|In This Issue – January 2013||
Issue Number Forty-five
News and Success Stories
Fairy Tales of a Beautiful Heart
An International Children's Creative Competition
Submissions due February 15, 2013
Under the aegis of the Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO
Part of the project: "I Choose to Be Kind"
"Fairy Tales of a Beautiful Heart" is a competition of creative writings, illustrations, and animations and positive content, reflecting the ideals of kindness and non-violence for children ages four to seventeen living in different countries of the world.
Deadline for the final round: February 15, 2013.
For further information, contact Viktoria Derzhavina at email@example.com
Postal address: 119270 Russia, Moscow, Khamovnicheskiy val, 6, MIOO, room 46 (Department of Philological Education) Viktoria Derzhavina.
ALIVE JANUARY 2013 NEWSLETTER
2013 heralds a time to reach out and share our values. Wherever you look, evidence is growing that educators are returning to values as a way of bringing meaning to learning, and appreciating that – whilst knowledge is growing day by day and technology brings information to our eyes at the touch of a finger – it is the inner world of personal and shared values that is our constancy. Shared values and shared commitment brings us together and ALIVE is developing partnerships that strengthen our vision. Please take the opportunity to read the newsletters and witness the growing interest and in our worldwide events and trainings to include initiatives between country to country, institution to institution, with young and old, between educators and industrialists, and simply being with and learning from one another.
This year, let us all look forward to the launch of the Living Values Matrix – an unique and innovative way to educate through your approach and your heart with invitational methodologies to share and to take care of the inner self. Did you know that one of the root meanings of education is ‘edu-care’ to care for the inner being and the gifts within?
As the world of learning embraces the concept of learning communities and searches for a deeper meaning to learning, giving and living, Living Values Education is proud to belong to our world of learning communities to bring insight, happiness and peace to so many. The journey is as rich as it is diverse with perceptions of what is good and true gaining strength through dialogue and example as groups and whole communities come together and appreciate our common inheritance.
None of this would be possible without our incognito teams of translators and dedicated volunteers who work tirelessly to keep ALIVE alive, including the translation of news and the Living Green Values initiative to share with our global Living Values family. Thank you.
ALIVE is here for you. Our first regional center has been established in El Salvador for the Latin countries, our newly elected Board members will soon be taking up their posts, the wider community is being encouraged to add additional values to the early day set of 12 Living Values and especially use the methodology that is the hallmark of our shared success. Without you, it would not be possible; and it is with gratitude that I express, on behalf of us all at ALIVE, my heartfelt thanks for all that you do.
Do, please, keep us all informed of what you are sharing as it helps us all to be inspired and appreciated.
“We wove the magic of LVE during the workshop that left us warm, happy and glowing by the end,” wrote Uma Sridhar, LVE’s Focal Point for India. “The training was held at a lovely place with lush green gardens filled with all kinds of trees and flowers. I also spotted peacocks!
Twenty mentors, caretakers and teachers of the organization COME took part in the training. They were from Delhi, Lucknow and Ghorakpur Homes. Most of them had rural backgrounds and were not sure what to expect. Initially they were reticent to share their views, as women culturally do not speak up especially in front of men and strangers, but by the end of the first day, they had dropped their inhibitions and were actively taking part. There was much laughter and amusement at the games we played which they felt turned them into kids again!
Rekindling the dream with the visualization of a dream school was wonderful and also touching. Most of them drew schools with big playgrounds and lots of greenery and teachers being attentive and caring. One of the young teachers from a village drew toilets! A basic facility which is taken for granted and yet a luxury for a village school.
The active listening exercise brought about considerable awareness of one's own behavior and the participants practiced the communication skills with great interest. The tower-building challenge was a big hit; they were very enthusiastic and went all out, demonstrating fantastic team work and cooperation.
The conflict resolution model was new to them and they were eager to try it. They felt it would help children calm down and try to resolve issues peacefully. Mind mapping was seen as very useful for bringing clarity about values and anti-values and its effects on self and other others. It was found to be simple and effective for children to understand.
Many specific questions related to the current problems faced by the Homes were discussed. Many new measures are going to be put in place.
The workshop was a wonderful success and I am truly blessed to be a part of LVE. I would like to add one comment from a young participant after the Rekindle the dream visualization. She said she was surprised how she could reproduce her dream in a drawing. If said that if she could do it on paper, she could do it in her life too! It gave her so much confidence in herself. It was a wonderful moment!”
“The 2012 school term of the Ministry of Education ended on December 13 for Basic, All Age and Secondary schools in Jamaica,” wrote LVE’s Focal Point for Jamaica, Sharon Parris-Chambers. “A memorable highlight of the school year for me was a visit to Rusea High School’s Upper Sixth Form class in Hanover in September.
This would have been the class that beloved cohort, Leshawn Grant, should have been placed in, were it not for an unfortunate and untimely tragic accident. Here is a brief recap of the story from the Positive Tourism News.”
On August 10, 2012, Leshawn Grant, a beautiful and talented nineteen year old young woman and only child of Carol Grant lost her life tragically, the result of a reckless car accident. Leshawn left work at Travellers Beach Resort approximately 5:10 p.m. and as she walked towards downtown Negril she was hit by a speeding car driven by a man coming from a Cambio and heading to Montego Bay, according to eye witnesses. Leshawn worked in the capacity of an Intern Front Desk Receptionist at Travellers Beach Resort for only four days; she was well regarded by all and as a matter of fact, treated as a daughter to Mr. Winston Wellington, Chairman of the Negril International Hospital and Wellness Centre.
“The purpose of my visit was to encourage students to speak about their feelings of bereavement for Leshawn with fellow students, teachers and family, to share cultural aspects of bereavement, and to share with students coping mechanisms related to the bereavement process. I gave a brief overview of bereavement indicating that cultures regard the process differently. Some acquire paid weepers, while others such as Hindu groups rush the spirit of the dead into its next incarnation with a ceremony, followed by burial the next day. In Jamaica, we grieve for nine nights and celebrate at the end, before burial.
I spoke of the stages of bereavement as referenced in Elizabeth Kübler-Ross’ 1969 book On Death and Dying. Kübler-Ross' analysis significantly opened up the previously conservative “sweep it under the carpet” approach and revolutionized the understanding of death and dying across the world. Students were encouraged to share their feelings during the exercise, but none accepted the challenge due to the Jamaican cultural mores of grieving privately with family. I then shared two short motivational poems from the my book, “Poetry from the Rose of Sharon: Divine Thoughts and Inspirations for Living Well” and a recorded reflection called the ‘Grassy Field’ and then answered questions.
There was a significant positive response during the Circle of Love exercise which followed. The teacher and class joined hands; the facilitator prayed and asked each one to share their own word sounds, prayer, thoughts, or song. One student shared her pain over the recent loss of her father. The exercise came to an end with a hugging exercise which brought smiles and relief to the faces of all. Sixth form teacher, Ms Odeth Edwards, promised to invite me to return soon.”
Two high school students wrote the following together when asked the question: What does it mean to be a Living Values School? They have been enrolled at the Kuwait American School, a LVE Model School, since they were young children. “In our eyes, it’s a school that values the lives of each and every single student. It’s not a school that forces a student to abide by one rule saying it’s our way or the highway, but a school that wants students to be themselves; a school that doesn’t close doors in your face, but keeps them open long enough for you to walk through. It’s a school that says yes to your hopes, yes to your dreams, and gives you whatever you need to achieve your goals. They are telling you to shoot for the moon, and even if you miss, you will land among the stars, rather than get burnt by the sun that we call life. That’s what a living values school is.”
Abdulrahman and Shuail
“In Early December, sixteen people met in Nagarkot, Nepal, in the idyllic setting of Country Villa for a Living Values Education Workshop. The group was comprised of Dhruba Prasad Ghimire, the Secretary-General of RUWON (RUral WOmen Network), nine other RUWON members, two school principals, three educators and the General Manager of the hotel. It was a group who resonated totally with Living Values Education and who are very keen to move it nationwide.
The training only happened because of the love of Sudehpa Tham, a Singaporean who has been helping Nepali schools for the past 14 years, often out of her own pocket. She organised the training, involved all the participants and even found a sponsor. Sudehpa was the co-trainer; Kana Gopal, the president of Singapore’s LVE national organization, led the training.
Krishna Katwat, the general manager of Country Villa, is already applying what he learnt. Principal Govinda is also using activities from the Living Values Activity book for children aged 8 to 14 in his school and has been enthused by the response.
In April 2013, all teachers of the schools headed by Govinda Panthy and Pitam Tamang will undergo an LVE Training and then focus on becoming model LVE schools. In November, we plan to showcase these two schools at a nationwide conference on values-based education for key people in the education sector in Nepal.
All the participants have decided to be part of a team to promote LVE in Nepal and Dhruba has agreed to serve as the Focal Point for LVE in Nepal. The team will look into translating all the LVE books into Nepali. We are a group bursting with enthusiasm and commitment.”
Kana Gopal, LVE Singapore
Dear Living Values Education friends worldwide,
Living Values Education Paraguay will be ten years old in 2013. It's been ten years of intense activity, ten years of developing dozens of workshops within the capital and the country, training hundreds of teachers and other direct intervention agents for children and teenagers in trouble. Ten years of multiple partnerships and all kinds of cooperation. Ten years of personal growth and giving the gift of hope to all our teachers and kids.
On my behalf, on behalf of the cooperative team made up of both public and private institutions and, on behalf of the country, I give many thanks for all the support and cooperation we have received, for the visits and trainings held in our country and the material produced, sent and received. Thank you so much!
Be assured that there has been intense, committed and unceasing seed planting and God will tell when it is time for harvesting.
I earnestly encourage you to keep going with this cause, this mission and this program because it is a blessing for teachers' personal lives and especially for those who develop and spread this program.
A big hug and a shower of blessings for this holiday season. Let 2013 catch us awake and ready to make this year our best one yet!
Always, with love,
“Silence in the classroom can improve children's behaviour and exam results,” reported the Daily Express, September 23, 2012, quoting an academic. The Daily Express continued: “Teachers and heads across the UK who have introduced silence techniques, such as meditation, mindfulness, pausing, silent reading, silent moments and quiet spaces, have seen results improve.
Dr. Helen Lees, a former teacher and now research fellow at Stirling University's School of Education, cites the work of actors Richard Gere and Goldie Hawn, whose Hawn Foundation in America is championing the use of so-called of 'strong silence' to get results.
Dr. Lees, who has investigated the technique for a new book, Silence in Schools, said, "This is not 'hippy nonsense'."
These techniques may turn people's understanding of what education ought to be on its head. It is a fascinating new educational area which can create school improvements at no cost.”
As most of you may know, LVE has been creating silence spaces in the classroom since 1997 with peaceful quiet signals for relaxing and focusing and mindful exercises to help students fill themselves with peace, respect and love. LVE calls these “Quietly Being Exercises” for the three to seven year-old group and “Relaxation/Focusing Exercises” for the older set. While all these exercises are in the Living Values Activities books, the ones for young children are recorded with music and downloadable from the LVE international website. As one four-year old child in a LVE classroom asked his teacher once, “Miss, is it time to be quiet yet?”
See Living Green Values www.livingvalues.net
LVE in Venezuela is currently translating more LVE Resources into Spanish, UBUNTU by Helen Sayers and the Living Green Values books by Diane Tillman. A million thanks to Belén Romero, Focal Point for LVE in Venezuela, from the ALIVE team for all her efforts. Belén has graciously translated many LVE resources, including the LVE series for street children and young offenders.
Mrs. Romero shared, “We have had many setbacks due to the political and economic situation in our country, especially related to the importing of books in Spanish. I am looking forward to being able to have my dream of a registered association come true this new year!”
During an LVE lesson, a group of children living in challenging circumstances in Nha Trang, Central Vietnam, wrote cards of love to give to their caretakers in the Buddhist temple where they live. The photos were taken by Ms Bao Chau.
Model United Nations (MUN) is a popular club in Zimbabwean schools. An academic simulation of the United Nations that aims to educate students about international relations and UN diplomacy, participants role-play diplomats representing a country or NGO in a simulated session of the UN.
Zimbabwe’s Living Values Focal Point, Natalie Ncube, offers coaching to high school students involved in MUN activities to prepare them for meaningful dialogue with young members of the international community in Global Young Leaders Conferences and other affiliated MUN Conferences. As a result, they develop concern and deep insight into various global issues, especially human rights, climate change, world peace and the problems of youth. MUN students become aware of the causes of conflict between nations. The coaching sessions lead to a better understanding of the interests and motivations of others, support solution finding and generate effective responses to the needs of the people worldwide. MUN students are taught how to participate in international conferences, discussions, negotiations and debates in a dignified manner, sharing the virtues of integrity, respect, understanding, compassion with students from other countries, and at the same time, representing their own country and culture with pride and humility.
In early December, the supervisors and administrative staff of SNV Netherlands Development Organization in Zimbabwe from Bulawayo, Mutare and Gweru came to Harare for a Wellbeing Workshop. One of the modules presented by LVE was Management of Emotions at Work.
Participants discussed the different types of emotions, the importance of understanding the impact controlling emotions has on work and how to generate positive emotions at work
For our next newsletter we are looking at how LVE works with partners. Your articles on this theme would be welcome.Please send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org
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To contact the ALIVE Associate or Focal Point for LVE in your country, please refer to the LVE website’s Contact Us page.
For countries without ALIVE Associates or Focal Points for LVE, please email email@example.com to ask your questions or make comments about Living Values Education: