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Building the Families_Share community in beautiful Kortrijk

September 25, 2018


September 4th, 2018. Kortrijk, Belgium

Families_Share Partners held a Community management and Business development workshop in Kortrijk Belgium, which is also one of the CityLabs and the home of CoKido. De Stuyverij (B) served as the host and representatives of FBK (IT), ViLabs (CY), Ergani (GR) and Urbanista (DE) participated. The workshop took place between the 4th and 5th of September 2018.

Partners discussed important practical issues related to running a CityLab community efficiently, such as scenarios related to communication and conflict management. The CoKido methodology was a great input to this end, because De Stuyverij through CoKido in Belgium pioneered many solutions in their local context. Eefje Cottenier the founder of Kortrijk De Stuyverij and CoKido explained in her presentation how a community should be built, including families, municipal authorities, local schools and organizations. After the pilot process, it should be analyzed, documented and the next step is to create a manual. In the community it is important to identify heroes and  pioneers. The core group of families should divide up tasks such as planning, finances, communications among others. She also emphasized the ways the core group can help promote growth of the community. She also warned about some pitfalls they experienced during the development of CoKido.

These experiences offers a blueprint for adapting methods and lessons learned to other cultural contexts in the Families_Share project.  The workshop also focused on the financial planning and sustainability of CityLabs. This step is important to offer a practical model the Citylabs being currently developed and potential new similar initiatives beyond the Families_Share timespan.

About Families - Share

Families _Share aims to help parents who look for ways to create a work/life balance in a world where this became more challenging.

The economic crisis that affected communities across Europe changed the job market. There is more unemployment, part-time employment, and increased workloads. Decreased welfare funding and limited childcare services add more pressure on families with young children.  Educational opportunities and after-school activities are harder to afford especially for mid and low-income families.

The Families - Share project aims to help parents living in the same community to self-organize and share childcare amongst themselves in an affordable way. With their contribution, an IT platform to organize co-playing activities will be developed. The resulting programs aim to include after-school educational and leisure activities so that children learn new skills while having fun. Meanwhile, the parents build a strong community, help each other wild childcare needs, share time and help pioneer a new and innovative approach to childcare.