Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Peter Thomas Senese: Reflections On The I CARE Foundation
It has been a little over a year that the I CARE Foundation began our formal operations working toward trying to dramatically reduce the number of children who are fallen victims of the crimes of international parental child abduction or child trafficking.
The I CARE Foundation has had success on many levels, including reuniting numerous internationally kidnapped children with their parents while also preventing an even greater number of abductions from occurring. Due to the nature and sensitivity of many of the cases we are involved in, we are mindful not to discuss any role we play or our involvement even after a child is returned because children of abduction, sadly, are considered high-risk targets for an attempted second abduction.
Nevertheless, I know I speak on behalf of the I CARE Foundation's entire board of directors when I say that we always keep in mind the wonderful words shared with us by many of the parents who we have assisted. Their words of thanks and appreciation move us deeply while reminding each of us how important our work is.
But our work protecting children is not simply found in successfully assisting the many dozens of families we have over this past year. And before I go any further, I will be the first to say that reuniting children of abduction or preventing a child's international abduction is not easy: the laws are not helpful, the scheming parents seem to have a hidden playbook on how to abduct, countries often do not uphold international law, and the financial costs of recovery or prevention is incredible: thus, there are times when despite our capabilities, our efforts may not result in a recovery or prevention of abduction.
Fortunately, there have been many successes, while remaining committed to those we seek to help.
However, our primary mission is to conduct research in the area of international parental child abduciton and child trafficking, publish and widely disperse our findings, and then use our data to help drive new policies and laws that will help protect children.
You know, one person's voice really can make a difference. And humbly, it was during the time that I was 'Chasing The Cyclone' of international parental child abduction that I thought one day I would use my skills and capability as a best-selling author to help other parents and children facing a world of abduction that does not make any sense: the world of international parental child abduction. Fortunately, I had a starting point that would allow me to set the wheels of advocacy in motion because I had a platform to stand on: you see, it took a great deal of everything, but I was able to reuntie with my child despite unthinkable hardships and challenges, and in doing so, I also learned a great deal about child abduction.
Using my skills as a writer, I then wrote the deeply personal fiction novel 'Chasing The Cyclone' that was overwhelmingly inspired by my life's experiences that book critics have praised. I am very proud of 'Chasing The Cyclone' because, as it has been properly stated in the press, it is a book that creates miracles.
Now you might be asking yourself how does a book create miracles? To begin, the knowledge shared with other targeted parents has helped many reunite with their children or helped them protect their kids.
In addition, I have donated 100% of all of my various books proceeds and ancillary income to the I CARE Foundation, including 100% of my revenue generated from all e-book sales of 'Chasing The Cyclone' (hardcover will be released in early 2013: 4.8 Star Rating: 40+ Reviews) to the I CARE Foundation. Fortunately, I have been blessed to be able to make several important donations to the foundation that has unquestionably rescued and protected many children.
As for the I CARE Foundation, some of our successes include but are not limited to:
1. Reuniting numerous abducted children with their families.
2. Assisting in the prevention of the international kidnapping of many targeted children.
3. Conducting and publishing important research in the area of child abduction.
4. Using our research findings to either drive or initiate new laws and policies geared to protect children and their families.
5. Creating a nation-wide attorney network of lawyers capable of assisting families in crisis due to actual or potential abduction.
6. Launching a successful campaign seekign attorneys to join the U.S. Department of State's Hague Convention Attorney Network.
There are no words that I could ever use to explain the heart-felt joy I feel knowing that so many children have been assisted because of the I CARE Foundation's work. Nor could there ever been words that could mirror the hurt I feel when I come to learn of a parent and child's suffering due to abduction. It is what drives all of us to make a difference.
In little over a year, the I CARE Foundation's accomplishments have had a positive social impact. It was an honor to participate in the United States Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program at the United Nations. It was an honor to accept a magnificent American Flag that was flown over the United States Capitol in my honor, and I sure am looking forward to traveling the the Hague and visiting the Peace Palace in the early part of 2013.
When I look out at the number of lives the I CARE Foundation has knowingly touched, and consider the number of individuals we will have a positive impact for that we will never know or meet, the writer inside of me smiles because I know without my desire to write 'Chasing The Cyclone' the I would not have sought to create the foundation. Clearly, the power of books and writing are alive and well. And I am thrilled to know that the foundation's operations, board of directors, advisory board, and international reach and presence will be expanding in 2013.
On a personal note, and outside of the joy I feel knowing of the children we have helped, it has been richly rewarding to develop friendships with some truly remarkable, loving parents who it is my honor to call 'friend'.
In the spirit of friendship, I know that 2013 is really going to the the Year of the Child.
On a final note, please remember, Christmas is Child Abduction Season. Educate yourself so that you and your family can have a Happy Christmas. And as for me: I will continue to stand up to kidnappers of children . . .
I CARE Foundation