Dear friends, colleagues and all those who have been connected and involved in C.A.T.S. – Children as Actors Transforming Society, over the past years,
Hosted in Caux, Switzerland, the C.A.T.S. Forum was initiatied in 2012, by Initiatives of Change (IofC) France in partnership with IofC Switzerland, Child to Child and with the support of the Learning for Well-being Foundation, which joined the year after as an official partner. At different stages, other partners have also joined: a group of children and young people established as M.E.O.W (since 2016) and Eurochild at first as an organizing partner (2015 and 2016) and after, as an associate partner
The original partner’s commitment enabled the Forum for 5 years, which had then been extended to two more years until 2019. Throughout the 6 editions of the C.A.T.S. Forum, more than 1600 children and adults have participated in a living experience of intergenerational collaboration to advance children’s rights and wellbeing, in particular the right for children to be heard and be taken seriously. The C.A.T.S. Forum has inspired initiatives from school days (Belgium), to national networks (Israel), national forum (France) and regional fora (Latin America and Asia). 6 years modelling, inspiring and enabling child participation.
In spite of the magic lived at the Forum, holding the event and its associated activities was not always easy. The road was uncharted, and much of the governance, financing and implementation models had to be created and reviewed along the way. For all those involved, this process has been a source of great learning about the meaning and the boundaries of creating environments where all children can engage in meaningful participation, at all levels.
This learning journey led the above mentioned partners to reach the conclusion they would now like to give a different expression to their commitment to children’s rights, in a way that best suits their respective vocation.
Therefore, we are sending you this message to let you know that:
— the CATS partnership is being dissolved and as such the CATS programme has now come to an end;
— the CATS Forum 2019 will not take place anymore, but new initiatives for children’s rights participation and/or wellbeing may be developed by the different partners.
— the CATS Forum in India scheduled for 10-16 February 2019, will be held as originally planned, led by Initiatives of Change, any continuation of this project after the forum will be under a different name;
— the CATS Latin America programme, will cease to use the name CATS as of the end of February 2019;
The C.A.T.S. partners are very proud of what they achieved together and will now go forward separately. We wish to take this opportunity to build on our shared experiences and further multiply our efforts to continue advancing children’s rights and wellbeing.
We also want to say a big THANK YOU to all those who participated, contributed and gave so much of their time and dedication to the development of this programme. This was an endevour that was co-created by many, young and old, and the C.A.T.S. Forum would not have been as amazing as it was without all of you. We created something wonderful together which will continue to inspire us all in our future work.
Should you wish to inquire about the future plans of each of the partners in the field, please contact:
Maylis Guillou — for Initiatives of Change France
Nick Foster— for Initiatives of Change Switzerland / Caux Foundation
Yakarah Attias-Rosen — for the Learning for Well-being Foundation
Arshad Mozumder — for Making Earth Our World – M.E.O.W.