What Do Waffles and Weak Ties Have to Do With Improving Children’s Lives?

A new conference approach will mix waffles and fun with a chance to work across fields to find where business, government, and philanthropy can intersect with solutions for improving the lives of children at Civic Hall (http://civichall.org), New York City on February 12.

Hosted by WithoutViolence (http://www.withoutviolence.org) in collaboration with UNICEF (http://www.unicef.org), Solutions Summit: A Multipurpose Approach to Improving Children’s Lives will make the case for investing in solutions to violence against children.

Wafles & Dinges (http://www.wafelsanddinges.com) will be on hand to serve up fresh waffles and keep the creative energy levels up.

The physical, psychological and sexual violence against children worldwide may cost governments up to US$ 7 trillion (8% of global GDP). But there is growing evidence that this violence can be prevented with cost-effective strategies.

Dipak Naker of Raising Voices (Uganda), one of the speakers, remarked: “If we have learned anything in our work on violence prevention it is this; that It is important to go beyond our comfort zone. We must reach out to people we do not ordinarily speak with. Everyone must play their role to change the underlying ‘blindness’ that continues to tolerate violence against children.”

Speaking about the reasons for organizing the event, Joanna Mikulski of WithoutViolence said: “This event is about searching for the answers and figuring out how to make deeper connections with the networks of people to whom we have so-called ‘weak ties’ that open us up to broader networks than those we usually interact with day-to-day.”

The event will showcase effective programs like—

• Cure Violence, a model for disrupting the spread of street violence that was last year expanded from 5 to 14 precincts of New York City after a program area in Brooklyn went a year without a shooting or killing.

• Positive parenting programs implemented by the International Rescue Committee in Myanmar and Liberia that reduced the use of harsh physical punishment by parents and caregivers by up to 64%.

Speakers and participants will include Lori White, Upworthy; Tom Watson, Forbes; Constanze Niedermaier, Whyzz LLC, and Jennifer Senior, author of All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood; Donna Levin, Care.com; Karen Volker, Cure Violence; Dipak Naker, Raising Voices (Uganda); Tina Musuya of the Center for Domestic Violence Prevention (Uganda); Susan Bissell and Marissa Buckanoff, UNICEF; Jana Hainsworth and Prema Humpal, Eurochild; Lena Karlsson and Silvia Oñate, Save the Children; Katy Barnett and Solène Edouard, Child Protection Working Group; Daniel Muhwezi and Ntakamaze Nziyonvira of CIYOTA (Uganda); Josseline Narrea Quiroz, and Yim Rodriguez of INFANT (Peru); Laura Boone and Kate Philips-Barrasso of the International Rescue Committee, and Ramya Subrahmanian of Know Violence.

The summit will comprise a number of panel discussions that will explore how the world is actually getting better for kids, and how innovative technologies and policies can help to further improve children’s lives.

See the agenda and RSVP for your spot at this important event at http://www.withoutviolence.org/solutionssummit/