Group of five young people who are preparing to leave institutions and foster care system from Serbia, represented their country at the YOUTH Camp and 33rd World Congress of FICE INTERNATIONAL which was held from 15th until 25th August in Vienna. Youngsters were accompanied by two adults, Dejana Savic, psychologist, one of five facilitators of international groups, and Izabella Majoros, care giver from Temerin. The Youth Camp was financially supported through Erasmus+ program, and organized by Core team from Croatia, with a help from FICE Austria and other organizations. Care leavers from our country gave significant contribution to the creation of 10 international standards which are key factors for supporting youth in the process of leaving care and becoming independent. Those standards are mentioned to enable equal rights, and made easier social adaptation and integration of Youth who grew up in out – of – family settings.
More than 60 youngsters and 20 adults took participation at Camp activities. They came from 15 countries (Israel, South America, South Africa, Kenya, USA, Holland, Spain, Germany, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania, Brazil, Austria, Bulgaria and Hungary). They all gave their best, were very committed and involved in creating standards and adjusting them to the situation in different continents and states. They also showed high level of self respect, and mutual trust while sharing personal life lines and plans for future… The slogan “BE THE CHANGE” inspired them to find creative ways to explain and represent standards for leaving care. They put a lot of energy, positive thinking and efforts to understand each others situation in order to set a list of complex but yet understandable key factors which contribute to successful adaptation and integration after leaving safety of institutions and foster care. They completely fulfilled program, and more of that, they became friends who are taking care of each other. They wanted to be safe, and provided atmosphere in which every participant felt warmth, security and freedom to be him/herself. Divided into five international groups, through short movie, dance, songs and short theater plays they represented the standards at Congress. Their main wish was that each young person who is leaving care has a same rights and opportunity, no matter from which country they are.
They learned much about themselves, about others, and about different social care systems in the world. In the way they showed that they really are young experts for their lives and needs, and that they know the best what is important to have when you are leaving care. Now they expect that adults advocate for their standards. They are ready to help, work also, and be patient.
For two days they were guests at the Congress, and surprised adults with maturity, determination and their wish to participate in all questions related to their destiny.
10 standards are part of Congress declaration, and FICE INTERNATIONAL is going to start to advocate for created standards.
Additional document: List of created Standards for care leavers