Foundation Living Values Education Nederland
Contact: Marlies Ludding van Loon
Tel: +31 6 533 28 190
“In 2015, Living Values Education Netherlands joined ‘The Peace in the Park Festival’ for the first time in The Hague,” reported Marlies Ludding van Loon. “In the beautiful park near the palace of the king in the centre of the city, children and their parents spontaneously participated in various activities on ‘peace in our hearts and in the world’. We made peace necklaces, friendship bracelets, peace doves and flags. Meanwhile, we explored how we could deepen the meaning of peace in our own lives, with families, with friends, in class… Thank you Patricia Mosimann, LVE volunteer, for your great ideas and your hard work!”
The democratic school, De Vrije Ruimte (The Free Space), in the Hague has been implementing Living Values Education for the last two years with good results. A few months ago the teachers of the school, with a well conceived and elaborated plan, participated in an education pitch about parents participation in education. They won a price, a solid amount of money, to deepen LVE at their own school and implement LVE in three other schools in The Hague.
The project will especially focus on the following two aspects:
Part of the project is a new Dutch translation of the three LVE Activity books (3 to 7 years, 8 to 14 years and young adults) so that the activities will be more accessible for Dutch education.
The Foundation LVE Nederland will be one of seven members participating in this project. More specifically it will focus on guaranteeing the overall quality of the various contributions by participants. The project starts 1st March and ends 28th February 2017.
We will keep you posted!
Marlies Ludding van Loon
We would like to share with you the highlights of the children's project 'ToGether' – a joint effort of OneMelodie (A non-profit organisation for Social Education in Utrecht.), the LVE School 'De Vrije Ruimte' in The Hague, and LVE The Netherlands.
In a nutshell -
Over the course of this year, from February through August, we brought together two equally-sized groups of children (ages 6-12) of different cultures and backgrounds – two groups that would normally never have the chance to meet and play with one another. One group of children came from a neighbourhood in Utrecht, mainly home to refugee and immigrant families originating from Sudan, Senegal, Ghana and Morocco, and the other group came from the LVE school 'De Vrije Ruimte' in The Hague,primarily consisting of native Dutch children. There were sixteen girls and four boys altogether.
What we organised -
Over several meetings, alternately in Utrecht and The Hague, the children did activities together. For example, they prepared meals, made paintings, played games, danced and sang, they sewed and made all kinds of crafts. In addition, they practiced the songs for the CD in a professional studio. Two values, cooperation and happiness, took a central position and were practised in all activities.
What we experienced -
The first meeting in Utrecht, in a community centre, was a happy and open one. We did all sorts of games to remember each other's sometimes difficult-to-remember names. The second meeting at the school in The Hague was quite a challenge for the children from Utrecht. Travelling by train was a completely new experience and the moment they arrived they were quite exhausted. Also some children felt a bit insecure being surrounded by only white children at the De Vrije Ruimte School.
In total, six gatherings were organised. Each time the children felt more relaxed. Each group independently met a few more times. The children were doing their best in all activities – some had difficulty on concentrating. We felt that singing and dancing were their favourite and the best way to learn and to make contact. The collective singing in a real studio with a real microphone later on was an uplifting experience for all.
Next to the children, the project brought about very good cooperation and understanding between all adults involved (i.e. the volunteers, the teachers from De Vrije Ruimte school, professional musicians who helped us producing the CD, and most parents). In the course of the project they all became more excited because they began to understand the need and importance of the activities and they began to see the changes in the children.
The closing ceremony of 'ToGether' in Utrecht took us (parents and volunteers) by surprise by the great enthusiasm of the children and their elegant way of hosting. The children interviewed each other and the adults about 'cooperation' and 'happiness'. All of them showed tremendous personal growth and gained self-confidence. We danced and sang some of the songs of the new CD – featuring a dozen beautiful children's songs, a poem and two relaxation exercises about values. The mothers of the children of Utrecht spontaneously had prepared delicious sweets and snacks and there was a very relaxed and cheerful atmosphere.
Due to challenges like fundraising and logistics (i.e. the project extended over two cities which made it much more time consuming and expensive because of travel costs…but also more of an adventure!) we were forced to postpone the project and keep it as simple as possible.
Assessments -We interviewed the children before and we collected assessments after the project. We provide you with some of them:
The evaluation showed that the children were happy that they learned practical things together (e.g. baking pancakes, sewing, making friendship bracelets, singing with the microphone) and that there always was a lot of laughing and jokes. They know now that they are all children 'like me' and they know what to say to connect with children they had not meet before. A few children before the project said that they thought the children of the other group were different. After the project they said that all children are the same; they could not even remember that before they had held another view. Their nicest memory? "That we were dancing and singing together and did not quarrel…"
With the rapidly growth and recent influx of so many immigrants and refugees in the Netherlands more people are beginning to realise that it is increasingly urgent to develop effective programs for integration.
Although 'ToGether' was carried out on a small scale – due to limited funding and challenging logistics – we have great confidence that it will have a follow up on a wider scale and affect the way we think about integration in Holland. Integration programs linked to value-based learning or education are equally important to children with foreign roots as to native children and youngsters; that integration is not a one-way street but a joint effort which brings happiness and understanding to all.
Marlies Ludding van Loon, LVE The Netherlands
Marjo Linssen, OneMelodie
“De Vrije Ruimte, the Free Space, is the first school in the Netherlands to commit itself as a whole school to the Living Values Education Concept,” reported Marlies Ludding van Loon, the President of the Foundation for LVE in the Netherlands. LVE activities began on September 1, 2013. This benchmark has followed a wonderful year of LVE workshops for educators and children for the educators and board of this school in the Hague, as well as LVE workshops to other organizations.
- 21st February 2013 workshop Board Primary School De Vrije Ruimte,
- 28th March 2013 workshop Teachers Primary School de Vrije Ruimte,
21st November 2012
workshop Teachers - Primary School de Vrije Ruimte, The Hague
8th & 13rd December 2012
workshop Parents & Children - LVE & Foundation OneMelody, Utrecht
5th February 2013
workshops Bachelorstudents businessmanagement, logistics & accountancy, Oost-Malle, Belgium
8th February 2013
workshop Parents Primary School De Vrije Ruimte, The Hague
28th March 2013
workshop Teachers Primary School de Vrije Ruimte, The Hague
This year we had several LVE Educator Workshops. There was one in April and another in May for teachers at a secondary school. In May and June, Neil Hawkes did values education workshop with BZN in Antwerpen, Belgium. Ten teachers from Holland, from both primary and secondary schools attended. In June, there was an LVE Educator Workshop for teachers at a primary school at the Hague.
On July 10, the information LVE association became formally incorporated as the Foundation of Living Values Education.