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The Need for Effective Community-Based Programmes - Press Release
The world is in turmoil. Over the past one year, world events have shown that sovereignty of the state no longer lies with its people, that financial markets can easily collapse due to rogue traders, that globalisation will only make the strong, stronger and the weak, weaker, that infectious disease can easily cross boundaries with impunity to mankind.

While Malaysians are not directly affected by the aftermaths of war, we are not completely spared from the problems and ramifications wrought on by the present environment. There is no way we can insulate our nation and our people. The only sustainable solution is to strengthen the family unit and inculcate a deep sense of community spirit amongst Malaysians.

With this in mind, the Asia Pacific Forum on Families (APFAM) has been deliberating over the past one and half years on the critical issues and the social ills besetting our society today. Therefore, APFAM is holding its fourth International Conference focusing on “family” and “community” issues entitled, “Facing Up to Global Challenges: Building Resilient Families and Caring Communities in a Troubled World” which will be held from 23 – 26 June 2003 at Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel. The joint organizers for this conference are:

• The Family Development Foundation of Johor • Asia Pacific Forum on Families (APFAM) Malaysia • APFAM International • Institute Sultan Iskandar, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia • School of Social Work & Social Policy of La Trobe University, Australia

YAD Datin Professor Dr Jamilah Ariffin, President of APFAM International and Director of the Centre for Socio-Economic Research and Humanistic Development, Institute Sultan Iskandar, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia is the Organising Chairperson. She believes that this forum will be able to provide a better understanding of the issues and challenges that society and family institutions face in these difficult times of uncertainties, violence and religious polarisation.

The objectives of this symposium are to:

• bring attention to the need to develop a truly civil society and caring community

• deliberate on ways to develop an enabling environment for community bonding and bridging

• give an opportunity to government and non-government agencies (which are involved in providing services for the family) to get together to deliberate on these issues and propose measures and programmes for concerted action

• foster an exchange of learning across cultures, share professional practices and expand professional development and training opportunities for mutual benefit

• encourage international interest and cooperation in the specific family and relationship needs of the Asia-Pacific Region

Five plenary sessions and eight workshops will be conducted over two and a half days by 39 prominent local and foreign professors, professional social welfare workers, public practitioners and internationally renowned rehabilitation experts. Following are the 5 plenary topics which will be the highlights of the conference:

1. Building Resilient Families and Caring Communities in a Troubled World 2. Building a Culture of a Truly Caring Society 3. The School in Community and Family Life 4. Work, Family and Gender 5. The Role of the State in Promoting Resilient Families and Caring Communities

These deliberations will provide feedback and suggestions to government and NGO’s on how to update and expand their family and community development programmes especially in those areas that guide families to be effective care givers.

Registration fee for the 3-day conference is RM420.00 per participant and a special rate of RM300.00 will be applied to those who register before 1 June 2003. For students, the special rate is RM250.00.

For more information, please contact the APFAM Secretariat at 07 – 226 9524.

Posted on: Sun, 25 May 2003

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