This past week, 7 of the BEB team members had the opportunity to attend the CAFO Summit in Oklahoma City. This conference is an opportunity to build connections with fellow child welfare advocates and help strengthen many of our partnerships. Frank Garrott, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at BEB, and Will Sanchez, Vice President of Implementation, share their experience:
“The CAFO Summit is an opportunity to refresh and reconnect. This year’s Summit in Oklahoma City was no exception. I had the honor to co-present with Sandra Chikan, Vice President of ASOHON, our partner in Nigeria. Consistent with the CAFO theme “Unhurried; Taking the Long View”, we highlighted the generational impact of our work in Nigeria. I also had the privilege of participating on a panel with Belay Gebru, CAFO board member and co-founder of the DEBO Alliance, our partner in Ethiopia. The focus was on tangible ways that partnerships can work well. One thread throughout the Summit was local empowerment, which fits nicely with BEB’s approach of enabling governments and alliances with the provision of Children First Software and utilizing our local team members to implement.
We enjoyed the opportunity for many sidebar conversations, leading to the potential to expand BEB’s reach in Africa and Latin America, as well as a beachhead in Asia. A special highlight for me was fellowship with the BEB team and introducing them to CAFO, which I have been touting for years. It met (no, exceeded!) the hype!” – Frank Garrott
“This was my first time attending CAFO along with some of BEB’s international leadership team. It was so encouraging to be around so many like-hearted and like-minded people. We were able to share about BEB, though many have heard about us there were some that hadn’t and were pleasantly surprised by our efforts to bring technology to the “table”. I personally took a lot of notes on some of the challenges other non-government organizations (NGOs) face in the field not only with placing children but also strengthening families so that they can provide a safe and loving home. I also really enjoyed the research conducted by the CAFO Research team. The entire BEB team had a great time.” – Will Sanchez