Living Values Education Newsletter
In This Issue – January 2016
Issue Number Forty-four
To Our Readers From ALIVE’s President

Welcome to the forty-fourth issue of Living Values e-News, the electronic newsletter of the Association for Living Values Education International.
News and Success Stories From Around the World

News and Success Stories
  • Australia:
    • LVE Distance Course – Part of Facilitator Training
  • Greece:
    • An Assessment of the Benefits of LVE for Kindergarteners on Skyros
  • Kuwait:
    • Educators Take Time Out for Themselves
  • Malaysia:
    • A Principal’s Commitment to Implementing LVE Creates Exemplary Schools
  • Maldives:
    • LVE Outreach with Students, Teachers, Parents and Policemen
  • Netherlands:
    • Peace Day 2015
    • Three More Schools to Implement LVE in The Hague
    • “ToGether” – A Creative Values-Based Integration Program Brings Dutch Children and Refugees Together
  • United Kingdom:
    • Values in the Classroom in Oxfordshire
  • Vietnam:
    • Drug Rehab Center Increases Recovery Rates with the Combination of LVE and the 12 Steps
    • Inspiring Workshops, and Special LVE Sessions with Orphans, Addicts and Parents
International Calendar of Upcoming Training and Events

View details of upcoming training events on our website

  • Greece:
    • Monthly Values Seminars
      October 2015 through August 2016 – Zante
  • Malaysia:
    • LVE Workshop
      27 and 28 February 2016 – Ipoh
  • Thailand:
    • LVE and Conflict Resolution
      May 2015 – March 2016 – Education Area 3
  • USA:
    • LVE Workshop for Educators, Counselors, and Parents
      14 – 17 July 2016 – Haines Falls, NY
  • USA:
    • Living Values Effective Parenting Workshops
      Last Thursday of every month – Miami, Florida
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From ALIVE’s President: A Welcoming Message
Dear ALIVE Colleagues,

As Living Values Education enters its 20th year, my heart is full of the wonder of this gift to our world that is brought to life through the dedication of our Focal Points, Associates, IAC members, Trainers, the Board and mainly, and most significantly, yourselves.

Living Values Education has grown with love from the heart and continues to do with such a spirit of altruistic volunteerism. Thank you to you all and may this year be a year of true celebration of the richness and diversity of our cultures and shared values.

Recently, I was touched to watch and listen to a boy who was walking with his mum out of a supermarket with a basket of food and some simple toys. It had been raining and a rainbow lit up the dark sky. What did he say that touched my heart? 'Mum', he said, 'can we go to the end of the rainbow to seek the treasure that is there?'

Living Values Education is like a rainbow of colours all leading to the treasure of shared values at the end of the rainbow. The colours come in many forms from every culture, belief system, tradition and wisdom across the world and bring hope to us all.

I, for one, am so indebted to being a part of Living Values Education and look forward to learning and sharing more with you all at the 20th Anniversary celebrations in November. I wonder what treasure will await us all?

With my very best wishes for a wonderful 20th Anniversary Year.

Peter Williams

ALIVE President

News and Success Stories from Around the World
Australia: LVE Distance Course – Part of Facilitator Training
australia@livingvalues.net

October / November 2015 Workshop Series  
Living Values Australia annually holds four 2- and ½-weekend group workshops for people interested in becoming Facilitators. Each workshop embraces three or four specific Values and explores a particular theme – Human Rights, Refugees, Relationships, etc., areas where Values play a dominate role. After attending two weekends, participants are offered the opportunity to continue to become facilitators, co-facilitating nominated activity modules ‘honing’ their skills at leading the group through the LVE experience. 

This month seven participants gathered at the home of the local Focal Points for LVE in Australia, Suzanne Stallard and Raj Miles, in Wondai, Queensland to finalize their training. Ms. Taka Gani, a lead LVE trainer from Indonesia, joined the group to undertake the completion two day TTT process. The certificate given endorsed the new facilitators to organize and deliver LVE workshops.

  

In the past, Australia’s LVE growth has been constrained by attendance time requirements and long distance travel cost which has prevented bringing people together for multiple LVE workshops. A new initiative has been recently trialed to combat these difficulties: the 12 week Distance Facilitator Program (DFT) comprises a Home Study program based on activities drawn from “Living Values Activities for Children 8-14”, “Living Values Activities for Young Adults” and a Facilitator training manual from “LVEP Educator Training Guide” and other international training organizations, and attendance at one practical facilitation five-day workshop which incorporates the basic TTT elements. The Living Values Activity Facilitator certification completes the Program.

In addition to working through the LVE activities relative to each Value, the real personal development comes from the experience of ‘living–in’ each Value for one week.  Participants who have been trialing the Program are discovering the requirement to embrace the Value daily helps them see their behavior and negative responses to circumstances in the moment and to correct themselves.  The three-month commitment is not necessarily easy as the Values bring up a lot of deeply emotional patterns. As one person wrote, “ I hate not being able to control something and in writing this I realise I can't control myself, this incessant want for food to fill me up to make me feel better, to stop feeling this uneasiness that is still rising in me. I can't continue in this way; something is bubbling and going to burst, not sure if it will be my heart. The growing sensation seems so loud I will burst through all the resistance I have been feeling to completely change my life. I want to break through the crap.”

Participants in DFT are required to document their weekly ‘lived-in’ Values experience and submit together with their Journal notes on their chosen LVE Activities.

A second initiative in response to several requests from people around the country, untrained in Living Values Education but who want to explore Living Values in a casual shared community environment, the Focal Points developed a 12 week Study Group program. This Program provides all the guidelines for the successful running of a Study Group, the delivering of the Values activities and sharing of the group’s ‘living-in’ values aspect. No formal reporting is required. A newsletter is envisaged to bring groups together to share experiences.

The third initiative is a combination of the first and second Programs whereby the Study Group package is offered to people with common interests, e.g., working in social welfare organizations, with the full reporting requirements of the DFT. The Focal Point for LVE provides the group with their practical workshop experience and certification at the Study Group location anywhere in Australia.

If any ALIVE Associate or Focal Point for LVE is interested in reviewing these Programs for possible application in their country, they are invited to contact raj@livingvalues.com.au.

Suzanne Stallard and Raj Miles

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Greece: An Assessment of the Benefits of LVE for Kindergarteners on Skyros
greece@livingvalues.net

“The LVE programme inspired us as teachers to choose our personal, social, moral and spiritual values and to learn how to develop them practically,” reported Sofia Livaditi, an educator who teaches kindergarten on the island of Skyros. “It also helped us approach education as a way of offering students a philosophy of life which enhances their general development, education and choices so that they will enter the community with respect, self-confidence and a sense of purpose. The programme ran from October 2014 to the end of the school year in June 2015.

We believe that our values programme helped children develop basic skills such as the ability to communicate effectively and to think with creativity and discernment. It also contributed to their sense of personal identity and autonomy as well as to their acquisition of social skills.

We also feel that we helped the children develop metacognitive strategies by announcing their conclusions to the team, telling the stories behind their paintings, expressing the difficulties they had faced in certain activities, asking questions and through self-evaluation.

The children's communicative skills grew through the sharing of their thoughts, emotions and ideas, discussions with the whole class, theatre, painting and team work. They explored imaginative worlds by acting in plays, inventing symbols and writing messages in the videos that we created of their work. Their thinking processes were enhanced through speaking, writing, painting, movement and theatre.

During our discussions, we used a number of different open questions which required different answers. Thus by sharing their attitudes and thoughts with other children, they understood that these thoughts were meaningful. Together, they constructed collective meaning in team discussions.”

Cooperation with parents
“We asked the parents for their cooperation and they responded well. Some helped to transform the school playground. Others painted beautiful pictures on the walls and paved the front part. They made videos of our school celebrations, helped each other and exchanged material. They worked with us to decorate our classrooms. They created their own website where they exchanged opinions and ideas, often posting activities from a list of games provided by the school.

Parents also contributed to school charities by collecting clothes, food for orphanages and plastic taps for the Rhodes Red Cross. Driving the children to school also became easier, thanks to our values programme, when we talked about this in the unit on responsibility.”
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Kuwait: Educators Take Time Out for Themselves
kuwait@livingvalues.net

In December,33 participants from schools across Kuwait gave up their Saturday to attend a seminar on Living Values Education. We shared many practicalities that can be used in the everyday classroom – yet one activity stood out. It was Peace Time – Time for Me – a time to stop during the day to be quiet, to reflect and to be still. We discovered that what the students needed to help create a positive learning environment, we, as educators need too!

How was this achieved? We switched the lights off and everyone was invited to close their eyes. A guided commentary by way of a story, first for the ears of children accompanied by very soft music, was led by Dina Eidan, followed by a ‘personal reflection’ guided commentary on the qualities of an educator from Ioanna Vasileiadou for the educators. Silence and stillness filled the room. No-one wanted to leave the moment with educators feeling loved, valued, respected, understood and safe.

How often do we, as educators, take ‘Time Out for ourselves?’ to live the very moments we seek to bring to our students?

As an outcome of the day, the introduction of Peace Time and ‘Stilling’ activities in the everyday classroom is continuing to grow in this turbulent, yet hopeful part of the world, helping to uplift the hearts, minds and spirit of children of all ages – including ourselves.

Peter Williams

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Malaysia: A Principal’s Commitment to
Implementing LVE Creates Exemplary Schools
malaysia@livingvalues.net

Shahida Abdul-Samad, the Focal Point for LVE in Malaysia recently wrote about an educator’s reaction to an LVE workshop Shahida and Diane Tillman conducted 15 years ago. Shahida wrote: “I remember vividly Rahimah’s comments after the LVE training ended. She said, ‘Shahida, I promise you I will try and implement what I have learnt from you and Diane and see if it works.  I will do that. If I see results, I will let you know. That’s my commitment to you.’ Every school Rahimah Sura headed she implemented LVE school wide. From inner city schools with major disciplinary problems, to rural schools with drug addiction problems, to the best boarding schools with teachers challenging her positive teaching strategies, she was able in every instance to turnaround each and every school to become the best schools in Malaysia attaining national awards. Children who were drug abusers became actively involved in drama and dance and won competitions locally and nationwide. Teenagers who used to destroy toilets and common facilities changed over a new leaf and took responsibility for the cleanliness of their toilets. They took pride in what they did.  Destruction and vandalism dwindled down to zero.

Today these schools are the Exemplary schools. They are rated highest amongst school rankings. From being in the worst band, they moved to the highest band, i.e., from D to A.  Not only did this positive environment impact the school and its inhabitants, the positive energy overflowed to their homes and communities, bringing parents, community leaders together – all lending their support to further Rahimah’s effort in the ‘magic’ she created.  It wasn’t easy for her in the beginning. As usual there was resistance to change. She persisted in the belief that this was the way forward – to bring about change using LVE’s Theoretical Model as her compass.

The use of canes was thrown out; students were given the freedom to move from classroom to classroom without being monitored; teachers who refused to follow the LVE approach were counseled and encouraged to use the techniques and activities from the LVE activity books.

With Rahimah’s skill set and experience in implementing LVE through PBB, values activities and setting clear guidelines that everyone adhered to, the teachers’ hearts and minds began to change. Rahimah once again proved that LVE wasn’t just magic or something that happened by chance, it was actually a systematic and well-designed program that brings out the best that is in all of us – our innate values. Rahimah went on to be honored and recognized by the Ministry of Education and was awarded the highest award a civil servant can achieve due to her untiring efforts to bring about positive change through LVE.”

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Maldives: LVE Outreach with Students, Teachers, Parents and Policemen
ngo.handinhand@gmail.com

“We recently covered four island communities of one of the largest atolls in Maldives,” reported Aminath Ismail, the Director of the ALIVE Associate in the Maldives, HandinHand. “I was fortunate enough to go by myself and deliver most of the sessions to parents and students plus teachers. We were able to do LVE orientation sessions and six core values for students between 8 and 15 years of age in separate groups, their teachers and parents. I would say they all fell in love with the program. Some of these sessions were also conducted by the educators trained by our NGO. The policemen involved are from the Crime Prevention Unit of Maldives. It was lovely to see how much they have accepted LVE as part of their outreach program.”

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Netherlands
netherlands@livingvalues.net

Peace Day 2015

“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!”

  
  

Three More Schools to Implement LVE in The Hague

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:

  • One: What could help us bring the values of school and home in alignment with each other?
  • Two: How can we empower our values so that we are still conscious and express our values even in an environment that is not familiar to us?

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

“ToGether” – A Creative Values-Based Integration Program Brings Dutch Children and Refugees Together

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.

Goals -

  • To learn about each other's world, to experience joy in connecting with children from another culture and to learn to cooperate with them;
  • To empower their self-esteem when dealing with children from a very different background;
  • To make a 'ToGether CD' with new songs in Dutch about values, sung by the children themselves.

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.

  

Results -

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.

Challenges -

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:
  • "I know now that there is no need to become angry if I want something else. I know now that I can just say it."
  • "I had an idea and another child thought it was good!"
  • "I made a drawing and Isabelle (of other group) said it was beautiful!"
  • "I feel surer of myself."
  • "There was no space for me left to write my name on the painting we were making together. Someone (of other group) showed me where I still could draw my name on the painting. That for me was the happiest moment of the whole project."
  • "I experienced cooperation when we were making friendship bracelets. I did not know how it worked. One girl (of other group) simply explained me how to do it."
  • "When you have contact with children from other cultures you can learn much more." One child was asked, "How do you notice that your self confidence has grown by making things? "I am proud of myself now!" The mother of one girl told us that after school her daughter used to hang around the schoolyard. But now she was hurrying home every day to bag embroider (an activity she learned during the project); she embroidered 'cool girl'.
  • It was the first time she thought about herself as a 'cool girl'. Some children from Utrecht (the immigrant and refugee children) felt a little difficulty about the fact that the children from the Hague were 'nothing', that is, not Muslim. After the project this was not important to them any more. They voiced, 'The most important is that they are nice'.

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…"

Conclusion -

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

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United Kingdom: Values in the Classroom in Oxfordshire

uk@livingvalues.net

The Living Values Association for the British Isles held a conference from 18 to 20 October 2015 on the subject of Values in the classroom in Oxfordshire. They reported: “We had workshops on the values of peace and responsibility, and two main speakers, Alison Clark and Neil Balliston.

Alison recently completed a doctoral study of a values-based school, focusing on how teachers engaged with and implemented the school’s expressed values. A classroom teacher for 27 years and in higher education for 6 years, Alison’s experience with values and ethos began in earnest in the 1990s at Bartholomew School in Oxfordshire, where the teachers brought values to the forefront of the teacher and pupil experience, creating new relationships and ways of working together. Also drawing on her recent role in training primary and secondary school teachers, Alison reflected on how a focus on values provides purpose and meaning for what it is to be a teacher. Alison currently supports schools with their values journey, offering training on global learning, and is a school governor.

As head teacher of a values-based school, Neil placed a huge emphasis on children and staff developing an ethical vocabulary that encouraged team work and mutual respect. He now develops and supports many schools across England in their pursuit to become values based. He also works for Create Development and delivers training for schools in real PE and supports the development of PE Leaders and staff.”

Lynn Henshall

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Vietnam
vietnam@livingvalues.net

Drug Rehab Center Increases Recovery Rates
with the Combination of LVE and the 12 Steps

Visitors to Binh Minh Village Drug Rehab Center in HCMC are amazed to see patients reading in a relaxed manner and walking around with smiles on their faces. They feel the secret lies in the Living Values Education program which has been applied at PLV since 2006. Binh Minh Village’s English name is Peace and Light Village, or as they also call it, People and Living Values (PLV).

PLV is a private rehab center established in May 15, 2002. Using education as the key approach, the management here considers 80% of the success of the treatment process to be due to “mental therapy”. Based on the results achieved since its inception, PLV now applies two education programs simultaneously to change the behavior of drug addicts: the 12-step program and the Living Values Education’s program for drug rehabilitation. They have observed that these two programs together produce the best rehabilitation effect for even long-time drug users, especially during the two final stages of the rehab process: building a new life style, new behaviors, and helping peers. The LVE program has very practical skills which can be applied in reality.

The founders of PLV had attended LVE workshops conducted by Trish Summerfield since 2000. At that time, they found LVE a simple but scientific, highly educative method, which could fit quite well with Vietnamese culture, especially for drug addicts. “Living Values Activities for Drug Rehabilitation” was created in 2005. They began implementing it in 2006. By the end of 2008, the positive results had won their hearts and infused them with inspiration. They then assigned a board member to focus on LVE to become PLV’s trainer of LVE.

By the end of 2015, PLV has 50 patients who achieved long-term recovery, ten times the number of 2008. All of PLV’s working staff, from the managerial level to cooks, security personnel and cleaners … attended LVE workshops. There are no longer watching cameras or electric shock sticks, often seen in other rehab centers. PLV maintains a friendly and cooperative atmosphere amongst its staff and patients.

Below is the story of one of PLV’s former patients.

Luc Thanh Tam, 32 years old
“I started to use drugs at the age of 14, when I was in 8th grade, with my friends in the neighborhood. At the beginning, only certain sleeping pills gave me feelings of light and joy. Sometimes I slept for a few days, forgetting any problems with my family or studies. I come from a poor family. Similar to many other poor families, my parents work hard to earn some money so most of the time they let us the kids play around. In 1998, I left school and moved from smoking to injecting. To get enough money for drugs, I robbed bracelets of small pupils on bicycles, and did other bad things. I was in jail several times. In 2000, when I was 17 years old, my family took me to a drug rehab center for two months. After getting out I relapsed, went to jail, then used drugs again. I spent time at many drug rehab centers, at least six of them.

My life had slipped up and was at worst. All I had in me was bad habits and tricks, totally negative aspects of life. I felt no more interest in life. I felt desperate, lonely and felt I would not be able to find a way to get out of it until my death. I did not care for myself and ignored any advice, and the sorrow of my dear and near ones. My parents found it impossible to take care of me any longer. In 2002, I was forced to enter and stay at Duc Hanh rehab center for four years, until 2006. At that time I had been diagnosed with HIV for two months. I was seriously weak, so weak I could not take drugs. I understood that drugs would soon bring me to death, but I could not escape the desire. I felt it was my destiny. When I almost collapsed, my family brought me to Binh Minh Village (PLV). It was at the end of 2006.

To stay at PLV for a temporary recovery so that I could use drugs again was my thought. I was required to attend several courses there but didn’t think it would work. While I participated in classes, I also tried to take drugs.  I was caught and disciplined by PLV’s management, and came in and out of the center more than 10 times. I was on the list of badly behaved patients.

In December 2008, I seriously violated PLV’s regulation by fighting. The management decided to send me back to my family. My father was so angry that he decided to send me to the government’s compulsory rehab Camp which is in a remote location where one is subjected to harsh conditions in the wilderness. That terrified me, so I begged my Dad and PLV’s management to give me one last chance.

I started to really study the 12-step program and the Living Values Education program. This program is quite different from other programs that I studied before. I gradually absorbed it, understood my real inner self and my thinking.  My life style and my behaviours started to change. From the lessons, I practiced three values in my daily life, which are Honesty, Dedication, and Humility.

I need to be honest with myself and with others so that I can receive help whenever I get into trouble. Without honesty, no real recovery can be started. I became dedicated to learning and applying what I learned with lightness and in a simple way. I now humbly listen and learn from others and my peers, how they overcame bad habits, how to receive help and was able to receive criticism from others to keep myself sober.

After 8 months of hard effort, I made progress in maintaining sobriety and passed two test periods. I was chosen for further trainings and practice to become a counselor, facilitating the 12-step program and the LVE for new patients, with my enthusiasm and friendliness. 

So far I have maintained sobriety for seven years. My health has recovered. HIV no more haunts me. It still exists, but it stays at its best level and I feel healthy now. I come to class every day to help my friends, play ping pong, volleyball, aerobics, and listen to music and watch movies during entertainment time. Every week I join discussions on different topics, evaluate the study results of patients, and draw conclusions to improve PLV’s performance. Sometimes I also drive a truck to deliver meals to PLV’s another site when the center’s driver is busy. In general, I have many things to do. I am living light for myself and for others. I see myself as a useful person and feel good about what I am doing. Especially my parents are very happy seeing me become like this. I never thought I could become like the me of today.

I can see that beside the valuable support I received from many people, my determination plays a very important role. It awoke at an appropriate time. I am so thankful to my parents, who have tried hard until the last moment, when I was at the final line. I am so thankful to all the staff at PLV, since the day I started to here. I am so thankful to Doctor Bob Smith and Mr. Wilson, who created the 12-step program. I also want to send great thanks to the Living Values Education program and to the trainers and facilitators who brought the program to PLV and served us with selflessness. And my final thanks to the key personnel of PLV.

There is still one thing I do not want to keep inside. My younger sister, Luc Y Binh became an addict when she was 14 years old because of me. She spent time at several drug rehab centers and also followed me to PLV. She has put so much effort to study. She overcame the test periods and has become a counselor for the female addicts for two years. I feel lighter as I have partially compensated for the mistake I made.
What I wrote here is all true.

I still consider myself in rehabilitation and have to keep strictly to the principles of the 12-step program as well as nurture the values inside me. Attending regular N.A. group meetings is a task I am not allowed to neglect.”

Bich Ha Nguyen

Inspiring Workshops, and Special LVE Sessions with Orphans, Addicts and Parents

January 7 – 10, 2016
A four-day Living values TOF workshop took place at Kids’Smile Kindergarten school in Vinh City, Nghe, a province in the northern region of central Vietnam, was led by two trainers, Bich Ha and Thu Van. All of the school’s members, including the Chairman, two Board members, the school’s Headmaster, teachers, nurses, and cook attended. Kids’Smile is a newly set up kindergarten and plans to recruit students from mid-February 2016. Mr. Trinh Trong Duong, KidsSmile’s Chairman, shared that he had been searching and studying many education methods for kids from different countries but was not satisfied until the day he saw the Living Values Education books in a book store. He believes that LVE is the right approach, and fits well with the culture of Vietnam. He committed to bring the values into all aspects of his school and also set a vision to expand Kids’Smile network, along with LVE, to all five provinces in the northern region of central Vietnam.

  

Living Values Facilitators’ group meeting on December 5, 2015
This meeting was the third facilitators’ meeting in 2015 and the fifth one since LVRC’s inception, with the participation of 15 facilitators, educators from three schools, one drug rehab center, and one volunteer group. Inspired by Trish Summerfield’s sharing about the letter she sent to her father three months before he passed away, each participant wrote a letter for a person he or she chose. Mr. Hiep, a veteran teacher, said that he was very moved while writing his first letter ever to his son who studies abroad. Participants were then divided into smaller groups to share and exchange their experiences with the values, their success stories during 2015, and their plans for next year. The meeting continued with Pham Thi Sen, LVRC’s director, who led all participants to visualize a visit to their old age, then return and plant their own values tree. We ended singing together a song about the meaning of living life.  Everyone felt so light and inspired, getting closer after the meeting. Ngan Pham, a teacher at Vietnam Australia International School, shared that every time she attended a Facilitators’ group meeting, she felt as if her mind was fully charged by the atmosphere, the trainers and the volunteers at LVRC, as well as by peer educators from other schools. Thanks to that she feels that she has become a charger for her family, friends and colleagues. They recharge with her and enjoy more happiness and enthusiasm for life.

November 23-26, 2015
A four-day LVE workshop was held in Ben Tre province in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam by two trainers, Pham Thi Sen and Lai Van Anh. 150 sisters from Cai Mon Lovers of the Cross Congregation in Ben Tre and in other nearby provinces participated.

  

November 28, 2015
A second workshop in 2015 for parents was conducted by Pham Thi Sen, LVRC’s director at Tan Phu center, HCMC. A total of 116 parents participated and gave positive feedback about the program. Some of the feedback:

Ms. Truong Thi Minh Ngoc (from Saigon Times Magazine)
I like the four roles in one: being a mother, a teacher, a friend, and a leader to help my children develop physically and mentally, give them orientation, share with them and motivate them so that they can recognize their strengths and passion. I need to apply the core values more regularly to bring peace and sustain it for my family and for myself. I am ready to practice all I have learned to improve myself so that my children and I can have a better, happy, and peaceful life.

Mr. Nguyen Tien Dung (with one daughter and one son)
The knowledge I have learned from this course is so helpful. It is knowledge which other persons might not have a chance to learn in their entire lives. I can recognize the mistakes I made with my children and from now I will listen to them, understand, share, and give them direction towards the values so that they can become valuable citizens.       

Ms. Pham Tran Thanh Nhi (an IT engineer, with 2 kids)
What I like most is about building the values as the solid foundation for our children’s development, rather than focusing on the upper part which are the skills. The content would be more interesting if we have more real life examples about children’s behaviours.

Mr. Ho Cong Huan (Project Manager, with 2 kids)
I like the sharing part about parents’ experience and problem solving. I want to introduce this workshop to parents so that they can attend. The earlier the better. It would be better for those who will soon become parents, or who have kids at kindergarten level.

September 16, 2015: Exhibition at HCMC Women Union House
LVRC had a booth at the “Women and Creativity” exhibition at HCMC Women Union House under the theme: “A peaceful space for women to nurture positivity and creativity”. Three hundred representatives from different women organizations in Ho Chi Minh city visited this booth and had chance to listen to the introduction about LVE and LVRC activities, and receive free value cards.

August 05 – 09, 2015: Living Values TOF workshop at Le Loi highschool in Ha Giang, a mountainous province in the north of Vietnam
The workshop took place during a tropical cyclone and was one of the longest distances that a Living Value Trainer had traveled. Trainer Bao Chau brought smiles in the faces of 30 teachers in heavy rain and cloudy days in Ha Giang. Nguyen Thi Thu Giang, one of the participants, said: “I recognize that I became lighter and less worried. I can be me and feel that I need to change my thinking, to think, talk, and do according to the values in the relationships with my family, friends, and colleagues. I feel more love toward this life…”

  

June 30 – August 05, 2015: Living Values came to orphans at the Humanity Center, HCMC

Forty children at Humanity Center in District 3, HCMC, took Living Values Education classes with a variety of activities such as rainbow making, peace painting, art performing, relaxation exercises and watching video clips. The facilitators were Tra Giang and Phuong Trinh from LVRC. Thanh Phuong, grade fifth said: “I am very happy as I have learned good things: love, unity, patience, and respect. I find myself having good qualities of love and helping others.” Another child named Ngoc Bich shared: “Since my studying Living Values, I feel that we should not hate or envy to each other, but should love, share, and be in unity with everyone.”

  

February 10 – August 04, 2015: Living Values Education courses for 20 Addicts at Binh Minh Village Drug Rehab Center
The participants practiced relaxation exercises, which they found quite useful. They felt lighter during the visualizations led by the facilitators. One participant, who kept silent most of the time of the course, approached the facilitators on the last day and said: “I am so thankful to this program. I normally don’t talk much and I don’t know how to speak about my feelings but I am very happy that I took this course and now I have stronger determination to start a new life.”

July 21- 24, 2015
A four-day LVE TOF training workshop for 38 teachers at Olympia school in Ha noi, was led by Trish Summerfield.

June 19 – 27, 2015
A four-day LVE TOF training workshop for 30 teachers and staff at the Laurence Ting International School in HCMC, was led by Bich Ha.

  

Jan 18, 2015
Sixty 60 high school students who received a Nguyen Thai Binh scholarship experienced Living Values activities, facilitated by Lai Van Anh in Thu Duc District, HCMC.

  

Living Values Café – A program held regularly for the public at LVRC’s Binh Trieu and Tan Phu Centers
This program is facilitated by a team of LVRC’s young volunteers on different topics, such as Cooperation from the Heart, the Secrets of Cooperation, Green Values for the Nature, Real Happiness, Get Happiness Back, Yes I Can, etc. In 2015, the team facilitated six Cafés, with the participation of 125 people, from 18 to 50 years of age.

Bich Ha Nguyen

  
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