|In This Issue – May 2014||
Issue Number Forty-nine
News and Success Stories
To help widen our view and share our horizons, ‘Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times’ has been chosen as the theme of the European Living Values Education regional conference to be held on the Greek island of Zante from July 3rd to July 6th. The conference, that will share best practices from our own perceptions and experiences, carries a warm invitation to all members of our Living Values family.
Together, we can make a difference.
Dear ALIVE Colleagues,
At the Qatar WISE conference last October, the Head of UNESCO stated that, as a world, we have become so much better at learning to know and to do but have forgotten how to belong and be friends with one another. As we each witness the growing uncertainty from the windows of our lives, surely, it’s time to make new friends, open new global gateways that connect us and help to make a difference.
To help widen our view and share our horizons, ‘Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times’ has been chosen as the theme of the European Living Values Education regional conference to be held on the Greek island of Zante from July 3rd to July 6th. The conference, that will share best practices from our own perceptions and experiences, carries a warm invitation to all members of our Living Values family. Details from http://livingvalueszante.weebly.com
Since our last newsletter, I have been deeply touched to read and hear of the amazing and totally altruistic sharing and developments within our Living Values Education family. For example, the Education without Borders program in Greece, the Indonesian program that reaches out to many unique communities, the Mindfulness and Commonwealth Games initiatives in the UK, and internationally, the ‘From My Heart’ book by Neil Hawkes and the news of the upcoming parenting book by Diane Tillman, ‘Living Values With Your Children’. Thank you for these inspirations and to everyone for the countless small moments of kindness, that, upon reflection, are the truly great moments in our lives and the lives of others.
What we need now more than ever is measurable and verifiable evidence of what makes the values-based approach to learning so successful. Take time out to meet, to share, to learn and continue to give from your heart.
Individually we are all gifted with a gift to give and together we can make a real difference.
The ALIVE Associate in Guinea Conakry organized an exhibition of 12 values for the new members of the NGO in March 2013. The photos were taken in the offices of the NGO, CAVEG in Conakry. Regarding activities, we are exploring funding with hopes of training teachers in the LVE methodology soon.
On March 5th, 2014, The Asia Foundation launched a very special book in Jakarta titled “Pendidikan Karakter: Pendidikan Menghidupkan Nilai untuk Pesantren, Madrasah, dan Sekolah”. In English, the title would be translated as “Character Education: Living Values Education for Islamic Boarding Schools, Madrasah, and Schools”. This book is the fruit of four years of hard work by many educators involved in The Asia Foundation's LVE program. Paramadina University in Jakarta, which hosted the launch, was one of the partners that coordinated this effort.
The editor, Mr. Budhy Munawar-Rahman, explained the reason for this book’s existence: “Most of our LVE implementation was in Islamic boarding schools. In Indonesian these are known as “pesantren”. This is a very unique sub-culture in Indonesia. Pesantrens have their own jargon and philosophy. In order to be easily used daily in this setting, LVE activities must be explained with those unique terms. This book was written and compiled by educators who grew up in the pesantren setting, so they were the best group to adapt it to their culture.”
The Asia Foundation planned to print 1000 copies of this book for distribution among its implementation partners that are spread in Jakarta, Bogor, Garut, Jogjakarta and Ambon. Some of the implementation partners are universities, some are NGOs that work in peace building using LVE methods, and some are Islamic boarding schools. Besides print distribution, the book will also be available through http://www.inspirasi.copublic library.
For three days in April, 22 participants were involved in a fun-filled LVE Educator Workshop at Campuhan College in Ubud, Bali, with Philip Yusenda as lead trainer. Some of the participants were teachers from local schools that are beneficiaries of Karuna Bali Foundation's Educare program, which gives local schools a gift of implementing LVE for four months in their schools. The other participants were from NGOs that use LVE in their daily work in orphanages and child centers.
One of the teachers, Ms Ni Kadek Yutik, said, “This is very different workshop. Usually all I need to do is sit tight, yawn, and probably listen to the speaker. Here I can move around, draw, make presentations, dance and sing! It's fun! Now I understand the thinking behind the methods used in the Educare program in my school.”
Mr Sani Ramdani, of Rumah Yatim Foundation, an NGO that manage orphanages in 14 provinces in Indonesia, has a different take: “It's fun, and at the same time daunting. Being a value role model mean you really have to live the values 24 hours 7 days a week! This is especially true in an orphanage setting, where you really live with the kids all the time.” Rumah Yatim Foundation plans to start a one-year pilot program to use LVE as their fostering method in June 2014.
“The Power to Blossom”, a book on how to implement LVE’s new program for kindergarten students, will soon be published in Hebrew. As Esther Khavous, the LVE leader of the ALIVE Associate in Israel noted, “The first edition of has already been presented in two workshops in Israel and is flying like clouds on a windy day. Everyone is talking about it and asking where they can buy it. We will be selling the book at cost. We have already sold half of the first 100 books, pre-publication! The inspectors for Early Childhood Education are pleased with this program and helping us promote it. Workshops in several cities are booked in July and August. We hope to translate the book into English soon.” We hope so too, Esther!
Sharada Siwakoti, on behalf of the Nepalese Association of School Librarians (NASL) which trains teachers and individuals and specializes in school librarian training, reported that they just finish 35 days of library training. For the first time, a Living Value Educational workshop was included in the program. A certificate distribution ceremony was held May 2 with chief guest, the Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Education, at the Nepal National Library in Pulcholk Lalitpur. The 27 participants included educators from the Learning Hub Montessori school, Bhatkeko Pool, Kathmandu and Star Montessori School, Imadol and Lalitpur. They will all use the LVE approach and do LVE Activities with students. It’s wonderful to see LVE growing in Nepal, benefiting children, educators and families.
The UNESCO office in the Netherlands invited teachers from the 100 UNESCO schools throughout the country to several workshops, lectures and activities on the subject of “World Citizenship and Peace”. As Marlies Luddding van Loon, the President of the LVE Foundation in the Netherlands reports, “As LVE has been closely connected to UNESCO in the Netherlands since one year we were asked to give a LVE workshop to teachers of mostly secondary schools. A joyful and relaxed workshop took place in April 2014. We all learned a lot, with special thanks to the teachers of Vrije Ruimte, the LVE School in the Hague, who shared from their own experience how pupils love working on values and how this has brought about a lot of joy and awareness of peace and other values in their school. Some teachers wanted more information and we offered to visit them at their schools at a later date for further exchange.”
The Foundation Onemelodie and a Living Values School in the Netherlands have begun a special DVD project on Values Songs in Dutch. Immigrant children who began LVE activities for children at risk this month, will be singing the soon-to-be created songs with Dutch children. Both sets of children will be engaged in values activities about happiness and cooperation until December. To be composed by two songwriters and planned and organised around the values of happiness and cooperation, the organizers are hoping for happy, cooperative and serious commitment from all involved!
An LVE Parenting Workshop was held April 16th at İSTEK Özel Acıbadem Okulları/İSTEK Acibadem Private Schools in Istanbul. Received with enthusiasm and appreciation, this workshop was led by Sema Özsoy and organized by Sibel Yalman. The parents said, “We didn’t know that the values that are important for us, are the same values that are important in every country. We didn’t know they are universal.” They all expressed wanting a peaceful life for themselves and for the world.
Students from Universidad Central de Venezuela with Belen Romero, the Focal Point for LVE, and Jeimy Henriquez, the Assistant Manager of the Community Service Department of the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences – May 19, 2014
Students at Universidad Central de Venezuela currently finishing their undergraduate program in different careers, Anthropology, Sociology, International Studies and Management Administration from the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences (FACES), took an LVE Educator Training for three days in May. All university students in Venezuela are required to do Community Service for six weeks prior to graduation. They attend a training for the program of their choosing. FACES at Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas, offers 60 different programs and in this occasion 19 of these future professionals chose to be trained in the program called “Children in a World of Peace” which includes in its syllabus a training with LVE. These students were trained on the 13th, 16th and 19th of May to do their community service in Values, with children of different schools in low income suburbs around the city of Caracas. During the training, the students focused on reflecting through different activities like drawing, discussing and sketching on the difference and impact that the presence and lack of Peace, Tolerance, Humility, Love, Responsibility and Freedom have in our lives, and especially in the children’s lives, particularly in those children who live in less than satisfactory conditions. Belen Romero, the Focal Point of LVE for Venezuela, led the LVE workshop. She shared some of the students’ comments from the evaluation forms:
"To me, as an International Relations student, this training has been like the sum of all we need in preparing ourselves for promoting ways to build bridges amongst people and cultures... we have to touch our values first, we have to feel peaceful inside first, if we are to bring peace to this world...” DENISE LOVERA FUCHS
“I think everything was excellent. This program not only forms us as tutors for our community project, but also helps us to be better children to our parents, better brothers, better parents, and better human beings.” JOEL PERALTA
"The content of this program changed significantly the way I see and perceive the world around me, and the way to approach new challenges in my life." MARVILYN SÁNCHEZ
Some of the artwork created during the training:
HUMILITY: I feel happy with what I am and have. What is within defines me.
Lack of Humility: I live out of looks, the external defines me.
Students' chosen concept of values after a vote!
"Values are the necessary tools to grow and develop in a better world,
they are the perfect element that can help us build a better society."
TOLERANCE: A POEM
"If it is so easy to love just by watching the blue sea...
God, why it is so difficult for us to be tolerant with our fellow humans?"
"Peace starts and ends here
Within the being and now.
The sky is blue, the night is dark.
Peace, river that flows, water that softens the rock.
Pure energy in nature.
River that never stops."
Natasha Ncube, the Focal Point for LVE in Zimbabwe, has been kept very busy with a series of workshops for grade 7 pupils in several primary schools in Harare between December 2013 and April 2014. She was asked to conduct the workshops by the school’s Parent Committees as parents wanted their children to have a smooth, positive and successful transition from primary to secondary school.
The system of education in Zimbabwe consists of 7 years of primary school and 6 years of secondary school. From grade 7, the children transfer to form 1 of secondary school. This transition is a major change in any child’s life. Children are faced with a number of changes: unfamiliar people, places, subjects, situations, areas, routines, but the most traumatic one – from being the oldest in primary school to being the youngest in the secondary! Children also fear bullying and peer pressure.
It is a duty of every parent to find a school suitable for child’s needs. Open days and visits to schools are organised during which parents and children do not only inspect facilities and resources available but also have a feel of the prevailing atmosphere at the school. It is a proven fact that a Zimbabwean parent will choose a school where children are happy, polite and respectful, classrooms are safe and teachers are role models.
The key values of the workshops were Unity, Tolerance and Simplicity. The participants were encouraged to have positive expectations and make positive choices. The participatory and experiential workshops included questionnaires, quizzes, group work and drama skits. At the end of every workshop the children were asked to reflect on what they had learnt, experienced and felt. Further information on LVE was also made available for parents. Below are summaries of some of the workshops.
In the workshop “Who am I and what are my values?” participants performed a self-evaluation exercise, discussed their strong values and the values they needed to recognise in themselves and others.
In the “Successful Transition from Primary to Secondary School” workshop, participants discussed their concerns, fears and worries, as well as expectations. The concept, “How to create a values-based atmosphere in a classroom”, was presented and discussed.
In the “Peer Pressure” workshop, participants discovered that not all peer pressure is negative and that it is possible to choose friends who make positive impact on them and their personal development.
In the “Bullying” workshop, participants discussed a key to help children avoid bullying, that is, developing a strong sense of self, standing up for what is right and resolving conflicts peacefully.
After a successful series of workshops and positive evaluations from parents, it was decided to make these LVE workshops for Grade 7 students an annual event.
"Everybody looks up to a leader at one point in their lives. Whether the leader is for a game, a group or a company, it is important that the leader knows how to manage the task, lead by example and bring his team to victory. I am a 12-year-old Zimbabwean girl and in February 2014, I was privileged to be chosen as the headgirl of Dominical Convent Primary School in Harare, Zimbabwe. I felt very proud and excited, but I must say, it has been a challenging task: assign duties to prefects, attend lessons and participate in activities and functions – stress more than enough to drive anyone crazy. BUT… I have many things to keep me going – and they are … MY VALUES!
Values keep and guide me through tough times. My favourite values are kindness, consideration, truthfulness, fairness, humility and spirituality. At times, I absolutely don't know what to do, what decision to take, so I think what value can I apply to the situation that can influence my actions as a headgirl.
At the same time, when one is given an authority to lead the school, there is much respect given to her by the juniors. This is the situation that teaches me to be humble, caring and sweet to everyone. I do not take credit for the work that my team of prefects does. They work tirelessly to keep our school in balance.
As I continue my journey through headgirlship, I thank God for blessing me with VALUES!"
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