by Jan Booij
November 5, 2018, the Frankfurter Verband celebrated its centenary. The welfare and care organization has a direct connection with the city and with the social and political developments in Frankfurt. You can read this in the history description on the website: https://www.frankfurter-verband.de/100-jahre.html You can find back there the spirit of different times. Think of the twenties of the last century, the period of the start of Frankfurter Verband, but also later in the thirties in the time when facism Germany changed step by step. The sixties was an important decade in the Western world and brought a lot of new ideas and changing values and those impact also changed a lot of visions on care and the position of clients and staff.
As ENIEC, we obviously know the last decade of the Frankfurter Verband. Frédéric and Ute are members of the first moment and both present at the start meeting in Copenhagen in March 2007, later joined Meltem when still working in Berlin, discovered by the Frankfurter Verband at an ENIEC meeting. The Frankfurter Verband also hosted ENIEC twice in that city for an annual meeting. Two meetings in another fase of a growing ENIEC. Both Ute and Frédéric were on the board of ENIEC and made important contributions to further development.
The celebration consisted of a large gathering for employees and guests in the town hall. The mayor and as director of the Frankfurter Verband spoke there. The chief editor of the biggest lokal newspaper, Ms. Basha Mika, was the keynote speaker on that event. My German was not good enough to understand her whole story well, but it was a fascinating story for the listeners with an emancipatory slant, in which the position of women, the professional work they do and the (non) recognition were central.
In the evening there was a grand dinner in a beautiful hall for more than 400 guests, where the employees were the main focus. The ‘professors of reality’ who make a difference daily, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in dialogue with the residents.
It was also very nice to see a contribution from Suzhou, China. Mr Sun HuizHong, director of the Suzhou Social Welfare Institute (SSWI), congratulated the Frankfurter Verband, with which since 2010 there has been a cooperative relationship with a beautiful powerpoint presentation. Always good to see old friends in unexpected places.
The city of The Hague and Frankfurt have also been working together for some years as age-friendly cities, where diversity is one of the spearheads. In addition, both cities have connections with the city of Suzhou when it comes to care for the elderly. Several organizations in the Hague and Frankfurt region take part in this cooperation with China.
ENIEC was visible in the subject of diversity and the elderly, both from the position of the elderly and the various employees who make a difference in this every day in Frankfurt. The alderman Daniela Birkenfeld made that evening a nice and impressive statement when it comes to elderly people with all sexual preferences. She did so in word, but also by wearing a pink scarf on stage. The Frankfurter Verband is the first organization outside of The Netherlands with the certificate: ‘De Roze Loper’. In the past, Harry Moeskops and Lex Roseboom, both ENIEC members have made a contribution to this, the network also works like that.
And of course you saw ENIEC back when we were all on the dance floor with a lot of employees, on a Monday in November.