ChildFund International showcased the best in its approaches, outcomes and learnings during a three-day Innovation Fair. The event, held Nov. 12-15, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, convened more than 225 staff representing each of ChildFund’s 25 country offices and included ChildFund Alliance members, supporters and outside experts. The 80-year-old non-profit organization also marked 80 years since its founding in Richmond during a reception the first evening.
Concurrent sessions, an exhibit gallery hall and roundtable discussion showcased work in the areas of school-based violence, community-based mapping and the use of mobile technology for children on the move, among other issues of child protection. A morning session on the second day of the Fair, called Global Citizen Program Classroom Connect, provided an opportunity for students from Kenya to connect with students from Henrico High School, where they asked questions ranging from hobbies to coping with stress. The Richmond students wanted to gain perspective on how daily life in Kenya differs from life in America.
Select sessions were livestreamed to allow additional participation from around the world and seven micro lab sessions encouraged participants to tackle new or evolving approaches to child protection. Author and social innovation expert Ann Mei Chang keynoted the first day of the Innovation Fair, highlighting practical ways that social impact can be scaled.
Board member and actress Daphne Maxwell Reid emceed the 80th anniversary reception where she and president CEO Anne Lynam Goddard noted ChildFund’s legacy and its goals for the coming decades.
Goddard, who has lead ChildFund International since 2007, also reminded the audience of how a spirit of love and innovation together drive ChildFund’s work every day and every year.
“Love is not only an emotion, it is also an experience that kids feel when specific actions are taken by adults around them,” Goddard said. “By innovating to make kids healthier, more educated and skilled with more options for the future, children can live a life with more love rather than struggle, and therefore a life with more meaning and experiences.”
A Twitter handle, @CFInnovates, invites followers to continue the conversation and share their takeaways from the Fair.