To mark the International Blog Action Day 2012, on the 15th October, let me dwell a little bit on what we hope to achieve with our 2014 European Year campaign, and why we are writing this blog. The International Blog Action Day is a day when bloggers form an international community and come together to coordinate their posts on one unified topic. The topic this years has been voted to be “The Power of We” – a celebration of people working together to make a positive difference in the world.
We are a small (but very creative!) team of 6. But we are made strong by the coming together of our Members, the Family organisations across Europe, and ultimately the families. This powerful community gives us the necessary backing to continue on what we have started a couple of years ago, namely to lobby for a designated European Year for working parents and carers.
Why a Blog? Well, this Blog is for us a more immediate communication tool to reach all of the stakeholders out there, who are interested in this issue, and would like to support our campaign. To keep up a Blog also has its own particular feeling of being part of an online community, that sees the bigger picture, and there is never a more satisfying feeling than to receive an email from a total stranger, who has read an article on our Blog, and is enthusiastic about the work we do.
Why a European Year? A designated European Year is the most visible achievement for any civil society organisation in Europe. This means, that the topic becomes an integral part of the Working plan of the European institutions (Commission, Parliament, Council) for an entire year. What better way to draw attention to the many challenges some families are facing, which can really become an every day struggle, that has its very real risks, such as the deterioration of mental health, depression, or slipping into poverty, or families braking up, etc.
And now to the Power of We. We cannot do this alone. We mustn’t do this alone. We need all the people we can get on board of this very ambitious project.
So firstly we have enlisted the help of Penguins. Lots and lots of Penguins. And to find out, exactly why did we do it, go here.
Secondly, we are constantly on the lookout for people, politicians, activists, policy makers, researchers, parents, service providers, who can identify with our objectives and would like to support our campaign. This campaign is like a journey, and while on it we have already met so many amazing people, who are also engaged in the same battle like us, making cities better for families, making workplaces better for families, helping parents have more time for their children, as well as offering services to children helping parents go to work. Caring for family member with a disability. Caring for carers of family members with a disability. Helping parents to even some hours of break from their caring duties, to sleep, go to the hairdresser or go for a walk, to breathe, to fill up on energy, to be able to go back and care for others.
“Children are the future” has become such an empty tokenistic slogan at the mouths of politicians. Well here is a campaign that would exactly do this. Help families live better lives, which in turn would really put the wellbeing of children and other family members at the heart of the solution.
So, there are many ways in which you can become one of WE! You can write to us directly and find out how you can be involved. We also welcome guest blog posts on this blog. But mostly check back regularly on us for more campaign up-dates.
In any case, thank you for reading this. Through which you are already on Board! And we appreciate it very much!