Faruk Licina - The art and way of building bridges

Thursday 5 July 2018

Between troubled children, teenagers who are sometimes outright rebellious and parents who, in the end, find themselves completely disoriented, Educ'actif presents itself as a mediator who, over time, makes it possible to rebuild relationships that have broken down for a variety of good and bad reasons.

Educ'actif was created in 2001. It is the result of a project developed by the Solidarity and Integration branch of Caritas Luxembourg. It is under the Ministry of Education and is accredited by the Office national de l'enfance. Today, this structure includes seven graduated educators and two social workers. Its premises are located in a house near the Rollingergrund in Luxembourg City. But Educ'actif's skills extend throughout the country

Meeting with Faruk Licina, who is in charge of this office, which is open to the most diverse needs. And to all the expectations that come from children, teenagers and their parents.Your team is currently handling a good hundred files, each more different than the last.

How do these requests for assistance come to you?

They are addressed to us, in large part, by the Office national de l'enfance. From there, we will analyse the file which contains, at least in a superficial way, the problem that will have to be solved. Our approach is very simple. We make a phone call to the family concerned and make an appointment to visit the family concerned. We meet together for a first overview. It takes about two hours for this type of meeting. Between tea or coffee, we sometimes discuss banalities before finally getting to the heart of the matter. And what is that? A kid who screams to his heart's content every time he walks into a supermarket to get his favorite candy, a teenager who is out of school because he is no longer at home in his family environment, another who starts taking drugs for the same reasons. And the causes are diverse: divorce of the parents, recomposition of the family and arrival of a new person. This will lead to refusals, rebellions and acts of violence in different forms. We need to sort it out and suggest some leads.

Do all your mediation meetings take place in the family setting?

Yes, for the most part.  But there are exceptions. Anyone on the team is able to feel that at some point in the conversation between parents, child (or teenager), there are holes. This is what we call an unspoken one. The dialogue then continues with our contact person in our offices. This is a great opportunity to get rid of a burden in complete privacy. It is also an opportunity for us to move forward and better understand what barriers either of us may find ourselves locked up behind. Some situations can be very complex. We must always strive to recover the trauma that caused it. The whole team meets once a week and we review all the issues that are ongoing. Sometimes one or the other educator is so involved in his or her case that he or she no longer has the ability to distance himself or herself from it. These meetings give us the opportunity to discuss, to see new directions or, on the contrary, to say go ahead because you are on the right track.

You have added another string to your bow. It is called Breakaway Days. What does that mean?

At the end of July, and for the third edition, we will have 17 participants in this new session. It lasts one week. We go to Portugal, near Porto, thanks to Luxair who gives us a nice discount on tickets. From then on, it will not be castle life. Caritas Portugal has found us a camp near which there is a horse riding centre. We will have to participate in the daily life together, we will have to take care of the horses. Moral, it will have to be shown that a group can only function when it has acquired a certain cohesion. Previous editions have shown that the teens who participated in this kind of experience had regained a lot of enthusiasm in no time and that they had since got off to a good start. Needless to say, all young people who have gone through Educ'actif are monitored.

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