Synthesis Group SA


    31 Agias Varvaras Street

164 52 Argyroupoli - Athens
 phone-icon+30 210 9609400

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      The program will include: keynote speeches, plenary sessions, workshops, agency visits and sightseeing. All activities of CIF International will be facilitated during the whole program. There will be time for enjoyment and fun, either within the official program, or according to the free time of the participants. A detailed program will be posted in our website at a later stage.


      The conference begins on Monday 18th September at 17:00 and ends on Saturday 23rd September at 09:00 in the morning.

      You can download the scientific program here


      Keynote Lecture

      Metakinesis: Incorporating Human Values with Sociocultural Rights

      Professor Kostas D. Gouliamos | Rector - European University, Cyprus

      Extensive economic alterations over the past decade, including the rise of a neoliberal crisis, at this time threaten the perpetuation of the social welfare policies.

      The presentation reviews contemporary encounters from within the changing apparatuses of the post-modern state.

      It is argued that these encounters provide a locus for the amalgamation of human values with sociocultural rights. A critical theory/approach towards interdisciplinary and more open-ended methodologies to practice (social work) can be developed to strengthen and diversify the notion of metakinesis.

      Indeed, critical theory can provide all or even most of the answers as well as to social practices to the predicaments arising from forms of a neoliberal public administration.

      This is particularly so, once the diminution of the social welfare policies and services are vulnerable, such as for those who are disengaged and/or detached from social networks of carefulness and livelihood.

      Plenary Session I

      Development of Tools for Improving the Standards of Assistance to Vulnerable Asylum Seekers in the Greek Operation

               Evangelia Georgiadou | Associate Reception Conditions Expert, UNHCR Greece

      Travelling Through the Others

               Ioanna Pertsinidou | PRAKSIS - Coordinating Project Manager in anti-poverty programmes such as "SYN sto PLIN"

      Observations and Experiences with Refugees-Immigrants in Messinia

      Nursing Department, Hellenic Red Cross of Kalamata

      Katerina Tsata | Head of the Department

      Konstantina Damilari | Trainer

      Dimitra Gatzi | Volunteer

      Plenary Session II

      Early Therapeutic Intervention Programmes

      Effie Layiou - Lignos | BScSW, ACSW, MPsych | Child, Adolescent & Parent-Infant Psychotherapist, Clinical Supervisor, Child Psychiatric Clinic, Athens University Medical School, Children's Hospital "Aghia Sophia"

      Motions Through Emotions. Providing Psychological Support During a Critical Period of the Patient's Life

               Mania Vidalaki | Clinical Psychologist

      Moving in the New World of Work

      Dr Venetia Koussia | Boardroom Advisor

      Plenary Session III

      Roles of Social Work in A Changing World

      Professor Annamaria Campanini Phd | President IASSW, University Milano Bicocca

      Building Bridges

      Lisa Purdy | President & CEO of the Council of International Programs USA

      Meta-kinesis Connected to Educationaland Professional Development: The Role and Perspectives of Exchange and Other Educational Programs

      Gabriele Kronberger MA | Trained Social Worker and Master in Clinical Social Work, Academic Stuff / Lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences Fachhochschule Campus Wien, Department Social Work

      An Enduring Relationship: Fulbright-Greece and the Council of International Programs USA

      Artemis A. Zenetou | Executive Director, Fulbright Foundation-Greece

      World Cafe

      Meta-kinesis and Continuity

      Reflections, Conclusions, Continuum

      Facilitator: Smaro Markou| Social worker, Family Therapist, Supervisor and Trainer



      The general objective of the workshop is to socialize the Brazilian experience in caring for the populations that are in a street situation (homeless people) as a way to make the public health system less exclusive and to highlight the forms of this strategic social technology of specific actions for this public. Among the specific objectives: - to characterize the profile of the people in a street situation in Brazil; To present a history of the social issue that led to the adoption of the strategy and legislation for a policy of attendance to this public; Present the experience of the Office on the Street in the city of Manaus in Amazonas.

      Rosiane Pinheiro Palheta - Social Worker - Municipal Health Secretariat- SEMSA- PhD in Social   Work,

      Raquel Lira de Oliveira - Psychologist - Municipal Health Secretariat-

      Jacqueline Lima Cavalcanti- Nurse Municipal Health Secretariat- SEMSA

      Maria de Nazaré Feitosa Xaud - Technique in Nursing - Municipal Health Secretariat- SEMSA

      2. The Mobility Effects of Handicraft Activities on Elders in Old Age Nursing Homes;      Kamile-Hacı Ahmet AkdağNursing Home Care and Rehabilitation Center Example

      In this study, the mobility effects of handicraft activities on elders in old age nursing homes were investigated. In this study, after 6 to 12 months of activities a positive correlation was observed between handicraft activities and mobility effect. The results of observational and survey studies showed that handicrafts activities have a significant positive impact on the psycho-social conditions of elderly people living in nursing homes.

      Pelin Kalelioğlu, Fatma Güngören Şevik, Seyfi Şevik, Kamile-Hacı Ahmet Akdağ, Nursing Home Care and Rehabilitation Center Example, Çorum, Turkey,,, Hitit University, Vocational School of Technical Sciences, Electrical and Energy, Çorum, Turkey,

      3. “The CIF Model as an Educational Tool Past, Present and Future”C.I.F. ITALIA

      The actual proposal would be to invite and select a Master degree student with some practical/work experience in the field, from any University around the World that might be interested, to our 2018 Professional Exchange Program in Italy.

      The program we are suggesting and would like to discuss and elaborate with whoever shows interest to develop it, would not have a strict academic format, but more similar to a practicum, as the master degree student would go through our   exchange program along with the other social work/human services professionals selected from other countries. Interested Universities could consider offering the selected student possible credits connected to their practicum or similar, which would allow them not only to widen their perspectives on the Social Work and Social Welfare System of the Country, but also exchanging experiences and knowledge   the  participants from different nations.

      President of  IASSW: Prof. Annamaria Campanini,

      President of CIF Italia: Domenico Antonio (Mimmo) Merola,

      4. Children’s Rights and an Art Approach Project

      Through that program we succeed firstly to provide the appropriate knowledge about Children and Human Rights, secondly to turn the school into a creative and hospitable space aesthetically and pedagogical, adopting respect for themselves and the others, to become active citizens and earn social skills.

      Eleftherios Dafnos, Art Teacher,

      Dora Vaka, Teacher of Home Ecocomics,

      5. “Young people in Cyprus portraying happiness and unhappiness”

      “The stranger and the enemy, we’ve seen him in the mirror.” G. Seferis, “Argonauts” (Mythistorima)

      How are identities formed? How can they then be influenced and changed? Identity uses similarities and differences and it connects how we see ourselves with how the others see us (Woodard, 2000). Identities are dynamic and are formed whilst interacting within the wider environment. Connecting and networking with each other, is very useful in our multicultural societies. As Laing (1990: 25-26) states: «every one of us is the other for the others» and social work can encourage people to focus on similarities.This case study presents findings arising from research conducted with young people in Cyprus about what makes them happy and what unhappy.

      Eleni Athanasiou, European University Cyprus Social Work Lecturer,

      6. One agency in a challenging world

      This workshop raises questions about our freedom for agency in a world where we have restrictions both by economics and culture and where doubt can be thrown on obvious facts and meanings. My approach is psychological, rooted in knowledge about emotions and affect regulation. Mentalizing has been raised as a central phenomenon considering understanding both ourselves and others, and how we effect on each other. We need to humbly accept uncertainty, and attain curiosity that opens for new experience. Opposite to agency we find reactivity based in lazy thinking and fears. Reactivity can be the result of traumatization, repeating failing stances. By psychotherapeutic or psychopedagogic work on mentalizing and affect regulation we can strengthen skills for managing conflicts or powerlessness. This is important for work in societies influenced by violence and distrust. Living in world implies that sometimes we are excited, sometimes stressed, and sometimes lack all strength.

      Tor-Erik Söderholm, Psychologist, psychotherapist (psychodynamic and body-oriented psychotherapy), Helsinki University Hospital, Psychiatry western Uusimaa,

      7. The Planet Earth Is A Beautiful Place To Live And Let Others Live–The Imperatives

      Each one on planet can make a difference that’s the potential of people power. Whereas some of us can impact, influence and channelize energies. Touching base with the origin of CIF, the potential of the social work fraternity and the CIF platform, I trigger a process by way of presentation role-play, audience participation. Outcome desired is we explore options, steer collective action and individual motivation to make a difference in own zones and from the CIF platform. The call is to raise our bars, spread our wings, be more visible assertive and contribute for a better world. THERE IS NO START AND END, Vasco da Gama discovered THE GLOBE IS ROUND, AND SO IS LEARNING AND CONTRIBUTION, and A CONTINOUS JOURNEY EVOLVE AND MOVE ON ….… network and build the chain.

      Sangita Mehrotra, CIF–INDIA, MUMBAI,

      8. Can we meet?

      No matter where we come from, no matter where we are set to go, each person sees the world from another perspective. Each one of us looks in a different world. Meeting someone means coming into contact with something different. How is it to look through someone else’s eyes? How would it be for others to look through mine?  In this workshop we are going to try to reach into each other’s world through a phychodramatic journey.

      Venia Delikaterini, Aware Parenting Instructor, Drama Teacher, Psychodrama Trainee.

      Co-creator of Follow Your Tree - Personal Development and Creative Activities Center( E-mail:

      9. Dialogue -a tool for developing inclusive societies based on equality and respect

      For 25 years Nansen Centre for Peace and Dialogue has been working with dialogue for transforming conflicts and creating inclusive societies in many different countries.In diverse communities’ conflicts based on values and identity are quite common. The current situation in the world seems to amplifier these tendencies, leading to discrimination and appraisal. Dialogue is a tool for prevent these processes.The planned learning outcome of this workshop is to give the participants an understanding of the use of dialogue in inclusion processes. They will also get practical guidelines in how to implement dialogue in their working situations and reflect on their own ability as a dialogical communicator.

      Christiane Seehausen, Senior adviser at the Nansen Centre for Peace and Dialogue, Norway.

      10. The Hazards of Our Work.- What to do when Tears Overwhelm Us

      We all recognise the impact of trauma and crises upon families with whom we work. We encourage clients to self-care by taking time out, resting, eating well and enlisting the support of extended family and friends. Every day we provide skilled compassionate care to others often in highly stressful environments. How do we care for ourselves? This presentation will explore the subtle processes that impact upon us and explore strategies to help us maintain empathy and prevent compassion fatigue.

      Janis Mendoza, Social Worker, Critical Care Services, John Hunter Hospital Locked Bag 1HRMC NSW 2310,

      11. 'Whose Literacies, Whose Development?' - A Freirean Approach to adult literacy programs for refugees

      Millions of people globally are impacted by organized violence resulting in forced migration within and outside of their natal countries. Many languish for decades in refugee camps with limited access to basic services including education.Paulo Freire raised the awareness of how illiteracy impacts the minds of those affected as being: … so often do they hear that they are good for nothing, know nothing and are incapable of learning anything … that in the end they become convinced of their own unfitness … almost never do they realize that they, too, ‘know things’ they have learned in their relations with the world and with others…

      Shirley Worland (Phd, BSWk) CIF Australia member, Faculty of Social Science Chiang Mai University, Thailand,

      12. India Steers the Meta Kinesis of Global Peace & Stabilization

      Today there is a global crisis. Most countries are facing economic depression and the crisis of social and political unrest, which has taken the face of terrorism. India, the largest democracy in the world, with a huge population has become a leader in many ways. With its diversified resources, human and natural, it can lead the world in tiding over the global crisis-social, economic as well as political. The objectives are to acquaint the participants of how India is working with its diversified resources, human and natural, to tide over the global crisis-social, economic as well as political. The world can draw inspiration from India’s socioeconomic policies.

      Mrs. Iva Athavia, Executive Director, Social Upliftment and Development for Health Action, Maharashtra India,

      13. The Treasure of Greek Plant Diversity - The Example of APIVITA

      Reasons and examples of diversity richness of aromatic and medicinal plant species in Greece.

      Use of Greek medicinal plants since antiquity.

      Inspirations, vision, mission, philosophy, values, being, strategies, policies, processes, actions, products and services of APIVITA, a unique company producing natural cosmetics based in Greek biodiversity.

      Irini Vallianatou, PhD, Biologist, Plant Taxonomist - Plant Sociologist