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IFS Conference Helsinki 2018 - Democracy, is it threatened?

Photo: IFS Conference Helsinki 2018 - Democracy, is it threatened?

Finnish Federation of Settlement- and Neighborhood Houses, Helsinki, Finland



Registration has ended on May 18th.

Further questions, please contact Mr. Matti Cantell, matti.cantell (at)


Helsinki, June 6-8, 2018

IFS organizes an international conference for its members and colleagues every two years. This year we will focus on the issues of democracy – its challenges, promises and best practices to strengthen civil society and participation in diverse locations globally.

The 2018 conference Democracy – Is it in Danger? takes place in Helsinki on June 6-8.

On the day following the conference you have an opportunity to visit the Arctic Circle. See the program for details.

Welcome to Finland!

Location: Kalliola Settlement House
Address: Sturenkatu 11, 00510 Helsinki



June 4, Monday
IFS Europe Committee Meeting

June 5, Tuesday
9.30-12.00 am          IFS Board Meeting
12.00-1.00 pm          Luncheon
1.00-5.00 pm            Working groups
2.00-4.00 pm            Conference registration
7.00 pm                    Dinner

June 6, Wednesday: Conference Opening
0.00-12.00 pm        Registration and buffet lunch
12.00-2.00 pm          IFS General Meeting
3.00-5.00 pm            Conference Opening
6.30-8.00 pm            Reception By the City of Helsinki


June 7, Thursday: Let´s Community
8.00-9.00 am            Registration
9.00-9.30 am            Good morning and Plenary session, "The Future of Localism and Democracy"
9.45-11.00 am          Mini-seminars and workshops, session 1 (see options 1-16 starting page 7)
11.00-11.15 am        Break
11.15-12.30 pm        Mini-seminars and workshops, session 2 (see options 1-16 starting page 7)
12.30-2.00 pm          Luncheon
2.00-5.00 pm            Site visits (see options starting page 4)
7.00-10.00 pm          Dinner, two options: 1) Suomenlinna Dinner Event, 2) Dialog & wine evening


June 8, Friday: Make Democracy Great Again!
8.30-9.00 am             Arrival and refreshments
9.00-10.00 am           Good morning and Plenary session
10.15-11.30 am         Mini-seminars and workshops, session 3 (see options 17-37 starting page 14)
11.20-12.30 pm         Luncheon
12.45-2.00 pm           Miniseminars and workshops, session 4 (see options 17-37 starting page 14)
2.30-3.30 pm             Closing of the conference
6.00-9.00 pm             Ceremony of 100 years old Finnish Settlement


June 9-11, Saturday-Monday: Trip to Arctic Circle
The trip is optional programme. Detailed programme you find at the Arctic Circle trip programme.




Conference fees include day time programs, luncheons, refreshments and the Ceremony of 100 years old Finnish Settlement. No VAT is payable on conference fees because the Finnish Federation of Settlements in not VAT-registered.


Regular conference fee, 6-8 June: 350 euros


Conference fee for presenters of miniseminars and workshops: 300 euros


Conference fee for participants from Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Kenya, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Venezuela: 250 euros


Dinner options on Thursday evening, 7 June:

 1) Suomenlinna Dinner Event: 90 euros. When registering, you may buy a dinner to your avec. In that case the price is 180 euros for both of you.

2) Dialog & wine evening: 20 euros. When registering, you may buy a dinner to your avec. In that case the price is 40 euros for both of you.


Optional programme: Trip to Arctic Circle: 400 euros



You find the detailed conference program on the FFSH webpage:






Following hotels are nearest to the conference venue:


Cumulus City Kallio Helsinki
Address: Läntinen Brahenkatu 2, 00510 Helsinki, Finland
Tel: +358 200 48109
Fax: +358 20 601 9112



Cumulus City Hakaniemi Helsinki
Address: Siltasaarenkatu 14, 00530 Helsinki, Finland 
Tel: +358 200 48108
Fax: +358 20 601 9105



Crowne Plaza Helsinki
Address: Mannerheimintie 50, 00260 Helsinki, Finland
Tel. +358 200 48101



Hotel Ava
Address: Karstulantie 6, 00550 Helsinki, Finland
Tel. +358 9 774 751. E-mail:






posted 2017-06-26


News | In Memory of Prof. Stephan Wagner

Photo: In Memory of Prof. Stephan Wagner

The board of German Federation of Social-cultural work, Germany


The board of German Federation of Social-cultural work mourn our Chairman Prof. Stephan F. Wagner

Dear colleagues and friends of IFS,

Last Thursday Professor Stephan F. Wagner passed away.

We are speechless and deeply saddened over the sudden loss of Stephan.

Since 2010, Professor Stephan F. Wagner worked with great commitment on the Board of Verband für sozial-kulturelle Arbeit e.V and took over the chairmanship in 2014.

With passion and expertise, he led the association for many years.

He was a great supporter of IFS and organized lots of exchanges and studytours for social- and Community workers all over the world.

The creation of a solidary and liberal community as well as the strengthening of self- responsibility of each individual were always a big concern to him.

We are very grateful for his work
Our deepest compassion is with his family and all people who were close to him.

Renate Wilkening
Vice Chair of German Federation of social- cultural work

posted 2017-06-14


News | News from Hungary: Massive demonstration against government’s actions for complicating NGOs’ work

Photo: News from Hungary: Massive demonstration against government’s actions for complicating NGOs’ work

ÉLETFA Segítő Szolgálat Egyesület, Budapest, Hungary


We are civil society, we are free, we are Hungarians and we are Europeans

Budapest, 12 April 2017 – More than 100 Hungarian NGOs and tens of thousands of people joined the "Heroes' veto" event on Budapest's iconic Heroes' Square between 17.30-19.00 today at Heroes' Square, Budapest.

On the peaceful event, the crowd of people freed up a heart-shaped area with the word "Civil", symbolising that civil organisations are needed for Hungary. We are all part of the civil society and stand for our communities, for our environment, and for the freedom of thought.
   The new NGO bill submitted to the Parliament would require NGOs which receive funds from foreign sources independently from Hungarian financial bodies in the annual amount of more than HUF 7.2 million to make an additional registration. The organisations affected by this bill amendment have operated in a transparent way, in compliance with the legislation. Information on the sources of financial support, their amount and their use has been always publicly available. This can be verified by observing the annual reports of each organisation.

   The more than 100 Hungarian NGOs joining today's event reject the proposed stigmatisation of the new NGO bill. These organisations provide services for the society in a completely open and transparent manner: they protect children's rights, provide food to those in need, give shelter to homeless people, or work for a cleaner, more peaceful and healthier Hungary.

Facebook event:

Pictures and videos from the event will be available here (continuously updated from 20:30 UTC+2):

See this article:


posted 2017-04-19


Event | CSW61, Comission on the Status of Women: Women´s Economic Empowerment In The Changing World of Work

Photo: CSW61, Comission on the Status of Women: Women´s Economic Empowerment In The Changing World of Work

, New York, USA


Join us during the 61st Commission on the Status of Women Forum at the UN
for a side event hosted by All India Women's Conference (AIWC) and International

Community Based Economic Empowerment

Monday, March 13, 2017 

6:15 pm - 7:45 pm

Armenian Cultural Center; Verevan Hall

630 Second Avenue (Between 34th Street and 35th Street)


Ms. Sudha Archarya, All India Women's Conference (AIWC)

Ms. Tatiana Bejar, Hand in Hand: Domestic Employers Network

Ms. Allison Julien, National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA)

Ms. Shweta Tripati: Shruti, India

Moderated by Dr. Bobbi Nassar, International Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers (IFS), Co-Chair NGO Committee on Human Rights

Please join us as we explore effective means for fully realizing our human rights to decent work. Our presenters are grounded in inclusive community based organizations.

We will address women's heavy and disproportionate responsibility for unpaid care work throughout the life cycle.

We will focus on low-income work, immigrant workers,  and engaging grassroots groups

All are welcome!

posted 2017-04-01


Event | Side Event at the United Nations 55th Commission for Social Development

Photo: Side Event at the United Nations 55th Commission for Social Development

United Neighborhood Houses of New York, New York USA


On 3rd February 2017, Nora Moran, Policy Analyst at the United Neighborhood Houses of New York, represented IFS at a side event during the Commission on Social Development. The event was held at the UN and the discussion centered on the problems and practical solutions of eradicating  hunger as a human right for older adults.  International Federation of Settlement Houses and Neighborhood Centers was a vital contributor to the meeting. Nora Moran was able to showcase how our IFS members work to fund, deliver and create  programs in the many countries  we represent. 
The program was sponsored by the Mission of Argentina and co-sponsored by the NGO Committee on Ageing. 
Ms. Moran was joined by: Mr. Mateo Estreme, Deputy Representative of Argentina, Dr. Jane Barrett, Secretary General, International  Federation on Ageing, and Justin Derbyshire, CEO of HelpAge International. 
For more information on the United Neighborhood Houses:
For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing and their side events at the UN :


posted 2017-03-20


News | Introducing BPP's 2015 Growth Report

Photo: Introducing BPP's 2015 Growth Report

Barrio Planta Project, San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua


Bringing Metrics and Success Stories from San Juan del Sur to our Supporters
BPP's motto is simple, we Help a Child Grow. However despite the positive growth we see in our students every day when they demonstrate enhanced self-esteem, kindness, confidence and general happiness, growth can be difficult to measure in the traditional sense, which BPP has striven to represent externally since our founding in 2009. Last year, we implemented a database which tracked attendance rates, measured academic growth through quarterly assessment tests, collected surveys from parents and volunteers, and gathered testimonials from students, and we were finally able to compile all of that information to create an Annual Report that we can present to our current and future supporters. BPP is proud and excited to finally share with you BPP's 2015 Growth Report.

posted 2016-08-01


News | Northwestern Settlement Announces 2 Limited Engagements

Photo: Northwestern Settlement Announces 2 Limited Engagements

Northwestern Settlement, Chicago, IL, USA


Northwestern Settlement's Adventure Stage Chicago Announces 2 Limited Engagements This Fall: an International Production and a commemoration of the Settlement's 125th Anniversary. Adventure Stage Chicago (ASC), a program of Northwestern Settlement (the Settlement), announces its Fall 2016 slate of public programming, continuing its commitment to new work and original storytelling in the spirit of service and community-building. Kicking off its thirteenth season is Reprise (Sept 16-17), a new play with original music forming part of the National Theatre of Scotland's Home Away Festival. The season continues with Jack's House (Oct 29 – Nov 27), a site-specific performance honoring the Settlement's 125 years of service to Chicago families. All performances take place at Northwestern Settlement's Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble St. Tickets are $10 for preview performances and $17 for adults and $12 for youth aged 14 years and younger for the regular run. Tickets may be purchased at or by calling 773-342-4141

posted 2016-07-21


News | Berlin 2016 Conference Trailer

IFS Headquarters


Registration is still open for our 2016 IFS Conference - On the Move: At Home in the World - in Berlin, Germany. The conference takes place September 28 through October 1. 

For IFS members, the cost of registration will be 350 € (early bird) / 380 € (regular). For non-IFS members, the fee will be 380 € (early bird) / 400 € (regular). The registration fee includes

  • The welcome reception
  • Two conference days (lunch and coffee breaks during the lecture and workshop sessions)
  • Two site visits in the afternoon
  • A theater performance after the closing plenary on Saturday

Be sure to check out our conference trailer below to learn more:

posted 2016-06-01


Conference | IFS Conference in Berlin, 2016

Photo: IFS Conference in Berlin, 2016

IFS Headquarters


Our 2016 conference "On the Move – At Home in the World" will be held September 28 through October 1 in Berlin, Germany. The conference deals with the development of displaced people and migration as a global phenomenon and its subsequent challenges. Therefore, we have arranged a diverse and exciting program which focuses on a country comparison of the conditions and possibilities for community work in the area of refugees and migration. National and international experts will hold lectures and panel discussions. Practical approaches and best-practice examples will be presented in workshops. Visits to different institutions will allow for the opportunity to get to know practical examples in Berlin and to speak to the employees on location.

A full conference program with more than 30 interesting workshops from all over the world and 34 site visits to amazing projects in Berlin is available online now .

Registration is now open – be sure to register by June 1 to take full advantage of our early bird rates!

For more information, including details on nearby hotels, please visit the conference website set up by host organizations Verband für Sozial-Kulturelle Arbeit and Nachbarschafts Zentrum.

posted 2016-04-17


News | BPP’s First All-Inclusive Family Voluntour

Photo: BPP’s First All-Inclusive Family Voluntour

Barrio Planta Project, Nicaragua


Barrio Planta Project, along with our partner Grow Inc, was thrilled to receive our first Family Tour, a ten-day mother daughter trip with two mothers Tracy & Tanja and their four lovely daughters, Olvia, Jillian, Jerra & Shayna, ages 12-15.

The Trip included a full week (3 full days and 4 half days) of volunteer activities with BPP's Cultural Exchange Program as well tourist activities including surf lessons at Hermosa Beach, Horseback Riding in Majagual Beach, ziplining, nature hikes, a fishing trip, a picnic in Marsella Beach, Culture Night, a hike to the Jesus Statue and a pool party with BPP kids at Surf Ranch Action Resort! The trip also included shared accommodation, a Welcome Dinner, all breakfasts and lunches, airport transportation and transportation throughout Nicaragua to Granada, Laguna de Apoyo and Masaya. Interested in a Voluntour? Learn more on our website.

posted 2016-04-16


Event | 2016 Alliance Executive Leadership Conference, May 11-14

Photo: 2016 Alliance Executive Leadership Conference, May 11-14

The Alliance for Strong Families & Communities, Milwaukee, WI USA


The Alliance Executive Leadership Conference (AELC) offers a refuge for reinvention and the enduring camaraderie of peers who become your personal, ongoing network for ideas and solutions. More than just another conference, the AELC provides an experience that many participants find both intellectually and emotionally regenerative.

The 2016 conference experience will focus on the national context through which we think and talk about our work. Attendees will unite with peers in a supportive environment—one where they can grapple with large-scale issues. With the guidance of experienced facilitators, executives will explore how inequitable systems continue to hinder the impact of our programs and perpetuate issues of disparity, as well as why the value of human services simply isn't resonating with policymakers and the general public.

This year's facilitators, InclusionVentures and the National Human Services Assembly, have proven adept at equipping leaders with the frameworks and tools needed to redefine business as usual. Above and beyond learning how to strengthen their organizations, executives will find greater purpose and relevancy in the national context.

The conference is May 11-14, 2016, in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

posted 2016-04-15

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