Focus On: Gezinsbond

The Gezinsbond is a pluralistic, non-governmental family organisation, established in 1921. It unites about 230,000 families in Flanders and Brussels [Belgium] with the support of 13,000 volunteers in 900 regional entities. The Gezinsbond welcomes all families: large families, young families, grand-parent families, reconstituted families, singleparent families etc. All families have their place within the family movement. The Gezinsbond always considers the needs of all families regardless of the family situation, political stance or religious belief. The aims and objectives of the Gezinsbond can be summarised as follows:

  •  to promote solidarity between families,
  •  to protect the interests of all families,
  •  to work towards a family and child friendly direction in our society.

The Gezinsbond defends families and children at each political level, offers services to its member families and organises activities for families.

PARENT AND FAMILY SUPPORT

The Gezinsbond supports parents in the upbringing of their children.For decades, the Gezinsbond has developed educational programmes adjusted to their questions, related to the family and family life. Therefore, The Gezinsbond has set up many train-the-trainer-sessions on a diverse number of topics. The Gezinsbond pays special attention to the support of parents in the education of their children. The Gezinsbond sees education as a circular process, where parents influence their children and vice versa. Educating is a constant learning process. The Gezinsbond does not offer an educational model, but believes in the skills and competences of parents themselves to choose their own values and approaches. The Gezinsbond aims to strengthen parents in these educational skills and competences. A positive attitude, based on dialogue and trust, is central in this vision.

THE SAFELY ONLINE INITIATIVE

For over 10 years, the Gezinsbond – together with Child Focus [partner P1] – has contributed to the uplifting of parental media literacy levels in Flanders with the ‘Safely Online’ programme [‘Veilig online’ in Dutch]. The training program which is directed at parents aims to develop their knowledge and skillset on the new media that their childrenuse daily. The aim is to increase their understanding of and response to the opportunities and risks of online activities to better inform their children. The program is consisted of:

  •  a number of educational tools
  •  the website www.veiligonline.be [safely online] with accessible information on the topic and
  •  several interactive in-class trainings.

ROLE OF THE PARTNER IN THE PROJECT

Gezinsbond, along with Child Focus, has a very central role in the project as the developer, holder and carrier of innovation.

Gezinsbond will undertake all the necessary actions and activities in order to facilitate the replication and the scaling up of the Flemish SafelyOnline initiative into the other participating regions and national contexts, the so-called adoption territories. The purpose of Gezinsbond is to pass the batton to a number of southern and eastern European countries and to the French-speaking part of Belgium. This will be achieved mainly through the following actions and activities:

  •  documentation of information, processes and procedures,
  •  transfusion of tacit knowledge which makes formal knowledge work in actual application.
  •  capacity-building training activities in the adopting organisations.
  •  superintendence of the implementation phase in the adopting organisations.

Finally, Gezinsbond will contribute both in the operational and financial management of the project – with an equal standing to all other partners – and in the decision-making processes and has the responsibility to undertake the financial documentation and the reporting procedures for its budget.

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