A brief review of this past year
At the dawn of 2015 we’d like to extend our best wishes to many people. At first, to our beneficiaries, to all those who have asked for the help of our member organizations in times of great need, or more simply to prepare a better future. Also, to all our staff members and volunteers, all the men and women dedicated to advancing the mission of Dianova in their daily commitment, whether in Europe, in South America and North America. We finally extend our best wishes to all our readers and all of those who in one way or another have an interest in our action.
2014 was rich in many ways, but it’s also been a difficult year. The current economic and social crisis has contributed to limit the development of several of our members. Yet, each one of them has endeavored to implement the Dianova network’s strategic lines and objectives: sustainability, interdependence, innovation and identity.
The Chinese Language defines the word “crisis” by the association of two ideograms that denote both danger and opportunity. Our network members seem to have grasped this paradox adequately when responding to this crisis. They have chosen to rely on innovation – not only to ensure the sustainability of their services but, much more importantly, to provide adequate responses to rapidly growing social emergencies.
We could for example underline the opening of a new humanitarian program by Dianova Spain in order to meet the basic needs of recent immigrants. Or the implementation by Dianova in Uruguay of a center dedicated to the attention of people with dual diagnostic, i.e. addiction and psychiatric disease. Not to mention the emphasis put for the last two years in Italy on providing vulnerable adolescents with residential treatment and follow-up program at “La Villa” townhouse, or the development of the “Social Camp“, an experiential education project for youngsters.
Other relevant activities of the members of the network are as follows:
- the opening of a new curriculum dedicated to technical agricultural education in the Esther Del Rio Las Marías school, Nicaragua – a project aiming to provide adequate training to young people to help them find decent jobs,
- The continuation of Dianova Chile’s educational mission with the implementation of the 1st and 2nd International Seminars “Building Educational Networks”
- The implementation in Portugal of a new edition of Dianova’s health promotion campaign “Mocktails 2014”, with 18 partners, as well as a significant increase in the activities of the Dianova Training Center
- The opening of the second rooming house run by Dianova Canada, for people on low incomes, with a 21 person capacity,
- The collaboration of Dianova Sweden with various scientists and researchers in order to underline the benefits of therapeutic communities as a treatment model,
- The opening of a delegation in New York to structure and reinforce Dianova International relationships with the United Nations, in collaboration with Dianova USA.
In terms of communication, 2014 has been a successful year with the launch of a transnational campaign focusing on the prevention of addictions and promotion of Dianova services. The REACT campaign was implemented by all members of the network, with a positive ROI, especially in Portugal with over 16 million people impacted and 31 participating media.
One should also mention the decision of Dianova International to come back on online social networks and develop our website – objective accomplished since between January and October, site visits had already increased by 40% through regular articles (almost 150 news or opinion articles have been posted on our corporate site and over 300 posts filled on major social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter). In addition, a new website dedicated to responsible tourism in Nicaragua has been launched – a new site and also a new project: Dianova has partnered with a responsible tourism company in order to generate income while having a positive impact on the environment, society and economy.
In terms of internal communication, we should also mention the updating of our Institutional Manual, a collection of corporate texts and best practices destined to the whole Dianova staff.
Au Dianova has participated in numerous working groups, conferences, online surveys and other consultations, but among other relevant events one should highlight the organization of parallel events during international high-level meetings, e.g. the conference “Education, Gender and Maternal Health” during the Commission on the status of Women (CSW58) in March (New York); and our stance in favor of long-term addiction treatment programs, at a side event during the annual meeting of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in Vienna (Austria)
In addition, we’ve participated in various conferences that have enabled us to defend our convictions, including that addiction treatment be grounded on public health approaches rather than on any form of repression whatsoever, against substance abusers. This has been the case for example in October at the Civil Society organizations’ informal hearing organized by the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs (VNGOC) at the UN, with the presentation of the Mother/Children program implemented by Dianova Chile.
All of our actions were conducted by the means of networks, partnerships and debates, while giving these actions and commitments a wide repercussion on our websites and on social networks in an objective of interdependence.
In June 2014, the tenth “Management and Development” Training Seminar was held in Castelldefels (Spain) with the participation of about forty representatives of the Dianova Network, under the theme “Expanding the Overall Vision of Dianova“. The previous day was dedicated to a session on the proper use of social networks and web sites.