Hon. Pastor Nsikak Obot Ekanem
Focal Point for LVE in Nigeria
President, Living Values Children’s Education Foundation, Nigeria
Tel: +234-80-68577870; +234-80-83655890
Additional LVE Contact for Programs: Mr Sesan Abegunde
With the rise of intolerance and violent clashes among different religious communities in Nigeria, there is a growing call from all sections of society for the urgent need for a national focus on character building and the revival of Nigeria’s founding spirit of pluralism and unity in diversity. Today, Nigeria as a nation is passing through a very critical stage and the present scenario presents a very grim state of affairs with chaos, disunity, disorder and uncertainty as a result of terrorist attacks and the killing of innocent citizens.
This situation has drawn the attention of the global community and has created greater awareness of the need for peace and security against terrorism and thoughtless violence. The biggest challenge before its citizens is how to avert terror and bloodshed, disorder and instability among vulnerable children and youth and also create an atmosphere of peace, harmony, goodwill, understanding, co-existence and unity devoid of hatred and terrorism.
Since thoughtless violence and ideas of terrorism begin in the minds of men, it is pertinent that the defenses of peace must also be constructed in the mind of these men (and women) with an emphasis on equipping them with positive values and an excellent mindset towards their fellow human beings and the nation. Without a focus on values as our moral code, the quality of life deteriorates. As values return to our lives, we can hope to have a better tomorrow.
The saying “Youth and children are the leaders of tomorrow” cannot be overemphasized. Recently, there has been a lot of concern with regards to the safety and security of life and property within the confines of the Nigerian State. This has been due mainly to the threatening activities of kidnappers and alleged suicide bombers.
In order to set the right order in the foundation of our children and youth, the Living Values Children Education Foundation (LVCEF), jointly with The Children’s and Youth Development Affairs of the Apostolic Church Nigeria (Solid Rock District, Surulere, Lagos) and Inspire-Aspire: Global Citizens in the Making Programme (Scotland) in collaboration with the Association for Living Values Education International (ALIVE), Global Partnerships Coordination, NEPAD Business Group Africa and other stakeholders, hosted a three-day National Children’s Forum on Character Development, Child Protection and Nation Building from August 21st to 23rd in Lagos. The theme was “A Good Name is Better than Riches: Strengthening character and values in Nigeria”. Over 400 delegates attended the conference.
In his welcoming address, the Chief Guest, Pastor S.N. Akwa of the Apostolic Church Nigeria, pointed out that schools, families, and the society must work together to build the character of their young people. Students must not only know the good but also desire it and practice it until it becomes a habit. His emphasis on core ethical values and performance values set the tone of the conference.
In her keynote address on “Character Education as Foundation for Good Leadership, Communication and Nation-Building”, Mrs Folashade Odukoya, Senior Education Officer with the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board and Director for Professional Development, Living Values Education Nigeria, introduced the Living Values model of balanced education which helps students become people of good character, builds loving relationships, and makes a positive contribution to society in their own field of expertise.
She was followed by presentations from Archt Olaboludele Simoyan, Global Coordinator for Building the Nigeria of our Dreams, and Madam Up-Nigeria. Other Speakers included Pastor Nsikak Obot Ekanem, Rev Anthony John, Pastor Dele Oluwaseun, Mr Sesan Abegunde and Mrs Elisaberth Adeniyi from Ispire-Aspire Prgramme in Nigeria. A primary aim of the conference was to help provide Nigerian children and youth with further awareness and leadership skills necessary in cultivating good character and positive values, as well as insulating them from terrorism in order to build a capable nation.
The Conference presenters and participants also explored the questions: How does the power of good character transform and shape the future of society? What personal virtues should ground Nigerian public service? What is the importance of good character in the lives of children and youths? What role should parents, religious groups and educational institutions play in shaping the character of children? How do we learn to be human, and why is this important? How do we empower people and communities to make the most of their strengths and values? What are the roles of young people, parents, schools, youth groups and employers in doing so, and how are their roles connected?
A goal of the conference was to provide a platform for wide-ranging and creative discussions focusing on how we can best support young people to deal with the complexities of life, learning and work in the 21st Century. Those in attendance during the event explored the concept of character and values education and the idea that all of us have a role to play in working out 'who we are' and 'who we become'.
Below are the objectives of the conference:
This conference presented an opportunity for supporters of children and young people, educators, parents, employers and young people themselves to learn, connect and be inspired to find common ground. The conference featured interactive discussion sessions with key experts as facilitators, including child and youth delegates, and skill-building workshops in different areas.
The conference concluded with the presentation of books to the young people by Mr Sesan Abegunde, Director of Programmes for Living Values Education Nigeria, and the launching of the Global Campaign “Inspired For Change”. The latter aims to inspire and aspire Nigerian children and youth in various communities, both those affected and not affected by acts of terror and thoughtless violence, to realize the horror of growing up in a conflict zone and to give them a chance to express their strong rejection of terrorism.
LVE Nigeria reported some excellent educational efforts with educators, street children and parents with the help of the Be Free Global Micro-Grant and in cooperation with several partners. The Focal Point for LVE in Nigeria, Nsikak Obot Ekanem, noted the following positive outcomes.
120 educators were trained during April and May, 2013, with LVE sessions as well as other creative activities. These activities help children, especially those in difficult situations, to discover their hidden potential and inherent qualities, and to regain their dignity, self-respect and respect for others. They also help them to develop positive social and emotional skills and to redefine a sense of purpose in their lives.
200 street boys and girls, ages 4 through 30, from the 64 villages in Nsit Ubium have been trained in decision making, values, coping mechanisms, and acceptable behaviors, as well as survival and life-saving skills required to face immediate and long-term challenges. The experiential and participatory approach of these workshops helps them grow toward their fullest potential, empowering them to engage in their various communities with respect, confidence and purpose.
50 parents have been equipped through family values workshops with tools and skills needed to implement effective rules, routines, correctives and positive reinforcement, in order to help their children understand and deal with their feelings and emotions, as well as to promote responsibility and positively reinforce good behavior.
A media campaign (Every Child is Special) was held in schools, churches, mosques, market and motor parks with the overall goal of reducing anti-social behaviour among children, stopping child early marriages, stopping abandonment of children and child trafficking, and increasing child self-esteem through decrease of child abuse.
50 street boys and girls have been resettled back with their families with ongoing monitoring and counseling.
15 street boys and girls are now undertaking vocational and entrepreneurship training in information communication technology (ICT), sewing, panel beating and spray painting, garment making, pottery, leather work, screen printing, metal and aluminum work.
A stakeholder's workshop was organized on taking legislative action to end violence against children and youth. This workshop provided community leaders, government leaders and parliamentarians in Nsit Ubium with the elements of a comprehensive and multi-sectoral response to violence against children and youths.
LVEP also undertakes various consultations and dialogues with governments and stakeholders to strengthen this project through the following:
Living Values Education was born when twenty educators from around the world gathered at UNICEF Headquarters in New York City in August 1996 to discuss the needs of children, their experiences of working with values and how educators can integrate values to better prepare students for lifelong learning. The LVE Team in Nigeria has played a role in providing training for educators in many Nigerian communities since 2001 and generating materials young adults and children.
As we move into the 21st century, the search for ways to improve the quality of education is global. One area of focus has been that of values, attitudes, and behavior and how to develop these aspects of character in a positive and productive way. How do we empower individuals to choose their own set of values? What kind of specialized training is necessary for educators to integrate values into existing programs? How can values-based education prepare students for lifelong learning in their communities?
Purpose and Aims of the Living Values Educational Program
The purpose of the Living Values Educational Program is to provide guiding principles and tools for the development of the whole person, recognizing that the individual is comprised of physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual dimensions.
Our Aims Are:
To help individuals think about and reflect on different values and the practical implications of expressing them in relation to themselves, others, the community, and the world at large.
To deepen understanding, motivation, and responsibility with regard to making personal and social choices.
To inspire individuals to choose their own personal, social, moral, and spiritual values and be aware of practical methods for developing and deepening them.
To encourage educators and caregivers to look at education as providing students with a philosophy of living, thereby facilitating their overall growth, development, and choices so that they may integrate themselves into the community with respect, confidence, and purpose.
In 2001, Living Values Education was introduced in Nigeria through the Permission / Approval of the Lagos State Ministry of Education. In July 2001, the first official training of educators was held in Lagos, Nigeria, organized by the Nigeria National Commission for UNESCO for 32 educators including school principals, guidance counsellors, Senior Lecturers, Psychologists, representatives of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), the Institute of Certified Teachers of Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Education, and the Counselling Association of Nigeria[CASSON]. Ten of these were further trained to become LVE trainers. Further Living Values Education training took place in November 2001 for The Lagos State Professional Guidance Counsellors in collaboration with The Counselling Association of Nigeria [CASSON], Lagos State Chapter, at the University of Lagos, Nigeria. This prompted further Living Values Education (LVE) Educator workshops which were held in locations in Nigeria.
These workshops provide teachers, teacher-trainers, educational psychologists and other educators and individuals concerned with values and education a new understanding of their role as motivators and exemplars, and how their mindset, attitudes and vision are critical to the education process. It is our conviction that when teachers become exemplars and believe in spiritual goals wholeheartedly, change will be real and permanent and children will excel in their studies by making excellence a value as well. They will be able to emphasize competition within oneself, not competition with others.
The Living Values Education endeavor in Nigeria is currently co-ordinated by Nsikak Obot Ekanem, the Focal Point for LVE in Nigeria. However, with the help of Mr. Ekanem, Envoy Consulting – Nigeria, a consulting firm working on educational consulting and public policy serving as a training and educational corporation applied to become an ALIVE Associate in April 2011. Their membership application will be reviewed at the next General Assembly of the Association for Living Values Education International (ALIVE). The board of directors of Envoy Consulting-Nigeria is a nonsectarian group of educators and other professionals who envision the future success and happiness of children. Being inspired by the increasing impacts, this Living Values Educational Group feels empowered to act as the National Living Values Education Body in Nigeria.
The Living Values Education global decision-making body, the Association for Living Values Education International is a worldwide community of values educators. As a non-governmental organisation, it takes the form of an international association of independent, locally-run, non-profit organisations committed to promoting values in education. ALIVE aims to further the objectives of its member organisations and facilitate their activities in the field of values education while enhancing and maintaining the integrity, identity and standing of the educational approach, philosophy and practice known as Living Values Education.
The Association for Living Values Education International is an association formed under the Civil Code of Switzerland, registered in Geneva and exempt from Swiss tax. Its tax-exempt status enables it to receive contributions and other funds to carry out its activities without being subject to Swiss tax on its receipts; this status also requires it to carry out its activities in a publicly accountable fashion under Swiss law. It is an independent organisation that is required by its Articles of Association not to have any particular or exclusive religious, political or national affiliation or interest. ALIVE is registered at the Registre du Commerce, Geneva and its registered office is in Geneva, Switzerland.
Created in 2004, ALIVE provides a formal home for the international community of educators who have been working with LVE since it was developed in 1997. ALIVE is the legal and administrative body that groups together locally accountable national LVE associations, and other bodies promoting LVE, and which seeks to promote and support their LVE work and serve as a resource and information centre for them. It owns the rights to the Living Values Education name, logo and trademark, which it licenses to Associates, and has other intellectual property rights such as with regard to its teacher resource books and other publications and the international LVE website, which it maintains. Drawing on a strong volunteer base, the advancement and implementation of LVE is supported by UNESCO and a host of other organisations, agencies, governmental bodies, foundations, community groups and individuals. It was part of the global movement for a culture of peace in the framework of the United Nations Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World.
While trainings are available throughout our country during the year, annual LVEP Educator policy forums are held focused on new innovations, renewal, and re-energizing. Educators were asked to reconnect with the pure intention that initially brought them into this filed and explore what allows them to stay connected to their positive core. Additionally, our outreach processes have led to the establishment of the under mentioned programmes:
1. The National schools of character programme (NASOCAP): This is an annual awards programme recognizing (Nursery, Primary & Secondary) schools in all the 36 states of the Federal Republic of Nigeria including the Federal Capital Territory, that demonstrates outstanding character education initiatives which yield positive results in student behavior, school climate and academic performance. Although winners may differ in method, content and scope, all emphasize core ethical values such as, respect, love, caring, honesty, co-operation, and responsibility.
2. Values in Leadership and in the work place: This is an educative tool developed for success in business, in government, in organizations and in personal satisfaction believing that with the growing challenges and sharper competition, business tactics moved on as successful leaders began to see a need to address, not just the hands and the head, but also the heart. “A happy worker is an efficient worker”.
Today values are at the heart of every change process and goal seeking endeavor calling out to potential market leaders to “come with our hand, head, heart and soul”. This Quadra-faceted approach – a holistic approach to the working environment – tomorrow’s management paradigm available today and its focuses on eight key selected values; trusting, respecting, being ethnical, co-operating, dealing with change, communicating, motivating, and being responsible.
3. Values for positive citizenship: Initiated by Development Impact for Nigeria (DIFN): DIFN has used LVEP as part of their programme for young Nigerian professionals. Their programme focuses on inculcating a new leadership that will embrace a wider human constituency with a sense of caring for others and a sense of responsibility to the global neighborhood. Values for positive citizenship also equipped Nigerian Youths with core values promoting responsibility and ethnical citizenship.
4. Voice Out Initiative (VOI]) which was developed by Living Values Education – Nigeria: Our aim was to facilitate women's leadership for women's human rights and social justice in Nigeria. VOI fosters women's leadership in the area of human rights through women's policy forums and roundtables, strategic planning activities and mobilization campaigns. VOI works from a human rights perspective with an emphasis on women education, violence against women, sexual and reproductive health and socio-economic well-being. VOI's programs are in two broad areas of policy and advocacy, leadership development and women’s human rights education.
5. Living Values EducationYoung Scholars Roundtable (LVEYSR): This was initiated by Living Values Education – Nigeria as a think-tank Living Values Education Youth Group committed to the promotion of a socially-edifying interaction between policy and scholarship, aimed at promoting young people full participation at all levels in the conceptualisation, decision-making, implementation and evaluation of development policies and programmes.
6. Living Values Education Children’s Club: Today the Living Values Education Team in Nigeria recognises that children are more apprehensive, insecure and fearful. Compounding factors that are more difficult to counter are the escalating volume of international terrorism around the world, deteriorating global environment, and growing levels of abuse and violence in communities. Many problems are global in nature and they relate to lack of a proper education in the three schools of humanity: the home, the school and society. If future lies in part within the four walls of a school, can conflict and its elimination be possible in part through education? Can hearts be changed by proactively sowing the seeds of love from the youngest ages so that when children grow up, they cannot think of violence, conflict and war? Can the diverse views and people unite to work together for the common cause — the welfare of the children?
This initiative strives to inculcate values of tolerance and co-existence in children and building the defenses of peace in their minds and hearts.
For more information, please contact:
Hon Nsikak Obot Ekanem
Tel: 234-80-83655890; 234-80-68577870
Dr Ekerete Umana
Living Values Education Advisor for Nigeria
And Chairman/Chief Executive Officer
Mobilizing the power to make life in Africa more democratic, more secure and more sustainable is the challenge of this generation, hence the recent Youth Round Table on Peace and African Unity in Lagos, Nigeria. The gathering provided a platform for young African scholars to positively engage and interact on the challenges facing Africa, suggesting policy that African governments could consider to promote the well-being of their citizens while building economic prosperity where poverty and inequality no longer exist, where social justice thrives and the voices of all people are heard.
The Round Table was attended by about twenty young scholars and experts representing various sectors of society. They discussed a wide range of issues and identified strategies to address them. Strategies included developing a program to prevent and respond to security challenges, deepening knowledge and international attention regarding Africa’s crises, improving institutional capacities in peace and security and exploring options for capacity building in sustainable peace, stability, and development. They called for the need to address sexual and gender based violence; promotion of social protection targeting poor and vulnerable groups; structures, policies and laws to improve youth participation; increased vocational education and training; establishment of vulnerability indices; and capacity building for communities.
Selected outputs from the discussion will be presented at the 2011 International Youth Round Table on Peace and African Unity in Nigeria. This international event will also provide an opportunity for young professionals and young scholars to share and debate their ideas and vision with a broad spectrum of the civil society.
Nsikak Obot EkanemFor further details of this Round Table can be found at:
After being inspired by the Living Values Education (LVE) Approach, the Nigeria Association for Living Values Education (NAFOLIVE) Adhoc Committee was constituted in August 2005. Today NAFOLIVE Adhoc Committee efforts have extended Living Values Education Programme (LVEP) from the child and the school to the entire society by a conscious act of will believing that both family and society must be transformed in the process of educating the child.
As a result, NAFOLIVE outreach processes have led to the establishment of the under mentioned programmes:
The National schools of character programme (NASOCAP). This is an annual awards programme recognizing (Nursery, Primary & Secondary) schools in all the 36 states of the Federal Republic of Nigeria including the Federal Capital Territory, that demonstrates outstanding character education initiatives which yield positive results in student behavior, school climate and academic performance. Although winners may differ in method, content and scope, all emphasize core ethical values such as, respect, love, caring, honesty, co-operation, and responsibility.
Values in Leadership and in the work place: This is an educative tool developed for success in business, in government, in organizations and in personal satisfaction believing that with the growing challenges and sharper competition, business tactics moved on as successful leaders began to see a need to address, not just the hands and the head, but also the heart: " A happy worker is an efficient worker".
Today Values are at the heart of every change process and goal seeking endeavor calling out to potential market leaders to "come with our hand, head, heart and soul". This Quadra-faceted approach – a holistic approach to the working environment – tomorrow's management paradigm available today and its focuses on eight key selected values; trusting, respecting, being ethnical, co-operating, dealing with change, communicating, motivating, and being responsible.
In-depth report on the Workshop on Values-Based Education for Educators, Ipaja, Lagos, Nigeria, March 13-15, 2007
Please open this pdf file for an outstanding report on this workshop. It includes many pictures as well as the contributions of participants.
The workshop started at 9.30 am with introduction from each of the participants and making of the ground rules for the workshop. This was swiftly followed by writing of participant's expectation on the flip chart. Each participant was also asked to choose various animals they like and their matching qualities and attributes. The main session then commenced, with a reflection on our values, how reflection determines our values and if values does change at any point in time. The twelve values under the Living Values Education Programme were listed and extensively discussed on by participants. A minute silence was held in respect of Mr. Bode Omokaro (DIFN), facilitator for the Module I training workshop. It was followed by a game on sharks, swimming and islands.
The second session for the day was on effective listening and participants also discussed 'Blocks to Effective listening'. This includes; Giving solutions, admonishing, judging, blaming, moralizing, diminishing, sympathizing, distracting and accusations. Mr Wale then handled the third session on Citizenship. The discussion was centered on who a Nigerian is, Rights of a Nigerian Citizen and a reflection on the words of the National anthemn.
The day's session ended with take-home questions for participants:
What do I do that may deprive other Nigerians of their rights?
What do you think are the responsibilities of being a Nigerian?
The day's session started with responses from participants about the other day's activities and their overall feelings. Participants were asked to reflect on an illustration of a glass cup as half-filled or empty. Many participants saw it as half–filled while others saw it the other way round. It was finally agreed that our answers could only be premised on the way we see it. The main session, commenced with a group activity on Honesty. The following questions were considered.
Think of a time you appreciated someone else honesty.
Think of a time you were appreciated for your act of honesty.
Participants broke into groups to discuss; responses were presented by their rappoteurs to the whole house. The house then considered various reflection points on honesty.
The second session looked at the values of Love, Peace and Unity. Participants were divided into three groups with each group first exploring the reflection points of their value. Teams then had to create a poster on that value using crayons to come up with a team effort design. The third session for the day was on Tolerance and participants viewed a 24 minute documentary titled 'The Imam and Pastor', which focuses on addressing religious intolerance among people of different faiths in Nigeria. Participants discussed ideas they gained from the documentary vis-à-vis tolerance in our daily living.
The day's session started with a reflection and discussion on Cooperation. A group activity on the Tower game was carried out by participants to test their knowledge on working together for a common good. Each group then proceeded to build a tower with a firm base. In the end, the tallest structure with the strongest base was identified.
The second session of the day was on Simplicity, Respect and Humility. Participants were divided into groups to discuss each value and then produced a short drama sketch on the selected value. Each group presented their drama sketch to the whole audience and participants were asked to make comments and inputs.
The final session of the workshop was on 'Moving Forward'. The workshop facilitator Mr. Yemi Oloko examined key components of the three day training, workshop organiser's expectations from participants and dates for subsequent trainings which will also include a Training of Trainers workshop. Participants were then provided with an evaluation form to make comments on the three day workshop. The training workshop ended with presentation of certificates to successful participants, and presentation of trophies to three best participants and group photographs. In all, from almost everyone's opinion the workshop was fantastic, challenging, interesting and an rewarding experience.
For more information of The Values for Positive Citizenship programme visit the following links: -
Number of Sites Using Living Values Education
Total number of sites
Presently, there are 35 sites in 5 Nigeria states (Lagos, Edo, Delta, Rivers and Akwa Ibom) known to be implementing LVE, more have been requested.
The results are visible, as some studies and observation have shown, children and teachers coming out of LVE programmes are significantly more conscious of their true station, more God loving, endowed with values and virtues, a sense of mission, and also aim for excellence in all they undertake. Observers such as Rev. (Mrs.) Dele George, founder-little saints orphanage, strong tower house, Lagos, Nigeria, have noted LVEP is like an oasis in the desert, a transformative programme with respect and values that standout not only among the schools in Nigeria but in the world at large believing that every child in potentially the light of the world, and at the same time the cause of it's darkness wherefore, must the question of meaningful education such as LVE which concerned with the affairs of the age, be accounted as primary important. LVE presence should be expanded to other Nigeria Regions and States in order to give more people in Nigeria the opportunity of learning the Values of tolerance and co-existence believing that creating inner change is about taking responsibility for how we shape the world.
For additional information about the activities in West and Central Africa, please go to: www.lvafricacentwest.net