On Thursday, 9th of March 2023, the third IBBY European Regional Conference took place in Bologna. Several IBBY sections from all over Europe worked together to organise the conference, the theme painfully relevant across the whole of Europe: Finding a safe home in books.
Every child has the right to a safe home. Yet, children all over the world often face moments of doubt, insecurity, fear, loss or threat. This is where the power of stories comes in, because books can offer shelter, give hope and create awareness. Stories have the potential to show you that you are not alone, and that others are in the same situation. Books can offer ideas and scenarios that are beyond our own imagination, showing us a different and, perhaps, a better world.
Our third European Regional Conference tried to send out a signal of hope in these challenging times. Our keynote speaker, the child and youth psychiatrist Winny Ang, highlighted the importance of stories for a child’s development and personal happiness. Furthermore, successful projects from France, Germany, Ireland and Slovenia provided inspiration to all professionals in children's literature. And, of course, the programme featured enthusiastic creators of books: Fabio Geda, Andriy Lesiv and Romana Romanyshin, Margaret Anne Suggs and Edward van de Vendel.
This event took place with the support of the Bologna Children's Book Fair.