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2017.09.23 INFOR 70


Annual meeting of the board of FIMEM

28 of June - 4th of July 2017 Lokossa, Benin

Present members

Mariel DUCHARME, president 

Sylviane AMIET, treasurer 

Antoinette MENGUE, administrator 

Edouard DOHOU, administrator Nuccia MALDERA, administrator (absent because of illness in the family)






A. Financial statement and budget   

B. Current dossiers

  1. Benaiges 
  2. Haîti 
  3. Flight tickets of the members on the board 
  4. Projects for training programs (Cameroun, Congo and Burkina Faso) 
  5. Categorization of the Fimem member countries



A.Documents to be sent 

B. Texts to be voted on:

1. Statutes

2.Rules of Procedure

3. Categorization 

C. Workplans



  1. Dogbo 2016 
  2. Sweden 2018 
  3. C. Quebec 2020 
  4. D. Procedures for travellers to RIDEF



  1. Virtual meetings 
  2. Long term calendar 
  3. Roles and tasks of the Board 
  4. Document archiving 
  5. Collaborations:

1. Resource persons  

 2. Criteria for candidacy   

3. Translators



  1. Website 
  2. What´s new 
  3.  Dropbox 
  4. Facebook Page




  1. The commercialization (commodification) of education 
  2. Evaluation by numbers 
  3. Various requests 
  4. Lucrative appropriation of the Freinet label 
  5. Contacts with the mouvements 
  6. Harmonization of the vocabulary G. Work with support teams (mentors) for new movements  
  7. Private schools  -  state schools
  8.  Our charter







Letter from the President

A reminder of the principle of the connecting vases, so dear to Freinet:

"A strong collective strenghtens all the individuals and all the groups within and strong individuals and strong groups  shape and strenghten the collective" 


 Why the FIMEM?  For whom?

My experience after four years on the Board of FIMEM makes me question the current utility of our Federation and together with you I would like to examine promising ways to strenghten and modernize it - now,  in the near future. 

This extraordinary tool for promotion, consolidation and mobilization could really play a much more important role for everybody interested in the Freinet pedagogy and for the one who is, therefore, also concerned about all the surrounding phenomena that have a definite influence on school.

I am thinking, of course, of the member mouvements´ involvement, but also of all and everyone of the members who are interested in and who want to share their ideas in order to assure the vitality, the reputation and the longevity of the FIMEM.

What do we have to change, what do we have to modify  to make the FIMEM a MUST for those who make the choice of adhering to it?


Some paths  to follow: 


A productive Board (elected)

that initiates, suggests, consults, validates, gathers, coordinates and makes available the good practices, organisational as well as pedagogical ones.

In order to manage this colossal work, we need  appropriate competences, targeted and variable according to the priorities of the moment. That´s why we have elaborated "a profile of competences" (criteria) and proposed a "mentor",  as support in the activities for the one who wants to get involved in the work of the Board.


Local correspondents in direct and constant contact with the FIMEM

Ideally, every movement should give this task to 1 or 2 members.  Acting as "hubs", these  reliable, credible persons already involved in their movement, should have as a principal task to improve the COMMUNICATON internally and WITH the FIMEM. It is primarily a question of passing on the information to the local, regional, national and international forums. These counterparts should sign up for a period of 2 years (between 2 Ridefs).


An extended Board 

Sweden has chosen " communication in all forms" as the principal theme of the RIDEF 2018. And that is what the FIMEM needs most today.... during the RIDEF of course, but, in order to maintain the energy, particularily after and between the RIDEFs .  .

It there exists an interest, a choice of different thematic working groups could be offered to the RIDEF participants, old and new,  who would like to propose their ideas on transformation and to let us take part of their expertise, their interests, their talents. 

 Some examples:

1. Mutual expectations: What do the movements need from the FIMEM? What contribution  do they expect from the FIMEM?

2. Organizers of RIDEF : winning practices to share

3. Organisational heritage: a historical perspective on decisions, management tools, guide sheets to board members to ensure continuity and efficiency of the successor .

4. The FIMEM-site - is it used? useful or not? Suggested improvements to help us in our co-existence.

5. Other subjects - initiated by the movements or suggested by the FIMEM. (There are already several on our working table (See Working Plans in L´INFOR no. 70). Why not begin with them - now?

These are things that  will make our Federation, which ressembles us all, also ressemble us more and more. To inform, consult, share, mobilize, involve oneself could be our collective" Leitmotiv"  during the coming years. Who will participate?


RIDEF 2018... it´s a rendez-vous! I will be there! Will you?

Mariel Ducharme


President of the FIMEM 





We have chosen to meet again in Bénin, in Lokossa, to conclude the RIDEF dossier. When we chose the place, we were worried about the fact that we hadn´t received all the necessary documents to close the RIDEF. We have benefitted from  lodgings offered by Emile Dohou.




A. Financial statement and budget

The financial situation of the FIMEM is not flourishing. We have made great investments for the RIDEF of Dogbo, for the organization as well as for solidarity. Unfortunately there is a  deficit of 5000€. Our assets  have diminished by 14.000€ since the beginning of the fiscal year, but remains at a comfotable level. It permits us to participate in the solidarity for the RIDEF in Sweden.

The meeting of the board in Lokossa to conclude this accounting exercise fortunately saved us the costs for transport  and lodgings 

Some movements have not payed their contributions. We will send them a reminder in September. 

B. Current dossiers


        1. Benaiges

We pay to this association for the two contributions of 2016 and 2017 as well as for the commemorative plaque of Anton Benaiges in Banuelos. We thank Pilar for brillantly  representing the FIMEM during the ceremony.

We will publish on the site:

  • the regulation procedure for this research scholarship
  • - the application procedure for the scholarship

The choice of the awardee will be announced during RIDEF in Sweden.


       2. Haïti

After having accorded a delay to the MEFA responsible, on the grounds of the great difficulties the country was in, we are reactivating our proceedings to recover the funds due.


      3. Flight tickets

In order to reduce the transport costs, the treasurer will handle the purchase of tickets with her bank card every time when this is possible.


      4. Projects

We have received the request for financial support from three countries: Cameroon, Kongo-Brazzaville and Burkina Faso. To encourage them we have given them each  a "symbolic" sum of 200 €  in spite of our weak budget.




A. Documents to be sent

We were reviewing the necessary texts for the General Assembly: convocation, agenda, call for candidacy and criteria, applications for membership, proxies, biennal sheets, summing-up of the workplans for 2016-2018 and presentation of the forward-looking workplans for 2018-2020.

B. Texts to be voted

We propose modifications of the different official texts of our Federation

  1. Statutes 

We have tried to make a revision of the statutes, but renounced quickly because of the complex nature of the subject and the strong intermingling of the texts of statutes and regulations. We will work out a new version this autumn to be presented to you at the Plenary General Assembly in Sweden. 


2. Rules of Procedure 

We will start again the revision of the Rules of Procedure presented in Dogbo and which the General Assembly had adjourned. We will propose to you a new version to be voted in Sweden which includes an article that permits adhesion of continental groups or groups of friends.


3. Categorization of countries 


We propose three different ways of calculating the contributions for the coming years. It would be very good if we could set up a working group on this subject BEFORE the General Assembly.  If you are interested, do not hesitate to contact us.

C. Workplans

We have assessed a provisional workplan which we have followed until now. We are preparing a new series of workplans for 2018-2020 based on our reflexion folder (point 6 in this document). It will all be presented to you at the General Assembly.




A. Dogbo 2016

During our annual meeting we have read and reviewed the different reports: finances, inscription, pedagogical projects, global report. The compilation of the assessments shows us satisfied Ridefians. They were very pleased with the sharing of experiences, the international exchanges, the workshops, the reception and the meals and they went home happy with their experience of the RIDEF.

Still, we are concerned about the overall management of this RIDEF. The deficit is as high as 5142€. According to the statutes and the procedural regulations of our Federation, FIMEM will pay 60% and the organizer 40%, that is 2057€ should be repaid by the ABEM. The Assembly has been reminded  of this obligation before an approval or a refusal of the RIDEF budget was put to vote in Dogbo. L´ABEM will talk with the FIMEM and inform them which modalities for repayment they plan.  The total repayment, however, must be completed at the RIDEF 2018 in Sweden at the latest.

We want to give special thanks to Katrien, Arnout, Nérina, Flor et Lucie for their precious help with the organization on site. And we are thankful to the ones who arrived first for helping the Beninese with the installation.

B. Sweden 2018 

We have been informed about and commented on the provisional budget and the planning. We are sending them some recommendations on operating methods.

C. Québec 2020

The place and the dates are yet to be determined. The prices vary  greatly between July and August. , The organizers have sent an inquiry to the movements  in order to be informed about their availability.

D. Travel documents     

We have put to the travellers disposal a document called: "Preliminary procedures for travellers". This document will help the travellers as well as the organizers of the RIDEF to plan their actions for obtaining a visa  




  1. Virtual meetings 

We meet monthly in virtual meetings. Sometimes we have difficulties with the connection. Internal minutes are taken at every session. A quarterly summary is published on the web-site. Before each meeting all members send in an activity report.

B. Long term calendar 

We update the permanent calendar, which we use regularily as a reminder of what tasks to be taken care of and when. 

C. Roles and tasks of the Board 

We are modifying the distribution of our tasks

D. Archiving 

We are elaborating a common tool that permits us an efficient classification of our documents

E. Collaborations 

  1.  Resource persons 

We have obtained no supplementary collaboration In spite of our call to the movements. Now and then we have asked our mentors for help, depending on what documents we were handling 


2. Criteria for candidacy 

We have noticed that the image certain candidates have of the work on the Board is often far from the reality we face. Thus, we invite people who are interested in this office to join us on our SKYPE meetings. We will also add this proposal in the candidate sheet. 

3. Translators  

We have great difficulties to find help in this sphere in spite of our call to the movements and on the site. Therefore we have asked for help from our personal acquaintances. We would like to thank in particular Andrea Alemany, Lena Alexanderson, Luba Kolebinova, Pilar Fontevedra, Giancarlo Cavinato, Abel Anagonou, Koffi Afalomey, Céline Kuster and Maurice Amiet for their help. We ask again for your assistance by way of the RIDEF registration form and the activity report.




  1. The site  

We will contact the 2 persons reponsible for each movement through the biennal sheet and list the difficulties and the solutions they bring up. We can reveal that the main difficulties concerning the readability of the site are of chronological nature. We would like a better understanding of the categories. We must also make a difference between the official documents and the mail referring to them. On the other hand, when we open a "page", we don´t understand the references that appear in the left column, don´t find the relevant one.

We would like to set up a short workshop about the categorization on the site during the RIDEF in Sweden.

B. What´s new _ (Quoi de Neuf). 

We find it useful to feed this website heading whith some lines that arise your interest, a couple of days before we publish the main article on the site

C. Dropbox  

At the moment, Dropbox is not active. We hope to profit from it though, for the work of the Board, when we have completed the archiving system. If we could save our documents there, it would make our work much easier. But this requires an enormous investment on our part which we cannot cope with today.

D The Facebook page 

Thank you, Pilar Fontevedra, for feeding regularly this page with very interesting articles in various languages!




These folders comprise a part of our workplans for 20018-2002

  1. The commercialization (commodification) of education 

B. Evaluation by numbers 

C. Various requests 

D. Lucrative appropriation of the Freinet label 

E. Contacts with the mouvements 

F. Harmonization of the vocabulary 

G. Work with support teams (mentors) for new movements H. Private schools  -  state schools 

I. Our charter




In the evenings we have had the great pleasure of receiving the board of ABEM as well as members of the groups of Dogbo and Athiémé. We had moments of rich and diverse exchanges about freinet pedagogy in practice - all in a congenial and friendly ambiance. 




Satisfying aspects: 

Preparatory work, animation and organization of the follow-ups of post-Lokossa, carried out by our president;  Thanks to Edouard for his reception and to his brother for having put his house to the boardmembers´ disposal for free

Things to improve: 

We should continue the cohesion of the group through collaboration, team spirit, acceptance of the other and a fair sharing of the tasks. For the coming board meetings we suggest more free time: for example a break of 3 hours in the morning or afternoon allowing us to make a small trip to see the host country. We could make up for these three hours in the evening.