in Jharkhand, India. The project in Jharkhand is demonstrating that robust and integrated ‘gatekeeping’ at community strengthens families and prevents unnecessary separation. Additionally the project is supporting a number of Child Care Institutions (CCI’s) in Jharkhand to develop community based and family based care services and transition away from residential care. In addition to Mark’s work on care reform he helped establish a Uganda Care Leavers Network (Ugandan Care Leavers) to support children and young adults coming out of institutional care. The research carried out with Ugandan Care Leavers is documented in the report ‘The Uganda Care Leaver Experience (2019)’. Before moving to East Africa in 2010, Mark worked for over 15 years working with the Welsh Assembly Government delivering both public and private consultancy and project management programs.
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Martine Tobé (MSc.) is a creative changemaker and working as director of Stichting Kinderperspectief (NGO) in her daily life. On behalf of Kinderperspectief Martine initiates projects focussed on children without parental care in the Netherlands, Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia and Albania. Main topics: participation, identity building, careleaving & international exchange. Besides Martine Tobé is coordinator of the JWB (umbrella organization for youth councils in child and youth care institutions in the Netherlands), president of FICE NL, member of the steering committee of Better Care Network Netherlands and Founder of Lifebook for Youth. Her main believe: “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time”.
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Marwan Khalil El-Husary is an Egyptian care leaver who is currently studying theatrical arts with a specialisation in Decoration. Marwan worked as a technical theatre engineer and is an artist too. He did one solo exhibition in 2018 and participated in nearly 20 group exhibitions from 2016 until now. Marwan is a volunteer in more than one charitable organziation to provide community aid and give lectures to support children morally. Currently, he is a member of the Egyptian Care Leavers Forum at Wataneya Society and volunteers with Wataneya to provide assistance in youth programs and participates in brainstorming activities to achieve quality life for every orphan.
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Maximilian Ullrich, studied African Studies in the University of Vienna and is the founder and managing director of Make Me Smile International; the Chairman of the Board of Make Me Smile, Kenya and member of the Board of FICE Austria and FICE Europe. He has long-term experience in project development, coordination and implementation, fundraising, proposal writing, project dissemination, M&E, with abundant knowledge about good practices for supporting care leavers across Europe and has recently coordinated several EU-funded Projects around CYC and Leaving Care, such as the “Leaving Care – An Integrated Approach to Capacity Building of Professionals and Young People” project, which aimed to train care professionals in how to apply a child rights-based approach in their work with young people leaving care and works to strengthen support networks for young care leavers.
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Mia Dambach is the ISS/IRC Director based in Geneva, with over 15 years’ experience in child protection matters, starting her career as a children’s lawyer in Sydney, Australia and joining ISS/IRC in 2008 as a Children’s Rights Specialist. She likewise coordinates Advocacy and Policy Development for the ISS network, focusing on alternative care, migration, adoption and international surrogacy in the UN arena and with regional bodies. She has provided technical assistance (i.e. law reforms, training and evaluation missions) in twenty countries related to these fields as well as co-led a number of international initiatives including three massive open online courses, which have jointly reached over 60 000 participants.
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Mohamed Othman was raised in an institutional home in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), but overcame many challenges that faced him as an orphaned youth and graduated with honors from Hael University. He has become an orphans’ advocate in KSA. He currently is working the Ministry of Labor and Social Development as an assistant social researcher. His initiative “Strong orphan” was honored by the Minister of Labor and Social Development within Qadwa program, as one of the distinguished examples who are spreading awareness of issues with an aim to make the world a better place. He also was honored by Kayan Society for Family Care in Kuwait for being successful example from Saudi Arabia, Kayan is an NGO working on breaking stereotypes and encouraging families to foster children without parental care to help integrate them into society.
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Moses Akash grew up in an orphanage since he was two weeks. He is currently leading the Little Heaven Kids Foundation and works as the national director of the Voice Foundation in Sri-Lanka and is traveling the world with his amazing story. Currently he works with over 1800 children across the nation and is also the team member of the GNG care leavers network in Sri Lanka. His wife Sumudu is also a care leaver who is supporting his work
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Naglaa Fathy Khalil is from Egypt and she is currently a student in journalism to pursue her dream in order to become broadcaster. Naglaa has been a member of Care Leavers Forum at Wataneya Society since 2019. She is passionate about writing and reading. She is also a singer in an acknowledged Egyptian orchestra.
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Nahla ElNemr is a care leaver from Egypt and the first Social Surveillance ambassador for Ministry of Social Solidarity Senior institutional development assessor at Wataneya for the Development of Orphanages. She is a senior assessor for the Institutional Development Unit at Wataneya Society for the Development of Orphanages as well as a trainer at Aman Center for Learning and Development. She is a member of the technical committee for Beit el Helm Award for the best institutional homes. She holds a bachelor’s’ degree in social work. She also holds the vocational certificate Pearson- Excel which is internationally accredited from the United Kingdom and specialized in fostering child development from age 0-18 years old. Nahla ElNemr joined Wataneya Society os a volunteer and a representative for orphaned youth, participating in several workshops related to the quality standards for Alternative Care and contributes with her life experiences to orphaned youth and children in order to change their perspective towards themselves and society. She delivers workshops and trainings for Kafala and volunteers about the “Etiquette of visiting orphanages.
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Nancy Maguire is the Child and Youth Participation Manager at international NGO, Lumos. She also leads the participation work for Changing the Way We Care, a global initiative driven by Catholic Relief Services, Maestral International and Lumos. She is a qualified social worker with fifteen years’ experience working with children and young people globally. She is passionate about all children and young people’s right to have an active role in decisions that affect them: from simple choices about what they eat to the global policies needed to protect them. Nancy is also a proud disabled person, advocating for disability equality issues for over two decades.
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Natasha Ntini is a gender and public policy specialist at the Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust (SAPST), based in Zimbabwe. She has over seven years’ experience in parliamentary work focusing on public finance and social inclusion. Through her knowledge and experience in parliamentary processes and procedures, Natasha’s work involves promoting the participation of women and children in parliamentary businesses, including the national budget process. Over the past five years, she has been working with children and youth networks in the Eastern and Southern African Region, promoting advocacy around public investment in children.
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Nawras Khalid Haroon is a Care leaver from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. He graduated from one of the orphan’s associations SOS Jordan and has been working with many humanitarian organizations as public servant, with Syrian and Palestinian refugees’ affairs and with local public establishments and believes that public service is a great gift from God to inspire humanity.
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Nimali Kumari ,known as Nimmu is a Care leaver from Sri Lanka She grew up in three child development centres. On 2010 she got a scholarship to india and went indian NIILM University ,Haryana for study and she is having a degree of BSc, Journalism ,Advertising And Mass Com. She has been a a still photographer and assistant costume designer for Indian movie name DREAMZ on 2013. She drives the youth group call Generation Never Giveup Network which is Asia’s very first Care Leavers Network .Her ambition is to become a Crime Reporter and Carry the good works by GNGN network.
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Noha Emam Hassanin is the Research and Knowledge Management Senior Specialist at Wataneya Society for the Development of Orphanages. She received her Master’s degree in Community Psychology from American University, Cairo; her thesis being on assessing resilience of adolescents raised in orphanages. She worked as a researcher on a project (American University in Cairo’s transition to a culture of sustainability) and as a graduate teaching assistant at the Psychology Department at AUC for 3 years. Noha received the HUSS (school of humanities and social sciences) award in May 2018 for her outstanding contribution to the school of HUSS.
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Mr. Patrick Reason is UK national, naturalized Brazilian, based in Brazil since 1997 and co-representative for FICE Brazil. . He is the founder of the NGO Encontro com Deus, which runs therapeutic care shelters for children and their mothers as well as offering out-of-school care for vulnerable and at-risk children in the city of Curitiba, Southern Brazil. He coordinated the first national survey on care leavers in Brazil. He has extensively lectured and contributed towards the elaboration of public policies on the rights of children to live in family and community in Brazil and abroad. He is also the Councilor on the Municipal Council for the Rights of Children of Curitiba and the National Council for the Rights of Children, the National Secretary of the National Movement for the Rights of Children to Live in Family and Community, which has representation in all the 26 States of Brazil. He has participated in the development of the 10-year Municipal and State Policy for adoption and out-of-home care in the State of Paraná.
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Phong Le is a Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Advocate, with a focus on quality education, reducing inequalities, and acting to stop the irreversible consequences of climate change. He is a founding member of the Leadership Development Fellowship by Teach For Vietnam and the Leading From Lived Experiences Fellowship by Teach For All. Phong trained in International Studies, and he gained in-depth knowledge of sustainable development and political sciences. He uses his expertise to serve as Field Advocate for UNDP Asia-Pacific under the initiative MY World 2030, which raises awareness about SDGs to all the youth in the region.  He has been a European Forum Alpbach Scholar and his new SDGs journey is to grow the Alumni Social Entrepreneurs Community of 53 countries in Teach For All global networks. To him, sustainability is all about ecology, economy, and equity. Therefore, leading as the CEO of Thu Quan Doanh Nhan, a social enterprise in the educational field, Phong is dedicating himself to the goal of ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. Phong also appointed as Green Ambassador of Green Point, a leading SDGs app that connects green living communities, encouraging people to integrate the SDGs into their lifestyle.
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Prof Adrian van Breda, Department of Social Work, rained as a clinical social worker at UCT and did his doctorate at RAU in multicultural scale development. His research focus is resilience theory – how people, particularly individuals, families and organisations, bounce back from adversity, or even thrive in the face of adversity. Initially he studied the resilience of families having to deal with the repeated disruptions of family members travelling for work. He is currently doing much of his research with Girls and Boys Town, looking at the processes that youth follow as they transition out of the care of the child welfare system and journey towards independent living. He has recently replicated this study in a study of four African countries, including Ghana, Uganda and Zimbabwe, as well as South Africa. He is currently conducting a study on the relationships between vulnerability, resilience and academic progress of primary school children in a vulnerable community. Adrian teaches introduction to social work and casework at undergraduate levels, and psychotherapy and clinical practice at postgraduate levels. He is the coordinator of the Masters in Clinical Social Work. He also supervises postgraduate students within his primary research areas, viz. resilience, youth transitions and care-leaving. He is the Head of Department from 2020 to 2022. Adrian is the editor of the Southern African Journal of Social Work and Social Development. He serves on the Board of the Centre for Social Development in Africa at UJ and the Centre for the Study of Resilience at the University of Pretoria. He is Vice President of Resilio (The International Association for the Promotion and Dissemination of the Research on Resilience), the founding member and co-Director of the Africa Care-leaving Research Network, an Executive Committee member of the International Research Network on Transitions to Adulthood from Care, a member of the Professional Board for Social Work, and a member of the Ecometrics Panel and the Clinical Social Work Specialisation Panel of the SA Council for Social Service Professions. Adrian was the recipient of a three-year NRF grant (2015-2017) towards his research on Youth Transitions out of Care towards Independent Living. He is a C2 NRF rated researcher (2017-2022). Adrian has a Google Scholar h-index of 17 and a Scopus h-index of 9. He has published 61 accredited research outputs, half of which in the past five years, and presented 56 conference papers, including 10 invited or keynote papers. He has supervised 19 MAs and 4 PhDs to completion.
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Professor Mike Stein is an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work at the University of York. A qualified social worker, he has worked in probation and children’s services. From 1975 at Leeds University and from 1995 at York University he has been researching leaving care and the neglect and maltreatment of young people. He was a founder member and co- ordinator of the International Research Network on Transitions to Adulthood from Care (INTRAC). Between 1973 and 2011 he was an adviser to the rights movement for young people in care in England. Mike has also been involved in the preparation of Guidance for Leaving Care legislation in the UK (the Children Act 1989; the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 and Planning Transition to Adulthood for Care Leavers, 2010) and consulted internationally on the development of leaving care law, policy and practice.
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Reda Ali, is the communication specialist at Wataneya Society for the Development of Orphanages. He is a member of the policy and legislation committee at the Youth Forum for youth without parental care. He acquired a marketing strategy and sales diploma from the Canadian Center for Development and has volunteered in several sectors and with different entities and local non- governmental organizations. He received the United Nations Prize as one of three best volunteering experiences in Egypt in 2015 and also the Amateur Dragon Boat Championship from the Chinese cultural center in 2017. In 2018, he earned first place in the Egyptian Rowing Federation. Reda is also the owner of ‘‘Keda Reda’’ project for food
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Ruth Wacuka is a care reform advocate with a focus on de-institutionalization, promoting positive mental health and ending voluntourism. She is a member of Kenya Society of Care Leavers. Ruth is trained in journalism and mass communications and uses her skills to advocate for the rights of children, inspired by her upbringing in residential care in Nairobi. Ruth is also a One Young World Social Justice Ambassador, a global community of young leaders across 196 countries each pursuing the Sustainable Development Goals.
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Dr. Severine Thomas is a researcher at the Institute of Social Pedagogy and Organisation Studies, University of Hildesheim (Germany). She studied Social Work and Social Economy and worked in different practical fields of ambulant and residential child and youth care and a women’s shelter. Since 2010 she is member of the University of Hildesheim. Her main research focuses are research on youth, residential child and youth care and leaving care. Selected research projects: ESF-Funding: „Social Innovation“ (in Lower Saxony): TRANS-FAIR. Equal Opportunities after Residential Care and Foster Care; in cooperation with the child and youth care office Hildesheim and jobcenter Hildesheim; 2017-2019 Funding by the German Ministry of Child and Youth Affairs (BMFSFJ): Transition from child- and youthcare to adulthood – management of transition from residential and fostercare – development and transfer; in cooperation with the German section of FICE (International Association of Child and Youth Care (IGfH) Frankfurt; 2016-2019 Funding by EU Erasmus+: Abeona. An Efffective Response to Care Leaver‘ Professional Integration, 2015-2017
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Ms. Shubha Murthi is currently serving as Deputy Chief Operating Officer of the SOS Children’s Villages International handling the operations of over 14 countries in the Asian region. Shubha is an Indian National who has been a part of International development community for almost three decades. She has worked extensively in child rights and protection, childhood care and development, participatory community development, post-conflict displacement, emergency response / rehabilitation / reconstruction, governance and organizational development, negotiations with the government, policy framework & country programmes. A dynamic grounded leader who, has always ensured to connect herself with the ground reality to serve the unserved communities. She has been fortunate to get an opportunity to work & travel across remotest corners of the globe. Over the years she has held various positions within the organization working for the least developed countries in Asia & ESAF. During her early part of her career she had set up Operation of SOS – Cambodia. Shubha is an alumna of India’ s prestigious college (Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University) and a post graduate in Business Finance and Computer Applications. For the last decade she has been on different boards of SOS Children‘s Villages & has focused work on the “Core Policies” of the organization. She has been actively involved in shaping SOS Children’s Villages policies on Alternative Care, Care Promise and Child Safeguarding. She has been focusing on law and policy to improve the lives of vulnerable children globally. She has worked on capacity building with various governments for child rights policy frame work especially socialist countries.
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Susan Barton AM is a revolutionary Australian leader in the area of youth homelessness and the founder and director of the Lighthouse Foundation for homeless young people. She is a well-known and highly awarded for her replicable approach towards restoring disadvantaged youth into their rightful place in society.   Susan has co-authored ‘Build your Teenager’s Self Esteem (2000) and Therapeutic Residential Care for Children: An Attachment and Trauma-Informed Model for Practice (2011)’ and her book features a foreword by former Human Rights Commissioner, Prof Brian Burdekin, urging Australian governmental bodies, academics, companies and societal leaders to pay attention to the ground-breaking work of the Lighthouse Foundation. In recognition of her committed dedication and work has been acknowledge and received numerous award including being inducted as a Member of the Order of Australia in 2002 and received Melbourne’s highest accolade, was recognized as one Victoria’s thirty most influential women in 2020, our Melburnian of the Year in 2009.  In 2012 she was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women for her significant achievements and contribution to the Victorian community. Susan has been named among Australia’s influential women in “Top 100 Educators 2012” International Biographical Centre Cambridge, England as well as her inclusion in seventh edition “2000 Outstanding Intellectuals of the 21st century 2013” – Melrose Press’s International Biographical Centre.  In 2014, Susan was recognised by The Australian Financial Review and Westpac as one of Australia’s 100 Women of Influence.
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Susana Puerto leads the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth, an inclusive multi-stakeholder partnership chaired by the International Labour Organization to scale up action and impact on youth employment within the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Her latest work through Decent Jobs for Youth has focused on understanding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on young people and advising on policy solutions. With over ten years of experience on the promotion of youth employment, Susana has managed and contributed to multiple efforts boosting employability and job creation. Prior to joining the ILO, Susana worked at the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. She serves on a number of executive boards of youth employment partnerships. Susana is an economist from Georgetown University.
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Tanja Abou is a careleaver who currently lives in Berlin, Germany. She brings a triple perspective to the convention; she was in residential care between the age of 14 and 18, she is a social worker, who works with kids in residential care and she did a research project on experiences of violence of young people in care with a focus on childrens rights and gender. She was part of a project on leaving care in Berlin for three years, that unfortunately ended because of lack of further funding. Tanja considers herself more an activist than an academic, or an academic activist. She published a gender neutral childrens book in 2010, that focussed on family of choice and workers rights. In october she started a masters programme at Alice Salomon
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Tasha Reynolds is a 22-year-old Disability Support worker. Tasha is part of CREATE’s National Influencing Committee and is a NSW Young Consultant. Tasha has recently graduated her university studies in a Bachelor of Health Science (Parmedicine). She is one of eleven children, and had experienced living in Out of Home Care for eight years. Tasha is now – alongside her sister, a certified foster carer to her 17-year-old sister and actively engages with CREATE to advocate for children in out-of-home-care. Tasha is the 2016 recipient of the Sisters of Charity Tertiary Education Scholarship awarded to young people with a care experience looking to pursue further education
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Terry Dignan, is currently CEO of EPIC (Empowering People In Care), a national voluntary organization that seeks to empower and amplify the voice and influence of children and young people in alternative care. He has more than 20 years’ experience working at executive and Board level in both the statutory and voluntary sectors in Ireland and internationally. Terry was former Director of Trinity Consultants, a leading provider of consultancy services to organizations working with children and youth with additional needs globally as well as former CEO of the Sheredar Foundation – Spearheaded the development of the first rehabilitation centre of its kind in Russia, providing psychosocial services to children and families. As Director of programs with Barretstown from 1997 to 2009m he successfully positioned the organization as the European flagship within the SeriousFun Children’s Network.   Terry has extensive experience of governance and policy development gained through membership of a number of Boards and Committees, including Chair of Home-start Ireland a leading international family support charity. Currently a board member of Don Bosco Care and the Kildare County Childcare Committee. He has been selected as one of a team of four to lead the Rapsody Project, a European initiative led by Eurordis http://www.eurordis.org designed to improve the quality of care, information and social services for people living with a rare disease.
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Umar Sheraz is an Innovation Policy Analyst and Futurist, based at COMSATS University Islamabad, Pakistan. A social change researcher, cross-disciplinary collaborator, and foresight practitioner, he brings academic and professional experience in the arena of innovation and futures thinking. He has applied, taught, and researched Strategic Foresight and Scenario Planning for 12 years. He has designed and led dozens of International Foresight and Scenario Planning workshops in Pakistan, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Iran, and Nepal to facilitate the making of real-world strategic decisions by corporations, government agencies, and universities. His original insights relevant to futures thinking have been published in academic journals, practitioner-focused blogs and media
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Dr. Wolfgang Schröer is a Professor at the Institute of Social Pedagogy and Organisation Studies, University of Hildesheim. His main research fields are: child and youth welfare, residential and foster care, care leaving, youth research and transitions to adulthood, transnational social exchange and support. He is the chairman of the consulting group in children and youth task for the German government.
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Ms. Yasmine El Hagry is the Deputy Executive Director of Wataneya Society for the Development of Orphanages. She has more than 16 years of experience in strategic planning, project management, alternative care, social marketing and advocacy. Through her work as an External Relations Manager, Yasmine participated in developing and advocating for the National Quality Standards for Care within care homes in Egypt, developed by Wataneya in participation with the civil society. These standards were accredited by the Ministry of Social Solidarity in 2014. She initiated and managed various events and awareness campaigns such as “Know me! I’m not Just an Orphan” and “A Chance to Know Us!” to build positive perception towards children without parental care and their caregivers. In 2017, Yasmine was responsible for managing Wataneya’s strategy implementation being the Strategic Projects Unit Senior Manager.
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Ms. Yasmine Nasef is a Youth Development Senior Specialist at Wataneya Society for the Development of Orphanages. Yasmine is passionate about collaborating with children and youth to create safe spaces where they can freely express themselves and share their experiences and aspirations. She has been in the field of social service for 8 years and truly believes in the importance of participatory community development. Yasmine has been in charge of the Care Leavers’ Youth Forum at Wataneya for the past two years. The Forum aims to create a safe platform for youth to reflect and learn from one another and from professional speakers in various fields of life and is a space where youth have the opportunity to give back to the cause and to their local and regional communities.
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Matthias Hild is programme manager at “Brückensteine Careleaver” (Brückensteine = bridge stones). It is a collective impact initiative of several projects and organisations in Germany. We involve care leavers as experts of experience on each level of decision making and planning. Matthias has a focus on using digital approaches to prevent increasing digital disadvantages. He will share insights of our digitisation project and the crucial role and involvement of care leavers in it. Prior to Brückensteine, Matthias was project lead and manager at the Stiftung der Deutschen Wirtschaft (Foundation of German Economy), one of the largest educational institutions in Germany
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Dr. Aida Essaid is  the Director of the Information and Research Center – King Hussein Foundation (IRCKHF).  IRCKHF’s aim is to mobilize data for positive social change with a focus on human rights issues, gender and social justice, and civil society empowerment. Aida received her Honours BA from the University of Toronto where she double majored in Political Science and Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, and an MA in Middle East Politics and PhD in Politics from the University of Exeter.
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Josef Koch is the managing director of the German national section of Fédération Internationale des Communautés Éducatives (FICE International) in German „IGfH“. As a politically independent professional association of extrafamilial child and youth care in Germany, FICE Germany (IGfH) is the biggest foundation in the area in Germany consisting of individual members, NGOs, universities and youth welfare offices. FICE Germany (IGfH) sees itself as a lobby for the rights and needs of young people and their families in public care. Together with the University of Hildesheim and the German Care Leaver Association, FICE Germany (IGfH) has carried out numerous projects and conferences with Care Leavers in Germany over the past 10 years and has also published numerous statements and brochures on the topic of Leaving Care (www.igfh.de). Josef Koch also has a guiding and moderating role in central expert panels in the field of foster child care and residential care on behalf of the German Federal Ministry  for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.”
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Laura Trejo, is a native of Mexico City and a care leaver of EDNICA (Education for kids at the streets), which promotes and defends the human rights of working children or those at risk of being, as well as children, adolescents and youth living on the street or at risk of street, so that they can build alternatives for a dignified life. She is  now an educational assistant at Fundación Pro Niños de la calle (Pro Street Children Fund) whose mission is to understand and attend in a personalized way, young people who live on the street, and help them to choose and maintain another option of life. Her motivation is to be able to work with boys, girls, adolescents and young people who are in situations similar to hers and to be able to motivate them to meet their goals; meeting care leavers and pre-care leavers from other countries has given her the motivation to be able to deliver initiative in her country to generate a change in the conditions in which they live within the institutions.
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Tatiana Lustig Da Silva is an Argentinian, student of Social Work at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) and care leaver from the protection system. She works in the Legislature of Buenos Aires. Member of the Latin American Network of Protection Care Leavers and Doncel NGO. 10 years ago, along with young care leavers, founded Guía Egreso, the first group of young care leavers from the Latin American protection system that is part of a Doncel NGO program. Through peer methodology, it works with and to improve the quality of care in the protection system through advocacy, communication, and research activities. Through hard work, they achieved the enactment of Law 27364 on assisted discharge, a pioneering law in the region. She represented the group in different events at the regional level: congresses in Bolivia and Colombia organized by the LATAM Network, Regional Consultation in Panama organized by the UN and international webinars
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Vivianna De la Cruz, lived almost 14 years of her life in a State Shelter, when she turned 18 she was fortunate that the NGO Buckner Peru selected her for their youth residency program. She was there for almost 4 years and able to study a technical career, but above all, heal wounds from the past that had never been spoken out. She is urrently a student of Psychology and independent and uses her story and life experiences as a former shelter resident so that it can be heard and not repeated, if not enhanced
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Cheyanne is Jaffna Thamizh (Tamil) from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She is a Child Advocate who has lived and professional expertise in child welfare and homelessness. In 2016, she was the recipient of Bryden ‘One To Watch’ Award awarded by her alma mater, and in 2017 was recognized by the United Way of Greater Toronto as 1 of 3 Womxn who inspire for International Womxn’s Day. She is the Co-founder and Executive Lead of the Ontario Children’s Advancement Coalition (OCAC), and a provincial representative on the National Council of YIC Advocates. She serves on the Board of the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto as Vice-Chair, Diversity Equity and Inclusion, on the Board of Scarborough West Community Legal Clinic, on the Association of Community Legal Clinics of Ontario’s Race-Equity Group, is a member of the Children in Limbo Taskforce and is also an advocate regarding Childhood Sexual Abuse and Gender Based Violence/Intimate Partner Violence. She co-leads the Gender Equity and Womxn’s Rights Committee at the Tamil Canadian Center for Civic Action, is an independent consultant, a public speaker, an ambassador of the Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada.

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Timothy Bell after joining IFCA as a foster youth member in 2013, has traveled to many cities in Japan to speak at events and facilitate conferences.  He is now the Vice President of IFCA’s Board of Directors and works for an agency that leads the national research and reform efforts on child welfare policies and practice. I believe that Tim’s current professional expertise combining with his earlier experience as a care leaver and as a strong local, state and national advocate for policy and system change would make him a great addition to your international discussion panel

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Pratima Kamble is the Senior Coordinator-Education for the northern and western region of India and the lead for Child Participation and Youth Advocacy (CPYA) program at Miracle Foundation India. She has presented papers at the National and International seminars.
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Purnima K Jindal Designation: Regional Programme Coordinator- Youth Employability and Participation Organization: SOS Children’s Villages, International Office Asia. Over a decade experience working in development sector. I have worked on various projects with UNICEF, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Skills Development & Entrepreneurships, Govt. of India. I have extended my services to children, women and especially young people. I am working with SOS Children’s Villages , International Office Asia as Regional Programme Coordinator for Youth Employability and Participation since 2018. I am responsible of youth care and development in 11 Member Associations in Asia. Together with these member associations we work towards making our young people employable and confident to face the world of work when they leave care. We work towards making our young people successful and self-reliant.
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Neelam Udayan is a Care Leaver  who embarked on the journey of an Independent life in 2013.  Presently she  works with IBM India and is immensely happy to be able to give back to society and be able to raise her voice and amplify the voices of other care leavers to seek support for their welfare, healthier and more robust future and present. She is passionate about the cause of betterment of the forgotten segment of  society, the care leavers
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Aneesha Wadhwa is the Executive Director of Udayan Care, based in Delhi, with a footprint in 25 cities in India and chapters in USA, Germany and Australia. She has served on the Board of Udayan Care for 15 years. Her passion lies in applied research, policy advocacy and development of models of care for young adults leaving child care institutions. Prior to this, she was a media marketing professional, and worked with the Discovery Channel and the India Today Group. She was awarded the Chevening Fellowship at the Department of Politics and International Relations, Oxford University by the UK government in 2018, has an MBA in Communications Management from Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Pune and read English Literature at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi.
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Ms Aastha Saxena Khatwaniis 1991 batch Indian Civil Accounts Service Officer, Government of India. She has worked in various positions in the Central Government. Her job profile has been ranging from finance and accounts positions to policy, planning and programme implementation. In her assignment as Director, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, she has been engaged with National Rural Health Mission and other Social Sector Schemes of Government of India. She is presently working as Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Women and Child Development. Her portfolio consist of Policy and Legislation pertaining to Children in the Country. She is also implementing a scheme i.e Child Protection Services in partnership with Government of State/UTs. The scheme aims to provide the security net of service delivery structure along with Institutional and non Institutional care to approx. 80,000-90,000 children in need of care and protection and children in conflict with law. She has also secured Masters in Governance and Development from Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK. Application of participatory technique in policy and programme formulation are areas of special interest to her.
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Mr. Tran Van Thao is the Senior Official of the Department of Children’s Affairs (DCA), Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA), Vietnam and working as Focal Point Person for the International Co-operations of DCA, emphasising on development of child protection system, comprehensive child development, alternative care.. He has been working for the Ministry of Labor, invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) since 1997 and has contributed to the development of policies and legal documents for child care and protection in Vietnam. Fom 1998 to 2002, Mr. Thao was Child Rights Monitoring Officer and Secretary of the Viet Nam – UNICEF Country Programme for Child Protection.  He has also worked for the Family Department of National Commission for Population, Family and Child Affairs and focused on family policies.  In addition, Mr. Thao has participated in a number of policy drafting teams to develop policy and legal, technical documents related to child care and protection.  
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Mrs. Harshika Ediriweera is an Assistant Commissioner in the National Department of Probation and Child Care Service in Sri Lanka. She has a Bachelor of Science in Human Resources Management (Special) Degree and a Diploma in Public Administration Management from the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration, and is currently following a Masters in Public Administration and Management at the University of Colombo. She joined the Sri Lanka Administrative Service in 2015 and has been serving the Department of Probation and Child Care Services since then. As a member of the main government organization mandated to create a child sensitive environment, she is engaged in the planning, implementation and monitoring of programs to ensure child rights, identification of vulnerable children and taking preventive measures to ensure their Rights, promote deinstitutionalization, reintegration, strengthening foster care system, and strengthening the child rights ensuring community structures like VCRMCs and Child Clubs in order to promote safer environment for children.  
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Mr. Madhab Prasad Dhungel is the Executive Vice Chairperson of the National Youth Council, an autonomous government organization under the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Nepal since 2016. He received the Future Policy Award, 2019 as recognition of youth friendly policies in place, where Mr. Dhungel played constructive and decisive role.  He has been a Central Committee Member of Nepal Communist Party, the present ruling party of Nepal, since 2014. He has been playing a significant role to mainstream and empower Nepalese youth through providing policy feedback to the government of Nepal, suggesting the government to allocate enough budget on youth development and engagement, creating youth networks and connections to them, envisioning and creating model youth enterprises, encouraging and motivating youth to be the first-class-citizens prepared to get involved in nation building process.  He holds master’s degrees in Sociology and Political Science, and has been undertaking his PhD research on Socialist Education System in the context of Nepal and dreams of preparing skilled and entrepreneurial youth for prosperous Nepal  
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Dr. Rinchen Chophel is the Director General of SAIEVAC (South Asia Initiative to End Violence Against Children) with Chapters in all 8 SAARC Member States. He enjoys high regards as an expert on Gender, Human Rights and in particular as a key champion of Child Rights and Ending Violence Against Children, nationally, regionally and globally. He continues to support multitude of agencies including the SAARC Secretariat in many key regional projects and initiatives. He has extensive experience in working with the Governments of South Asia as well as with the UN, INGO, NGO and research organizations in the Region. He also takes great pride in being called Grand Pa Rinchen by children of Asia and the Pacific. He is also a member of the CRC Committee and will serve from 2021-2025.  
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Mr. M. M. Mahamudullah is currently working as Additional Director, Department of Social Services under the Ministry of Social Welfare, People’s Republic of Bangladesh. He has a long experience in ensuring the best interest of children in conflict and contact with law as well as disadvantaged children. He has expertise in family/community/social reintegration & rehabilitation of children who are in Juvenile Development Centres and in different alternative care settings.  
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Hon. Dr. Mathew Nyashanu is a Member of Parliament in Zimbabwe. He is one of the child rights champions in the country, having been a founding member of the Child Parliament of Zimbabwe, which was opened in June 1990 in commemoration of the Soweto Massacre. Currently he is the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Steering Committee on Child Rights and a member of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Economic Development. Hon Dr. Nyashanu believes in placing children at the centre of all development efforts and through his work in Parliament, he has pushed for legislation and national budgets that respond to the needs of children and youth.  
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Ms. Emanuela Rossini is an Italian politician, a linguistic and a cultural policy maker. As a Member of the Italian Parliament she has been appointed Vice-President of the Commission in UE Policies. She has extensively worked to improve policies and legislatives measures for the care leavers, including the Care Leavers Fund. She is a great supporter of the european care leavers network.  
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H.E. Dr. Nivine El Kabbag is the Egyptian Minister of Solidarity. She has more than 28 years of experience in the field of Development Policies and Social Protection.  Before this, she has been Director of Takafol Wa Karama (Solidarity and Dignity), a national targeted social safety net program funded by the World Bank and implemented by the Ministry of Social Solidarity, with the aim of financially empowering the impoverished.    She also managed the Middle East and North Africa Regional Consulting (MENARC) from May 2013-July 2014. In 2005, she joined the UNICEF to work as Children Protection Program Head in Egypt then later became Head of Planning, Follow-up, assessment programs from 2007 to 2013. She also worked as Deputy Head at America’s Development Foundation (ADF) from November 1999 to May 2003.  
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