FICE International was founded in 1948 under the patronage of UNESCO in Trogen (Switzerland). It maintains contacts with UNESCO, UNICEF, Council of Europe and ECOSOC. It is also a member of the UN-NGO-Group on the Rights of the Child and member of ENSACT.
FICE International contains more than 30 countries – FICE sections – from Europe, Africa, Amerika.
FICE was founded at a time when schools, children’s homes and children’s villages had been set up to meet the needs of millions of children displaced or orphaned by World War II.
Many of the children had travelled a long way from their homes in the course of the War, as refugees or transported by Government decision. They were no longer in settled communities, but mixed with children from other countries and cultures, with other languages. It was felt that an international network would help people learn from each other and be able to support each other in their challenging task of creating a positive future for the children.
After World War II many of the European countries have developed economically. The problems presented by children and young people have changed as well, and in response FICE has grown and developed. Originally know as the Fédération des Communautés d’Enfants, it changed its name about twenty years ago in order to reflect changes in emphasis, but it kept the same initials for the sake of continuity of identity.
FICE usually holds Congresses every two years now. They are the main international events at which it also holds its General Meetings where elections are held for the President and other key international posts. They are usually attended by several hundred delegates from about forty countries. Their programmes include major papers, workshops for smaller groups, visits to services, a chance to meet people and network and opportunities for tourism.
The first Congress was held at Trogen in Switzerland in 1948. In addition to Congresses, FICE-International holds seminars in the countries where Federal Council meetings are held, organised by the National Sections which are acting as hosts. There are also international seminars (such as those run under the auspices of FICE-Europe), expert workshops and working parties on specific subjects.
Throughout its history, there have been FICE National Members in other continents, and Congresses have been held in Africa and North America. Although still largely-Eurocentric, FICE has members in other continents and wishes to develop further so that its membership truly reflects the worldwide services for children and young people.
From December 2013 FICE created and maintains its international group in facebook with members – professionals and youth around the world interested in the children at risk, the children with special educational needs as well as children and youngsters living out of home:
Current president of the organization is Dashenka Kraleva. She is Chairperson of FICE-Bulgaria as well.