The story of Alex, which you can find on our website was particularly moving in this week were we had World Children’s Day. For Alex, like many children who face difficulties, it was about finding the right activity or service that would meet his needs – in this case horse therapy. For Alex, his horse friends are un-judgemental, they accept him just as he is – something I think we all long for. It is encouraging that the innovation and the commitment of the Diakonie Michaelshoven has enabled Alex to find this affirmation of who he is and the capabilities he has – and will hopefully strengthen him in his life journey and adulthood.
Isn’t that what we want for all our children – that they can be who they are meant to be – thrive, not just survive. To be able to grow and learn and play and belong in safety and in love. The last couple of weeks I have had to focus a lot on long term care and elderly care in particular – but Alex’s story has reminded me that we need to increase our work in bringing the right policies and services for children like Alex who just need that extra bit of help to thrive. We will shortly release our research on youth exclusion that shows just how investing in our children and young people brings great results. Some families need that support too and next week I will be presenting Eurodiaconia’ s work on families at risk of poverty and exclusion through a mutual learning seminar with the European Commission. At the same time, we will have three meetings with members next week looking at migration, extreme destitution and at long term care. There will be lots to discuss and develop and working across our membership will bring out ideas and innovations that can built up together. But I will try and keep Alex in my mind, a young boy who has possibilities and belief because Diaconia found the right social service for him.
Have a good weekend,