Our annual reports describe the objectives and outcomes achieved by our programmes and advocacy activities, our governing structure and processes, and our financial statements audited by a qualified independent public accountant.
Letter from the President, by Mary Christine Lizarza
We cannot take stock of 2020 without talking about COVID-19: the virus that quickly crossed borders, ravaging every corner of the world when we least expected it. By the end of 2020, nearly two million people in the world had died from this pandemic and almost 84 million were infected.
It started with a minor scare on the other side of the world. One year on, it has substantially changed our life as we knew it before then. Almost all of us have been affected in some way: by the illness itself, by having lost a loved one or just by having been confined at home, which has forced us to find new ways of working and interacting with others.
The virus that has crossed oceans and reached every continent has had, and continues to have, major social, economic and environmental (among other) repercussions. The latter are still difficult to accurately assess, however they have exposed some of the inequalities that are deeply rooted in our society.
In most countries, the vulnerable populations have been the ones who have had the greatest difficulties in accessing the social and health resources they needed. The professional teams from the Dianova network however have continued to provide shelter and care services to people with alcohol and drug dependence, to disenfranchised youth, to the homeless, and to all other highly vulnerable groups.
Our staff members kept on working tirelessly to implement official recommendations and protocols, to adapt their activities, and to ensure the safety of our beneficiaries in our health centres in Bangladesh, on our programmes for the prevention of communicable diseases and the provision of shelter for homeless people in India, and in our centres for the treatment of drug and alcohol dependence in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Chile and Uruguay.
All of them have carried out this immense task, despite the flagrant lack of protective equipment and other materials, financial resources, and the uncertainty they felt in their own personal lives. They have continued just as they always have, through thick and thin, all of them committed to providing the best and the most appropriate care to our beneficiaries and collaborating on a multitude of new tasks. My deepest thanks to each one of them.
The crisis has made us aware of the essential nature of the service we provide, especially in the area of alcohol and drug dependences. The authorities in many countries have provided limited support for addiction services. It is for this reason that we have launched an awareness campaign with the message that substance use and other dependences are a public health issue and addiction services should therefore be considered essential.
Finally, without wanting to play down the disastrous effects of the pandemic, I would like to point out that it has had its positive points, namely the acceleration of digital transformation processes.
Many of the immediate solutions to the crisis have involved the use of digital tools. Online tools have enabled us to improve our service users’ therapeutic follow-up and maintain contact with their families. We have quickly learnt how to handle collaborative tools, allowing us to increase our exchanges. Finally, we have maintained our commitment to making ourselves, and the voice of civil society, heard through webinars and online platforms during major international events.
The pandemic has taught us the significance of living in a globally interconnected way. It has taught us that the borders we see in maps do not exist, just as there are no isolated issues and actions. This is why we need to be able to understand this interrelationship and think systemically, anticipating the impact of our actions on the numerous and varied levels and contexts.
Thank you and happy reading everyone.
A Word from the President, by Mary Christine Lizarza
At the time I write these lines, we find ourselves facing a singular crisis that will leave deep marks on our society, on organizations and on the lives of each one of us. The only certainty is that the future will surely be different, but the commitment, professionalism, and excellence with which we perform our functions will be the guarantee that we will continue on a path guided by quality, efficiency, and above all by the added value that we contribute to society. For this, we have a team of professionals and a network of organizations, prepared to respond to the challenges and opportunities that will arise in the coming years.
This year 2019 has represented a more decisive step in the implementation of the marked strategy, intrinsically connected with the Sustainable Development Goals. Various activities have been carried out, including publications, awareness campaigns and international advocacy initiatives that have impacted more than 6,000,000 people.
Throughout the year, our member organizations have developed activities and projects that have benefited more than 350,000 people, doing justice to our history and to our common purpose of building a strong and supportive future.
By reading this report, you will have the opportunity to find out more about the many events and initiatives carried out throughout the year, before you do so however, I would like to share with all those who are interested in our activity, who collaborate and interact with us daily, our strong commitment to keep on working to build a world that is fairer and more balanced. We are strongly committed to continue on this path with the help of all our employees, associates, volunteers and other partners.
We are dedicated to a mission which is truly ambitious, but the feeling of accomplishment that arises from each of our contributions is unmatched.
Thank you all!
A Word from the President, by Mary-Christine Lizarza
Dear friends, colleagues and partners,
2018 marked Dianova’s twentieth anniversary, an event that celebrated as many years of labour during which Dianova International has provided material aid, advice and expertise to its member organizations.
To mark this anniversary, a symposium was organized in Lisbon (Portugal), attended by around 100 colleagues and guests on the theme of “Network learning: trends and challenges for NGOs in the 21st century”. This event allowed us to share knowledge, exchange thoughts and above all increase the visibility of the work that we have been doing for all these years in the areas of health, education, equality, social support and socio-professional reintegration, to name but a few. We’ve travelled through the past whilst making plans for Dianova’s future and as a result, we have been able to gain a better understanding, not only of what we have accomplished, but also of the problems that we still have left to overcome.
2018 was a successful year. First, in line with our open policy at the Dianova Network, four new organizations formally joined the network during our General Assembly: the Kothowain Organization (Bangladesh), Izsatu (Turkey), the Karim Khan Afridi Welfare Foundation (Pakistan), and the Association of Friends for Human Development (Togo). It has also been a great year in terms of international relations and advocacy activities: our representatives have participated in more than one hundred events, meetings and expert panels, in 12 countries across the Americas, Europe and Asia, to raise awareness of our activities and uphold our commitments. Finally, the work carried out by our ordinary members only helped over 26,000 people this year, whilst an estimated four million people have been impacted by our campaigns!
I would also like to highlight that, more than ever, we endeavour to work towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its goals, and more particularly eradicating poverty and hunger, promoting health and education, implementing genuine equality between men and women, reducing inequalities, supporting sustainable towns and communities, working for peace and justice, and carrying all of this out through effective partnerships.
You will find all of these goals and their different targets throughout this report, since each activity carried out by the network has been assessed based on its contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their targets.
At the end of the year, our network is stronger, better organized and prepared, more united, and more resilient, thanks to all the organizations that it is made up of. On a final note, I would like to thank all those who have contributed to making our network, through their efforts, services and experience, an international point of reference in its different fields of expertise.
Dianova’s work complements sustainable development goals, by Mary-Christine Lizara
In 2007, the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) granted Dianova International special consultative status. In keeping with the spirit of this statute that ensures institutional quality and transparency, we have taken to building ties with international organizations and other NGOs in order to increase awareness of Dianova’s work, promote partnerships among NGOs, and enhance civil society’s involvement in the decision-making processes that concern it. Over the past ten years our representatives have maintained an active presence in the largest international forums—American and European (and occasionally beyond)—in keeping with our commitments.
Today the Dianova network as a whole is reaping the fruit of this decade-long effort. The name Dianova is well known and is widely recognized to stand for professionalism and transparency in the eyes of many renowned institutions, including the Organization of American States (OAS), UNESCO, the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs (VNGOC), the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO), and the World and European Federations of Therapeutic Communities (WFTC and EFTC).
We earned this recognition through the efforts of our members who toil on behalf of the most vulnerable in 18 countries and across four continents. They are engaged in three main areas of work: a commitment to the education of young people and children; the promotion of physical and mental health, including the prevention and treatment of addiction; and, lastly, other social and humanitarian activities.
Dianova has evolved into a credible and reliable organization, in no small measure due to the work of our representatives, who for years—in partnership with NGO networks and committees—have carried out advocacy work in international forums, giving voice to civil society and promoting social progress in the three areas cited above.
We should underline that the work of Dianova International and its members is fully in keeping with the common framework for action set forth in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and 2030 Agenda, a global challenge oriented around three key principles: combating poverty, protecting the planet, and reducing inequalities.
This year marks a new milestone because for the first time we have set out to assess the impact of our work in terms of sustainable development goals. Our objective is twofold: to make Dianova’s contributions more tangible and to demonstrate how our work complements national and international efforts to achieve sustainable development. Finally, I’d like to announce that we have already begun preparations for the Dianova network 20th anniversary, an event we will celebrate next year! Already on the agenda is a meeting that will bring together all members to celebrate the values that unite us. Stay tuned for future updates!
I would like to thank all those who have made the success of our projects possible: first and foremost, all the beneficiaries who have placed their trust in us; but also our collaborators, employees, and volunteers, whose professionalism and human commitment help us to fulfill our mission. We also salute the companies that support us, not forgetting the NGO partners who stand with us.
The year 2017 marks the start of a new phase in Dianova’s commitment to sustainable development goals. We move forward with a sense of confidence and optimism because the fruits of our joint efforts will help build a more inclusive and equitable society, to the benefit of sustainable human development
A Word from the President, by Mary-Christine Lizarza
Today, Dianova is in an exemplary position thanks to the skills and commitment of our teams, which remain dedicated to providing quality service to all our beneficiaries. As the new president, I am proud of Dianova. Proud of an organization that was able to professionalize itself and adapt to the challenges of our times while staying attentive to what we do best: contributing to the development of people, communities and organizations in the social and humanitarian spheres.
We need to keep up this work, day after day. We need to reinforce our position while remaining united and committed to our mission. At the same time, we must keep in mind that our organization does not exist on its own, but through the interaction and integration of the people who are part of it. It is our reason for being: people. Those that we are committed to helping. Those who trust us, who support and fund us. And last but not least, all those who are the arms, legs, head and heart of our organization: our employees and collaborators around the world.
All of them have the same spirit of solidarity and commitment anchored within them. But in order for them to give the best of themselves, it is essential to put in place people management policies which allow us to ensure well-being at work, work-life balance, pay equity, a fair distribution of positions between men and women, as well as continuing education and talent development. This doesn’t all happen by waving a magic wand – the effectiveness of these policies requires thinking ahead and communicating appropriately, without forgetting to monitor and assess their impact. Since 2009, we have been gradually implementing the Dianova People Management Model within the Dianova network. Today, I am pleased to say that much effort has been made in this area, with convincing results. We’re on the right path!
I would also like to emphasize that three organizations have become new members of the Dianova network: Ray of Hope (Pakistan), Slum Child Foundation (Kenya) and Society for the Promotion or Youth and Masses – SPYM (India). The addition of new members creates a stronger network: a network better able to go farther, to make itself heard in forums and international meetings. Indeed, doing advocacy work, often in partnership with other NGOs, is one of Dianova’s strengths. As representatives of civil society, we are committed to upholding our convictions – in favour of the rights of people with addiction, including the right to treatment. In favour of the empowerment of women. To take into account the NGOs’ field experience.
In conclusion, I would like to once again thank all our teams for the assistance they have brought to all those who call on us, for their programs for addiction prevention and treatment, health promotion, education and vocational training, reception and support for migrants and refugees, help for homeless and transient people, assistance for struggling youth, and HIV/AIDS prevention.
To all, thank you.
Letter from the President, by Luca Franceschi
This year I would like to begin the traditional letter from the president by quoting a paragraph from the Dianova Network’s Accountability Charter:
“Organizations can supplement, but under no circumstances substitute, the principal role and primary responsibility governments have regarding the promotion of fair human development and the well-being of the people, the defence of human rights and the protection of ecosystems”.
From our point of view the crisis that persists in many areas of the countries where we are present highlights some important points in addressing the future of our organization and the third sector in general, which is like a family we form part of.
Public policies in recent years have been defined by a set of measures, or cuts, that have greatly affected societies in general, various social protection systems and also the third sector.
On one hand, it is worrying to see how the capacity of the various social protection systems in our countries, which have resulted from the great civil conquests of the twentieth century, to meet the needs of the most disadvantaged citizens is being reduced. And on the other hand there is the possible temptation of public policies to consider the third sector as a possible key player in the constitution of a low cost social protection system, or even worse, the reestablishment of old systems of private sponsorship which, with time, could partially or totally substitute political and civil commitment in order to maintain a serious public social protection system based on citizens’ rights.
Our organization has to face this reality by often having to adopt the same formulas, without forgetting the problematical development in a climate of competition with other key players from the same sector or from the classic private company, whose traditions and values are very remote from ours and our way of being. We naturally prefer scenarios of cooperation.
We believe that our sector will have to be very vigilant of these policies, which, in the short term, can give us an impression of guaranteeing our survival while distancing ourselves and going against our origins and founding legitimacy: that of a supplementary organized civil society, which can never substitute a public system which is the one who should guarantee the rules of the game, the management of resources and the attainment of the common good.
Demographic issues, the aging of the population, migratory flow, unemployment, the development of technology and robotics, which in general terms destroy more employment than they create, doubtlessly force us to rethink new social protection, employment and welfare systems. However, it should not be in order to dismantle or reduce them to a minimum, but to expand and extend them.
The third sector will surely have an important role in carrying out this in historical challenge, closely together with the other social agents, with the condition that it will not be self- limiting in its role as a service provider for the administration. It will leave behind the paradigms of the last century, when it was an important heir, in the good sense of the word, of the social intentions of the social movements of 68 and the Second Vatican Council which revolutionized social politics in the church in the world.
Activating its qualities of adaptation and resilience, its close relationship with its surroundings and above all its capacity to make proposals, the third sector can be a great protagonist in the construction of a fairer society for the 21st century.
Letter from the President, by Luca Franceschi
All of us have heard this fashionable but all too true statement: all organizations must innovate for reasons of basic efficiency, whether economically, socially or ecologically. In a global environment marked by uncontrolled evolutions, commercial enterprises, institutions and NGOs must improve their performance on an ongoing basis to successfully cope with these changes. Innovation has become a necessity.
In the case of the Dianova Network, our organizations have had to quickly adapt to the effects of the crisis, especially to the cutbacks in public funding. At the same time, they have had to take up a new challenge: that of providing adequate responses to the emerging needs arising from the crisis. To make it short: they had to do more with less.
To resolve this paradox, Dianova organizations have responded withinnovation in services thus diversifying and offering projects adapted to the needs of increasingly vulnerable and marginalized populations. They have managed to implement internal and external partnerships which have enabled them to develop activities that they would have been unable to carry out by themselves, while taking advantage of new opportunities.
Our organizations have also focused on organizational innovation with the implementation of more efficient human resource management practices focusing on: people’s well-being at work, work-life balance, equal opportunities for all, suitable organization of the workplace and enhanced working methods, the implementation of quality management systems, and employee training programmes.
Dianova’s most recent “Management & Development” seminar, precisely dedicated to innovation, taught us that creativity is not a gift per se. Most people can be creative, provided they are able to listen carefully and make appropriate connections, that they are spontaneous, without prejudice and capable of thinking “out of the box”. But in order to let creativity flourish, management techniques and work conditions capable of fostering entrepreneurship and innovative projects must be implemented. We should go much farther in the implementation of such techniques.
According to sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, we live in a “liquid modernity”, a society that is more and more flexible, where people and organizations are battered by the winds of change, forced to constantly adapt to realities redefined perpetually. In order to take up a challenge which somewhat exceeds our comprehension, there is only one suitable attitude: always think ahead and anticipate.
The cohesion of The Dianova Network has permitted us to get through tough times; nevertheless, we won’t be able to shape the future development of Dianova if we remain unassisted. The future strength of The Dianova Network is emerging today. It is made ofopenness, networking and partnerships. We will build this future by taking advantage of every single source of inspiration, by utilizing the knowledge and assets of our partners, by developing new projects, by reinforcing our network so it can carries greater weight within international forums, by exploring new funding alternatives, etc. Because being a non-profit organization does not involve that one should lose money…
The future is already present; together we will meet these challenges.
2013, an International Year, by Luca Franceschi
To carry out its mission, an NGO such as ours not only has to face complex problems, it also has to take an interest in decisions and policies that could have an influence on it. It is because of this that we have to develop strategies for influencing political leaders at a regional, national and international level.
The Dianova organization has two essential advantages in this respect. Firstly, it has the benefit of a well-established, transnational network which enables it to have a presence in, and be active in, the principal international forums. The second advantage relates to the fact that all the members of this network are united around a common vision, philosophy and position, that our members strive to promote as widely as possible.
In relation to this, after receiving Special Consultative Status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council in 2007, Dianova International began to focus on opportunities offered by international organizations and to concentrate on working through a network with other NGOs. Before being able to define what the objectives of this new international relations activity would be, we spent the first years concentrating on gaining an understanding of the complex functioning of international institutions, in particular the United Nations.
Today we are reaping the benefits of this work, as shown by the responsibilities we now have in the Vienna NGO Committee, our active participation in the Commission on the Status of Women in New York, or even our consultative relations status and our participation in various meetings headed by UNESCO. The list of events we attended in 2013, such as international meetings, seminars and forums, is quite extensive. This shows our willingness to act, to position Dianova as an important leader in our areas of intervention. It also highlights our commitment to promoting and defending the positions that we value the most.
“The development of the third sector can not only generate employment, it can also help develop collective action and public policies that foster stronger social links, together with more sustainable and, above all, more just human development.”
Amongst these are the importance of participation in decision making in civil society and the recognition of the role played by the third sector. We believe that the development of a “third way”, between a market economy and the public sector, could help address new, collective needs while improving the employment situation in our countries. Our societies have undergone an in-depth transformation. This transformation has generated expectations and new needs, in particular in terms of improving people’s quality of life. Neither the market sector nor the public sector can or want to respond to these needs.
Social economy or the third sector is already an essential component of the economy. It has helped and continues to help to address the current crisis. Not only could its development generate jobs in response to these needs, but it could also help develop collective action and public policies that foster stronger social links, to promote a more sustainable and, above all, more just human development. This is what we want to champion.
Promoting Human Development through the Third Sector, by Luca Franceschi
“Human development, as an approach, is concerned with what I take to be the basic development idea: namely, advancing the richness of human life, rather than the richness of the economy in which human beings live, which is only a part of it.”
Prof. Amartya Sen – Nobel Laureate in Economics, 1998
Reduce unemployment, boost the economy, retrieve growth, we always hear such a mantra from most South European leaders, while at the same time, they enviously eye on most of emerging countries’ economic growth curve. Neverthe- less, one could bet that even if we could manage to raise our growth rate by one or two-tenths, this growth would only be short-lived.
After the first oil crisis and the end of the great Keynesian Boom, and the “Thirty Glorious Years”, our rosy future started to look a lot darker than previously believed – a future made of high unemployment for us and for our children. Most of our countries have suffered for years of economic ups and downs, despair and lack of hope, with stock market or real estate bubbles bursting one after the other. Directly deriving from uncontrolled liberalization, this cyclical economic malaise continues to undermine our societies.
The third sector and NGOs often start out with the desire that the problem for which they were created would disappear, i.e. drugs, AIDS, poverty, social exclusion, etc. this principle defines a particular behavior in the development and growth of these organizations, from which the need arises to adapt constantly their raison d’être and the ways in which they are useful. For this reason, we strongly believe that the nature of the Dianova network member organizations is in an ongoing state of development, which is understood to be a series of learning and maturation processes through which an organization fulfils its life cycle and updates its potentialities. It would even be more consistent to assert that NGOs should be aware, and accept it, that the day they will fully achieve their goals will also mark the end of their very purpose and feeling of usefulness.
This is why one should never be afraid of change. After having undergone an initial spontaneous pioneering stage, many of these organizations have experienced great growth in professionalization and institutionalization and have emerged from a culture of heroism into one of social responsibility, positioning themselves as reliable and credible professionals.
After having undergone this process successfully, Dianova is now able to promote alliances and the development of common projects with other third sector organizations, in an atmosphere of strong and open collaboration and a perspective on innovation.
Dianova would therefore like to take up the challenge of a shared development while multiplying and complementing these organizations without positioning itself as a competitor. With such projects and alliances that we briefly introduce in this annual report, we truly went to bring our contribution to building a strong third sector, which, among other things, would be grounded on local initiatives and individual talents. The future third sector might become a major economic contributor, capable of integrating the economy in the political and social environment, while building on men and women’s strengths, autonomy and talents – with a view to promoting sustainable and equitable human development.
Another Look at the Future, by Luca Franceschi
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we
used when we created them”
2011 is ending the same way as it started, in the turmoil of a global crisis of unprecedented magnitude. However, the economic crisis at least could bring to light an essential truth: without institutional safeguards and regulations, without appropriate governmental measures to support those of us who were left behind an unfettered liberalism, no country can aspire to develop stable and sustainable living conditions for its citizens. The state appears therefore to play a crucial role in providing appeasement and balance, in particular through state-third sector relationships.
With a growing number of voluntary associations, charities, foundations and cooperative societies focused on much different objectives, third sector organizations operate throughout common principles, grounded in social justice, community empowerment and solidarity. This common basis could eventually become the new founding principles of our society, in the same way as other principles which have now reached their limits: competition, free market and liberal economic thought… It is too early to tell which path we will take, however we must pursue our work and make ourselves heard.
As our NGO, Dianova International, finishes the year, difficulties persist. Our members often have to struggle. However our work is done and we always respond to all those who request our expertise. The Dianova network member organizations have initiated programs and initiatives that have benefited thousands of people, through addiction treatment and prevention services, programs for at-risk individuals, educational and training services, or personal and community development initiatives. Thousands of people. The most vulnerable among us, first victims of the global crisis.
We have also been committed to modernize and develop the network’s governance practices and corporate stance. We have hastened the implementation of the institutional principles as defined in the Dianova network’s Manifesto and Accountability Charter.
In addition, third sector organizations being characterized by a greater involvement of women, Dianova was no exception and the gender perspective was integrated throughout the Network. One of 2012 and subsequent years top priorities will be to ensure gender equity for the staff and governance bodies.
We live in an era of profound shifting; because they have a different set of skills and values, women can make a difference in the world and lead our future.
A Word from the President, by Luca Franceschi
At the end of 2009, during the celebration of their annual general assembly, the Dianova network member organizations have examined the network’s global commitment as well as its future and sustainability. They all agreed that the Network was on the verge of meeting the challenge of service diversification, in order to offer new esponses to the growing needs of a much wider range of people in difficulty beyond the sole addiction problem, including: homeless individuals, street youth, addicted women with their dependent children, unaccompanied migrant children and adolescents, etc.
In addition, the network’s service diversification had to be consistent with the broadening of the purpose of the Network, the objective of which being not only to provide people with the means to change, but also to society as a whole. Our wish was to become at the same time an actor and a promoter of social change, in the broader sense of the term, i.e. one of the actors of a global evolution towards a sustainable human development – an objective achievable only within a close partnership from all sectors, including the business world, public services and the third sector.
One year later, the Dianova network is now reaping the benefits of these commitments, even though much more needs to be done. On the one hand, in 2010 the Network laid the groundwork for its new role as an agent of change through the development of a document common to all of our member organizations. “The Dianova Network Manifesto” is the first step in building an organization that will, hopefully, provide not only individual responses, but also community and societal responses likely to effectively contribute to the common good.
We have also clarified our ambitions with the kickoff of an educational project based on humanistic and experiential approaches to learning – a model which would be able to sustain this societal evolution that we so desire. This educational model was the subject of an important work of reflection and analysis by a workgroup dedicated to developing a project complementary to traditional educational methods, but which would focus more on the development of children’s and adolescent’s personal abilities, reinforcing the core values of self-respect, respect for others and one’s natural environment, and teaching mutual understanding and democracy.
Finally, we would like to stress that the times we live best lend themselves to these goals: the latest findings of the “Trust Barometer”, established by a prominent American firm show that opinion leaders more and more rely on NGOs, in whichever country, to help positively influence the world we live in. Another finding by the firm suggests that the model of the almighty company distributing profits to its sole hareholders is now questioned: for the business world the time has come to turn to a more active social commitment, in close collaboration with the Public Sector, NGOs and the third sector in general. This is the key to our future.
Dianova’s Role in Promoting Social Change, by Luca Franceschi
“We want to build a society that is responsible, inclusive and united, which incorporates the complex and plural reality”
In the last few years, the world has faced the greatest crisis since the end of World War II. Originally portrayed as a financial crisis, it has now affected all sectors including the economy itself, businesses, public administrations and other institutions, which in turn has led to millions being unemployed, changes in migratory movements and other consequences that are difficult to evaluate at this time.
It is believed that this crisis has brought to light different failures that were forewarned to a greater or lesser degree and which probably had one common denominator: disproportion. Disproportion between real needs and the overproduction of goods, between development and sustainability, between quality and lifestyle and the real possibilities for achieving them.
At this particular point in history, which is in a full transition from the age of excess of the 20th century to the age of moderation in the 21st century, we all need to learn how to live in a different way, since the myth of infinite growth has shown its limitations.
One of the challenges will be how to guarantee health and social protection through sustainability, solidarity and equity, in an economic context that is different to that existing today.
It is down to us, as third sector organizations and civil society in general, to take the initiative to build our own development paradigm, finding a fair balance between efficacy and efficiency, between professionalization and indispensable spontaneity, which in other contexts may be known as flexibility or adaptability, so that the crisis can be overcome in the short term. In other words, we all have a part to play in the future.
Dianova is convinced that the future and direction of its organization will involve a fair balance between its capacity to provide services and at the same time champion the promotion of social changes, to build a society that is responsible, inclusive and united, and which incorporates the complex and plural reality, without marginalizing any member.
Some of these members form a part of our teams, and I would especially like to thank them for their indefatigable commitment to our values. I would also like to thank friends and collaborators and all those who believe in our project.
“Crossroads”, by José Ángel Muñiz
2008 should leave an imprint in history as the year which saw the surge of a world-wide crisis which remains complex in its analysis and in the many facets of its consequences and, I daresay, opportunities.
2008 was also the year celebrating the 10th anniversary of Dianova. This is the anniversary of an experience of change, of renewal, of risk-taking, an experience of which the foundations are grounded in a thirty-year history made of struggles and claims, ignited by the huge courage that men and women can have when led by the will to help others. The capacity for resilience which has become specific to our organization actually originates from this experience.
This ten-year renewal that is characteristic of Dianova focuses on society’s concerns at large: the state of the planet, ecology and the necessity of creating growth while, at the same time, taking into account the limitations of the planet’s natural resources. We maintain that the solution is to be found in sustainable human development, that is, a development capable of maintaining the right balance between producing a healthy economy, sharing social stability and protecting our environment. We will achieve this, because if one resource should be considered infinite, it is that of human ingenuity.
Our experience speaks for us. During ten years we were able to overcome every single obstacle thanks to our ingenuity, our pugnacity and our thirst for knowledge, while relying always on professionalism and innovation. We were able to achieve this thanks to the commitment of people passionate about their work; we succeeded thanks to our commitment to society and the community at every level, in locally-grounded partnerships and initiatives. Last but not least, we were able to create a strong bond with all of our partners, a bond very much close to the emotional bond which unites our members and the friends of the Dianova network in a deep sense of belonging, a common will to do a better job, ever and again.
Tremendous opportunities may result from this crisis. Solidarity-based economic models and initiatives already exist and have proved efficient, such as those of NGO’s. It is our duty to demand that those initiatives be addressed, because they will tomorrow prepare the groundwork for a society more closely related to human needs.
It was the anniversary of a ten-year experience, the opportunity to look back at the long path that we took and say: “we achieved it!” It was also the opportunity to consider our future, and it now belongs to those who will now take the helm for the next four years – the newly-elected team at the Council of the Assembly. I wish them all, and especially Luca Franceschi to whom I pass on the torch, the greatest success in this human adventure.
Letter from the President, by José Ángel Muñiz Rivero
2007 has been an important year for the Dianova Network, a year full of meaning.
First of all, we were granted Special Consultative Status to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. This is an achievement we are proud of, because it affords us opportunities to play a role at the highest international level, to reinforce the positioning of the Dianova network and to work with other NGO’s.
Sharing and learning were the main threads of first international conference organized by Dianova in Lisbon, the theme of which was, “Networking, Cooperation and Innovation in the Non-Profit Sector”. The event was an unquestioned success, and saw the signing by all Dianova members of a landmark agreement of cooperation which will make the network more efficient, allow a better sharing of best practices and ensure that we all move forward in the same direction and for the greatest benefit of all those who take advantage of our services. Coincidentally, on the same day we were honored by Mrs. Michelle Bachelet, president of the Republic of Chile, who visited our therapeutic center in San Bernardo, Chile!
The year was also marked by our advancement to a new stage in our corporate development by officially endorsing the increasing diversity of our services. For some years now, a number of member organizations have offered programs specifically devoted to answering needs arising from social ills in addition to substance-abuse, such as homelessness, juvenile delinquency, and others.
This trend has become an enduring evolution, which was formalized last year with the modification of our Mission Statement by unanimous approval of all members of the Dianova network at the annual meeting of our governing Assembly.
This new definition of our Mission is exemplified by activities and programs which include an educational dimension: for addicted mothers with dependent children in Santiago, Chile; for street youths living in the cities of Canada; for children and adolescents coming from New York’s inner city; for people experiencing a social emergency in Lisbon; for vulnerable adolescents in Bilbao, Madrid or Sevilla; for hundreds of children from the streets of Managua and from surrounding rural areas, who receive free education in our school.
And, let’s not forget our many traditional programs for the care and treatment of those dependent on alcohol and other drugs, in places such as Milan, Rome, Brussels, Stockholm, Montevideo, Geneva or Ljubljana, among others.
Everywhere where people need us, we will try to answer present; in all, nearly 5,000 people benefited our services during 2007.
The year 2007 was a key year for Dianova – a key which has helped open doors to innovation, creativity, efficacy and efficiency, without ever letting us forget our traditional core values or the force of our basic principles of solidarity, tolerance, internationality and commitment. And importantly, we mustn’t forget our most precious asset of all – the people – all those who work with us for sustainable human development.
To all of them, thank you.
Letter from the President, by José Ángel Muñiz Rivero
For a number of reasons we are extremely satisfied with what was done during 2006.
The common characteristic of this year has been the dissemination of, and raising awareness about, our values, which have circulated throughout the entire network as a result of the intensive training that was carried out with the attendance of delegates from each country. A trickle down effect was utilised so that the information reached every member of our broad organisation.
In addition, one of our most valuable assets being our personnel, we have directed our energy towards the careful and fluid management of technical and theoretical training activities. Discussion groups were organised in order to stimulate motivation and commitment to the tasks and to consolidate a strong institutional identity, where the mission, vision and values of Dianova all converge.
Furthermore, besides to continuing with all of our health care programmes, we have designed and implemented new projects, as a response to the new care needs that we identified. Some have been promoted within the scope of national associations, and others were able to be established thanks to the transfer of technology, of personnel and of know-how between organisations in different countries.
We have provided services to 4078 people; we have contributed to the education of 310 children; we have enabled 34 mothers to undergo treatment without being separated from their children, and we have planted the seeds in 243 youth of experiencing what it is to live in a support setting.
Aware of the importance of being recognised by a body with the UN’s international prestige we have presented our candidacy for UN consultative status to ECOSOC*, with the objective of actively participating in the process of promoting education, the fight against drugs and social development.
As a consequence of these accomplishments, the feeling of satisfaction that I mentioned at the beginning of this letter is grounded in the real goals and objectives that we reached. Everything that came into fruition in 2006, has acted as a stimulus to confront that which still needs to be obtained, principally that Dianova International has set itself to the challenge of becoming legally and formally established as a NETWORK.
Although this may seem like an ambitious objective, we are determined to achieve it during the course of 2007, since this new management method will make it possible to expand and improve the services offered and to consolidate our presence in the sphere of social development and integration.
With renewed energies and healthy optimism, I close by simply saying, “Until next year”.