ICDP activities are ongoing at the Roda Viva Education Centre, where all staff receives ICDP training.
Daniela informs about the situation during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021:
“Due to the pandemic, in 2020 we had to close our centre for 2 months and in 2021 we had to close for another 2 months, but luckily no one in the school had caught the coronavirus. We established very strong anti-pandemic rules, which provided high levels of protection. All teachers have been vaccinated and in the latter part of 2021 our school became busy again with a lot of children attending. As things got back to some sort of normality, our school became full and, in the end, we had a very long waiting list. The ICDP programme is still at the center of our work with children of every age group and the ICDP principles continue to be our pedagogical basis. All staff is introduced to ICDP.”
Before the registration of ICDP international organization some of its founders held seminars in Bucelas, Portugal exploring other programmes, which later on contributed to the formulation of the ICDP programme.
At the same time they were involved with a social project in Lisbon assisting the neighbouring refugee community that had fled from ex Portuguese colonies, due to civil unrest, to Lisbon. Most of the refugees were transferred to Alfragide and the project started there on a small piece of donated land, first as a preschool, and gradually it developed into a community project involving older children and young people. Project funding from NORAD was discontinued when Portugal became member of the European community.
ICDP Portugal came into existence as an organization in 2007, although ICDP had been active in the country many years previously. In May an ICDP sensitization course took place in Lisbon and soon after a core group of 7 facilitators was formed. In June the ICDP international chairman presented the work of ICDP at an event which launched ICDP Portugal publicly; important contacts with local organizations were made which were followed by visits and planning for future work. The newly established ICDP Portugal office in Lisbon will be coordinating activities not only in Portugal but also in Africa.
On the 12th of January 2008, ICDP Portugal held its first official meeting as a registered organization. The founding members were all highly motivated about applying the ICDP philosophy in practice. Already there are 3 trainers, 4 facilitators; and 32 facilitators are in process of being trained. ICDP Portugal established cooperation with the Educational and Social Centre “Roda Viva” in the Alfragide area of Lisbon. The centre aims to contribute to the lives and social integration of poor and marginalized families. Several ICDP projects with parents from Roda Viva led to positive changes in parents’ behaviour towards their children. As a result of these successful ICDP initiatives, the Centre Director asked the ICDP team to organize sensitization courses for all the teachers of the 115 children served by the centre.
2009: As result of ICDP interventions in 2008 changes were observed in participant parents, technical team, and the newly trained promoters. This success ensured the continuity of the project, which expanded in 2009. The main objective was to promote more harmonious, constructive and less aggressive interpersonal relationships between parents and children. In November began the sensitization training of new team members, with special emphasis on standardization of “interactive language”. Easiness in communication, sense of membership and a spirit of mutual support gained expression in daily situations. Portuguese blog: www.icdpportugal.blogspot.com
2010: A new “Pedagogic Project for the Education and Community Centre Roda Viva” was developed and all activities were guided by ICDP principles, i.e. the work with staff, as well as the work with infants, children, young people and their families. It is a further step in consolidating the work which ICDP has been developing with the technical team of this institution, since 2007.
2011: During the last few years the local government has been funding the successful Saturday morning ICDP programme which works with 168 children from 90 families, many of them from disadvantaged backgrounds. In 2011 Roda Viva ran its ICDP programme throughout the year, and held its traditional Easter camp attended by 30 children.
The statistics show that over 50% of the first children to be part of the project went on to university, compared to a 5% which occurs in the normal school system.
In 2012, ICDP Portugal completed the training at Roda Viva. Two professionals, an educational psychologist and a social worker, became ICDP trainers and they took over the responsability for delivering the ICDP training to parents. During the year, the parents attended the ICDP course once a month. It was held in the evenings, after the parents finished their work. The long intervals between meetings are not an ideal way to implement ICDP, nevertheless, the parents managed to become committed, engaged and to benefit from ICDP.
2013: The book “A Idade de Armario” was written by two ICDP trainers, Penelope Villar and Rodrigo Abreu, published by Esfera dos Livros. In this book, the ICDP pedagogy is visible in the description of the issues concerning the pre-adolescent stage of development. The importance of love and communication in the transition period from child to adolescent is conveyed with great humour. Even though the book has no academic aspirations, it can provide support to caregivers dealing with pre-teens and teenagers.
Professor Olivia Ferreira learnt about the ICDP programme through her voluntary work at Roda Viva, and later she decided to put ICDP Portugal in contact with the president of the National Association of Secondary School Parents. As a result of this contact, the Association invited ICDP to conduct 5 workshops on the topics chosen by the parents of pre-teens and teenagers. The topics included: presentation of the ICDP programme; sexuality issues; alcohol and drugs; going out at night; use of internet and mobile phones; the adult role models in the home and their impact on the lives of children. The workshops provided an excellent space for parents to share their views, as well as their concerns and fears. There were fruitful discussions also with the teachers. The ICDP international trainer Maria Teresa Mendes and trainers Penelope Villar and Rodrigo Abreu were in charge of the workshops.