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Vasundhra Sharma (India)

Vasundhra Sharma is an Advocate by profession in India, with a career spanning more than 15 years. She completed her post-graduation in Law with specialization in Criminal Law. Primarily her area of work is focused on issues dealing with care, protection and rehabilitation of minors, specifically sexual abuse. During Vasundhra's vast career, she has worked with Employees State Insurance Corporation, Prayas, a well known and reputed NGO and Tata Consultancy Services, one of the top IT company operating in 46 countries. She is pursuing Ph.D. (Law) from Northcap University India on “Institution care, a violation of child rights -‐ An Indian Perspective”. Currently working as Member Child Welfare  Committee, the final authority to dispose of cases for the care, protec3on, treatment, development and rehabilitation of the children and to provide their basic needs and protection of human rights under Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection) Act 2000.

What makes IFCO’s mission meaningful to you?
The power of IFCO’s mission is that it’s the only international organization promoting family-based solutions for children who are without parental care. It’s a platform to share knowledge, experiences, challenges and best practices. My country, India, included foster care in Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of children) Act 2015 and  for me this is the best platform to learn, understand and take back the best practices that are successful and serve the best interest of children. I am amazed to learn the work that is being done across the world and it enriches my knowledge every time I attend the conference. I start thinking how I can do this back in my country and help families and children.

What previous experience would you say has helped you to be able to serve IFCO?
It was my keen interest to have foster care in my country that brought me to work with IFCO.  My legal knowledge coupled with my experience of working directly with rehabilitation of children and also as a Jury Member at Child Welfare Committee has helped me to serve IFCO.

What personal qualities would you say you are bringing to the board?
IFCO is more European Centric and as an international organization it should have presence in every part of the world, be it Africa, Latin America or Asia.  As Board Member I would like to give visibility to IFCO in Asia region. Holding a IFCO Conference in the region would be one thing that’s on my priority right now. The conference will play a major role in promoting family-based care in the region by attracting the attention of important actors in the social section. To develop training modules on related subjects that can be utilized and implemented across the world is something I would like to do as Board Member. I am very futuristic and very strategic, and always think ahead of others. I like to work as a team with the aim to taking IFCO to next level.

How does the work with IFCO affect your life?
The effect of IFCO is very positive in my life. It has helped me in positioning myself as expert because IFCO has improved my own skills and knowledge. I get the opportunity to present my work and learn new things from others. I meet new people and they are now good friends for life.

Besides being a Board Member at IFCO what other social roles are the most important to you?
Apart from IFCO I am also Member of Various Committees of many states in my country. As said earlier, my learning at IFCO gets reflected in my work and appreciation of the latter.

Could you tell about your latest activities as a BM?
IFCO is now focusing on many themes and Working Committees. Along with another Board Member, Jill Worrall, I am working on developing of Training Modules. In the future we will invite members of IFCO to helps us in developing them. Overall, it is going to be a long-term process, but it will establish IFCO’s position on the international market.

What are your next plans as BM?
Firstly, I am trying to bring IFCO to India to have Regional IFCO Conference. Second, Training Modules.

What is most valuable for you about work with IFCO?
Its “Givers Gain” I am giving my time and expertise and getting the international recognition and knowledge.

What motivates you?
The orphan children on the streets, overcrowded shelter homes, the newspaper reports about their physical and sexual abuse; all these make me to work harder.

Where do you see IFCO in 5-10 years?
I want IFCO to gain presence in every part of the world through training, conference and publications and influencing the international policy makers.

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