Report from Congress of social workers and social pedagogues in Moscow, 7th and 8th October 2014

nov 4 2014

In this month The Russian Union for Social Educators and Social Workers held a congress for 1000 of their members from all over Russia, with participation from national and regional authorities on the social area, and international collaborators. The Russian Union was also celebrating that the Social educators in Russia now in 25 years have been a recognized proffession in Russia. AIEJI was represented by General Secretary Ellen Galaasen - and a norwegian contributor on AIEJIs work with the UN convention of childrens right, Anne Grønsund. They did a presentation in one of the parallell seminars about developing the education for social educators in Russia. AIEJIs General Secretary held a speach for the conference. You can read it below.

Dear honourable guests! Dear Russian Union of Social pedagogues and Social workers:

I am so happy to be here with you. AEIJIs president Benny Andersen sends his greetings to you all.
And dear social pedagogues. On behalf of AEIJI I will greet you in particular. You are part of a large family that spans over the world and it is with great pleasure that we congratulate you here in Russia with your 25th day of recognition of an independent social pedagogue profession. And last week, the 2. Of October, we celebrated as every year all over the world the international day of social pedagogues. We see this conference also as a part of this celebration.
Democracy and humanity are the foundation of social pedagogy and social work. Ideas that embrace and support open-mindedness, authority and autonomy. Freedom, self-determination, participation and inclusion in the collective and community of society are the objectives of social pedagogy and social work. Humanity, getting involved with other people is the professional pillar of social pedagogy and social work.

In the unique meeting between a professional and a person in need of professional help, we believe in human dignity, respect for and faith in human beings as autonomous individuals with independent rights, regardless being a child, a person with a disability, regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation – to create togetherness and fellowship.

One of the most central values in social pedagogical work is that the sum of our similarities, as humans, is greater than what separates us. As humans, we can create a common future better for all. That is our mission. This is our values that extend across national boundaries and unites us.

Thank you so much for inviting AIEJI here, and by that give us insight about the challenges and opportunities for the social pedagogue profession here. This is interesting, and it seems to us you want to use the next 25 years to build an even stronger and more competent profession.

All over the world social pedagogues work independently, they work with vulnerable children and the elderly and people with disabilities. Often social pedagogues can be seen as advocates for people’s rights, to ensure their opportunities in the community. Besides to work in school, we meet children and adults where they are in their daily life. We work together with them, with their home condition, addictives problems and mental disabilities, and provide tools and methods to include those in the community, so they can take active part in their own life’s, and in the community, and experience a place to feel at home and safe.

AIEJI has worked extensively to define the competences of the social pedagogue. We have the last years worked with UN conventions, precisely because they are good tools to promote inclusion and fellowship.

We have had wide and exciting work on both the Convention on Children’s right and the Convention for people with disabilities. The goal is to inspire and motivate all social educators to adopt its approach towards all human beings and human rights. It contributes to ask good questions and raise important debates about how we resolve our mission, and need to develop our competences, to fulfil conventions and values in our daily work .

AIEJI is currently represented by 10 countries in the board, and it is with great pleasure that Russia has found its place here again. Russia represents an important voice and important perspective. I am very confident that the collaboration with Maria Kholodtsovawill be very fruitful and stimulating for AIEJI and for the Russian Union of Social pedagogues and Social workers.

I will use the opportunity to tell you all what our president of AIEJI always remind us: “Yes, we have the finest job in the world.” I hope you take pride in that.

Thank you.