Children's Week

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Children's Week

Organization type: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

We propose the mobilization of the whole community to act as agents of empowerment for Children, who are not able to it by themselves, thus stimulating initiatives from individuals, groups and public authorities responsible for Children. A process of 3 years of continuos work unitl achieving the project's autonomy which continues thanks to the will of its own agents.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

. Childhood seems to belong to everybody but children themselves The society in their laic and religious organizations have multiple projects on how human beings should be, with little or scarce knowledge about how they really are and their potential if they were allowed to experience their own inclinations. Parents have varied plans for their children but fortunately the surprise of finding spontaneous gestures, initiatives and a strong will, correct the impulse of many mothers to "mold" their babies in a Pygmalion style. Pygmalion is supported by the father, grandparents, uncles and aunts, brothers, the State and the Society. But only a few support said developing being. However, there are many official or third sector programs which end up minoring children, treating them as helpless and unable individuals who are given things or information instead of providing them with resources to enhance their personal development path.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

? The difference with similar projects, is that this project takes the whole community as a target, centering on the concept of initiative. Empirical research findings carried out by the author in Chicago (USA) and in Argentina, led to the conceptualization of the initiative as the engine of the subjectivity and individuation, the only way to develop people's talents, abilities and skills. This is the only way to guarantee the passage from individual to citizen, thus contributing to the common good, in contrast with individualism which is the consequence of an obstruction to development of a strong, spontenous, initiative-oriented individual with a will of his own to carry them out. This general principles, developed in 44 scientific papers and over 100 presentations in congresses (refer to CIAD Website) inspire communitarian work. This involves encouraging the spontaneous efforts of a disadvantaged community, instead of implementing projects generated in laboratories or academic fields. At the same time education and training are aimed at assessing the strength of the initiative, spontaneity, sustained by the will of an individual person, both in children and in those who take care of them, parents, teachers, doctors, auxiliary staff of all types and social workers. Strict programs, authoritarian guidance, lack of spaces for the exchanging of ideas in a receptive environment, impersonal "instructions", training without dialogue and trainee inclusion, are the objectives to be substituted taking into account the initiative and its implications. Respect, inclusion, discussion spaces, encourage the testing of innovative solutions, program adjustments and guided management are the proposed instruments,
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Selection of some communitarian initiatives developed within the community itself. Development of trust and respect bonds with communitarian stakeholders, starting with government officers and public service representatives, access to mass media, training sessions and workshops, joint action with neighborhood associations, public summoning of citizens to the annual event (Children's Week) where results from the concluding year's work are presented. There is one case, a small city of 25 thousand inhabitants who will accomplish two years of program development and in November will carry out its 2nd public week. In a big city of 800 thousand inhabitants, invited by a very entrepreneurial officer, we manage to achieve a genuine competence betwwen areas of Childcare such as Health, Social Development, Education, and where the first Children's week was held on August 23rd/28th
About You
CIAD, Centro de Investigación y Asistencia al Desarrollo
Section 1: You
First Name

Juan Miguel

Last Name



CIAD, Centro de Investigación y Asistencia al Desarrollo

Section 2: Your Organization
Organization Name

CIAD, Centro de Investigación y Asistencia al Desarrollo

Organization Phone

5411 4772-4278; 4777-9703; cell: 54 911 4182 5505 (prefente)

Organization Address

Sinclair 3139, 7º, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires

Organization Country
Your idea
Country and state your work focuses on
Website URL
Do you have a patent for this idea?


. I moved from Psychiatric Clinic to the study and specialization in Health, mental health in particular where I painfully learned how to conduct empirical research. It took me a long time to conceptualize clinic and Empirical findings. I thought that the outcome had to have a communitarian side, if possible addressing entire towns or cities, working with developed ideas to be able to correct them and adapt them to be used by citizens with no previous education on metal health and development. Often children with low school attendance or hit by marginalization. In addition to the development of proposals aimed at achieving personal development and remedy as much as possible the lack of an a stimulating State, replaced by a minoring state by means of handouts.


A progressive empowerment of parents, both fathers (when present) as well mothers; the latter have significantly grown disproportionately among teenagers, in a city where we work; they represent 37% of births. Empowerment of Children, caregivers in general and in particular officers from all levels, in the areas of Health, Social and Human Development, Education. With the aim to reach lawmakers and the judicial system, opposing so far Empowerment to develop Respect for individuality, Education on early development issues, enriched information by sharing among all community levels and spontaneous social organizations.

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.

First year:
Complete the first city within 14 months approximately, thus carrying out the third children's week after our beginnings in 2008. The aim is to leave a community center trained on working system that is able to cope with periodical consultation with the developing organizers (us).
Accept the invitation to describe the model as requested by ASMI (Asociación Salud Mental Infantil) from Spain, on January 29, 2011 in the city of Valencia en la ciudad de Valencia acting as a speaker in their annual congress.
Establish further contact with radio stations, press and TV.
Develop a website with main principles, the decision-making flow graphic we have designed, the main warnings on potential failures, the main barriers faced in each project. We can't afford to launch it and not to mention to maintain it. Move forward with the Second Children's week in Ciudad Grande.
Generate a user exchange blog, a) by project (intra-project), b) by Week's model (inter-projects)
Second year:
Start with a third project in the North of the country.Complete the organization of the communitarian center in the Second Project (Ciudad Grande).
Carry out the first exchange inter-project meeting
Introduce the Model in Congresses or upon request.
Improve blog exchange, maintain an Answering Team, composed by the first agents incorporated in Projects 1 and 2.
Enlarge the website with first written and published papers.
Third year:
Correct and disseminate innovations in the model after five or six years of development.Upload to the website. Publish in magazines. Communication with the media.

What would prevent your project from being a success?

Approximately 250 words left (2000 characters).

How many people will your project serve annually?

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

Less than $50

Does your project seek to have an impact on public policy?


What stage is your project in?

Operating for 1‐5 years

In what country?
Is your initiative connected to an established organization?


If yes, provide organization name.

CIAD, Centro de Investigación y Asistencia al Desarrollo

How long has this organization been operating?

More than 5 years

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses?

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government?


Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

The partnerships have been discussed and planned and will be possible as long as the instrument applied evidences some level of effectiveness. Moreover three civil associations have already provided free of charge support in some events. This model seeks to raise the capacity of initiative of multiple stakeholders from a community, paid and volunteers, officers and citizens, becoming into a core driver of empowerment. Individual motivations are difficult to predict or manage. However, when inspired but not so much guided and only in the beginning, once they are awaken they promise to have an autonomous growth.
Previous experiences of empowerment evidence that those who are aware of their instruments are no longer willing to lose them and if they are not considered they will seek other ways to carry out their projects.
Communitarian experiences with citizen involvement, like Ciudad de Niños from Francesco Tonucci, or the Baby's week in Brazil (at present replicated in Brazilian 35 cities) have proved the possibility of success. Both format mentioned have variable proportions of management and planning.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization?

1º Continue testing communication methods that evidence the superiority of a progressively autonomous project, above intervention models - a concept that generates asymmetry, instructions supervised and controlled from fields that do not share the empowerment of concepts and instruments that facilitate the same autonomy in children development. 2nd Demonstrate the relationship between autonomy needs - however with failure in the provision of development in an environment of affection and care - with the most anarchic and destructive empowerment of drug addiction, the formation of gangs and imposition by violent mans which lead to self destructive anti social and delinquent acts. The "violence per absence" hypothesis which have been widely detailed, verified and used to alert societies and States, which have had a penetration in the collective understanding with little impact in the development of solutions. Mainly because it addressed the problem when it is already installed in the inidividual development. That is to say, measures aimed at deconstructing a pathologic autonomy of negative consequences for the individual and the society. 3rd By means of the participant's personal experience implant the new model based on the personal initiative to generate a healthy autonomy, based in self development. This work will also generate the rebuilding of a healthy autonomy within executors, by giving them the possibility to start again in life.
We must communicate our first findings based on two years of execution: authoritarian interventionism and its two possible answers: apathy and rebellion are a vicious circle, since according the officers in charge at first it is apathy or rebellion and according to children it is the result of authoritarian interventionism. To stop with this circuit implies to establish more frequent contacts, more respectful, based on a reciprocal trust unless facts evidence otherwise. This is the process that must be managed from "outside" the community, so as not be involved in the same circuits. It is possible that this problem takes more time than the 3 years foreseen for the installation.

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

Obtained a degree in Medicine in 1965, rotating internship, 1966, psychiatric studies 1967/73, psycho analytical studies 1974/77. Search for answers in the early psycho social development field (Early Child Development, ECD) . Specialization studies on Children Psychiatry, with a minor in early childhood, Chicago IL, USA 1981/83 Michael Reese Hospital and other centers. Postdoctoral research in childhood, U. of Chicago, 1981/83.Selfpsychology Workshop, Psychoanalytic Institute, Chicago. Professor in the Early Development post graduate course of studies Chicago Psychoanalytic I.. Member of WAIMH (World Association of Infant Mental Health) Executive Committee from 1989 to 2000. Founding president of SAPI (Sociedad Argentina de Primera Infancia); at present honorary Chairman. Discovery of the initiative as an organizer of spontaneity (1983), empirical evidence about its existence and development in terms of adverse or favorable environmental responses (1992/1998). Discovery of adverse reactions to the obstacles to initiatives and the generation of interpersonal conflicts, in proportional relation to the environment opposition rate. Conceptualization of the constitution of individuality and subjectification by means of initiatives in favorable environments (theoretical research 1992-2006).. Discovery of adverse reactions and interpersonal conflict upon impediment to develop initiatives, based on empirical evidence. Development of illustrative videos on children behaviour and on the eresponses and environment reactions (mather or main tutor) Thirty years of part time work in the community, research and teaching. Check CV on the website for a partial bibliography. As from 2005 exclusively devoted to communitarian work. Advisory to provincial and municipal on Mental Health and Early Child development issues. Consulting services for the UNICEF project in Argentina. Post graduate studies in Argentina and abroad, as professor. Recommended papers (selection): (Hoffmann, J.M., Popbla,L. Duhalde, C., 1998 IMHJ, Vol 19, Nr. 4) (Hoffmann J. , 1994, Psychiatrie de L’Enfant, XXXVII, I, 1994, p.179-213) (Hoffmann J. , ParentageouPygmalionisme?, 2003, Devenir V. 15, Nr. 2), (Hoffmann J. , Respct as EnvironmetalProvision, 1994, Vol 1, Nr.2); The Place forInfancy, Ch. 1, Infants and Toddlers Mental Health,Amer.PsychatricPress, Washington 2002 Como a ti mismo, CLÍNICA e INVESTIGACIÓN RELACIONAL , Volumen 2 - Nº 1 - Mayo 2008 [Número especial doble] ; “Los vínculos de María; Trastornos del Self”, MARTIN, S. y otros INTERSUBJETIVO - DICIEMBRE 2004 - Nº 2, Vo. 6, Pags. 258-295. Book: “Los Árboles no crecen tirando de las Hojas”, del Nuevo Extremo, 4ª Edición, 2009, Buenos Aires (available in Book: ¿Qué ibas a Ser de Grande? (What will you be when you grow up?) Nuevo Extremo publishing house, Buenos Aires, (press).

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

Son of European inmigrants in the 1930 decade, I was born on October 31st 1941 in Buenos Aires. I received the most solid initial education in the first Waldorf school (inspired in R Steiner) in Argentina, from 1945 to 1952, then I finished primary school in the German School, the secondary school at the Military School (boarder due to family reasons, mi mother had returned to Europe and my father had difficulties in dealing with my education withour my mother's presence). I studied at Universidad de los Jesuitas, in the third Medicine course of study of the newly opened Faculty. I was attracted by the social and political thinking, with religious approach of this congregation that has always had conflicts with goverments in its different periods. This actitud was consitent with the strong religious feature of my father's family, with my grandfather in charge of a protestant mission in Camerun during 50 years and three uncles who were protestant pastors. Mi father was a CONICET researcher and has published many papers on the missions established in the 17th and 18th century by german jesuits qho acted in Latin America as well as several books about the cultural history of andean countries). He also specialized in the study of Kafka's, Brentano's and ETA's work. Hoffmann, finishing with the organization of tierra del fueago chronicles from an Austriac missionary and about Hölderlin's work. Jointly with the impact caused by the new marriage of my mother with a well known German diplomat who lead her to meet several political leaders in the world ( (Henry Kissinger, Alexander Haig, ambassadors from central european countries) and different The above provided me with a cosmopolitan education and an early autonomy, having perforned intercontinental trips when I was 15 years old, in the 50s. I learned from there and from reading 60 autobiographies and biographies, that the early loss (not so early) significantly favors the development of own initiatives, due to the fact of low environmental intervention. History provides good examples of the above such as Cellini, Rousseau, Darwin, B. Russell, Werner Herzog y many others. In addition to an attitude of intellectual freedom and thought passed through my father and the good and bad of diplomacy by my mother and her husband, gave me a broad understanding and encouraged me to innovate.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Personal contact at Changemakers

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