Living Values Education Newsletter
In This Issue – May 2016
Issue Number Fifty-five
To Our Readers From ALIVE’s President

Welcome to the fifty-fifth 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
  • El Salvador:
    • Values Help Us Move Toward Harmony and Integration
  • Ghana:
    • Love, unity, determination and cooperation help an LVE school clean up after a flood!
  • Greece:
    • New LVE Activities with Kindergarteners
  • Guinea Conakry:
    • Two Steps Forward
  • Malaysia:
    • Life Is Beautiful
  • Seychelles:
    • LVE in Schools, the National Media, the Corporate World and Government Ministries
  • Togo:
    • Values-based Education Now in Every School
  • USA:
    • Awakening the Spirit of Humanity in Youth in Pittsburg
  • Zimbabwe:
    • 25 May Movement
International Calendar of Upcoming Training and Events

View details of upcoming training events on our website

  • Greece:
    • Monthly Values Seminars DATE, CITY
      October 2015 through August 2016 – Zante
  • Thailand:
    • LVE for Life-Long Learning
      11 – 13 May 2016 – Chiang Mail
  • United Kingdom:
    • LVE Seminar
      7 – 9 October 2016 – Oxfordshire
  • USA:
    • LVE Workshop for Educators, Counselors, and Parents
      15 – 17 July 2016 – Haines Falls, NY
    • LVE Weekend Workshop for Educators, Youth Facilitators and Parents
      23 – 25 September 2016 – Novato, CA
    • Living Values Effective Parenting Workshops
      Last Thursday of every month – Miami, Florida
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From ALIVE’s President: Buckets of Peace and Hope
Dear ALIVE Colleagues,

Imagine carrying buckets of peace and hope around with you and giving them away. That’s what students, educators and friends of Living Values Education do every day with love, kindness, compassion and an ever warm smile.

When a 12-year old Athenian boy spoke passionately and eloquently with the refugees in his homeland as he welcomed them to his school, seeking to learn with them and sincerely wishing to help from his heart – the living hearts of all those who heard his words resonated to the possibility of what may be and witnessed the reality as ‘youth across the divide’ did indeed come together and grow as one.

The inspiration of his bucket of peace and hope, full of magnanimity towards others with compassion and a feeling being loved, valued, respected, understood and safe with a creative and courageous spirit, was echoed in the words of a young mother thousands of miles away who was yearning to help heal a world aflame with anger and peace-less-ness in the Middle East. She said: ‘You can just stand by and watch or is each one of us going to carry a bucket of peace and hope, no matter how small, and proceed with putting out the fire as best as we can?’

Her sentiments were echoed by a bright eyed 18 year old young lady who shared: ‘Stay positive, constantly look for a silver lining. Forgive those grudges from the past and help society to thrive and return to its former glory instead of complaining. Inspire others by your example’.

Living Values Education is a true gift with a bucketful of goodness that we all possess in our hearts to give away each day with a warm smile to help brighten and inspire the lives of all those around us.

Our youth are a treasure house of possibility and inspire us all by their altruistic example as witnessed above by their overflowing buckets of peace and hope – however big or small.

Enjoy continuing to give your buckets of peace and hope away. Our world needs them more than ever.

Together, we can make an ocean.

With appreciation

Peter Williams

ALIVE President

News and Success Stories from Around the World
El Salvador: Values Help Us Move
Toward Harmony and Integration

LVE workshops in El Salvador continue within the Program School for Parents with the School Berta Meneses, and with the Community "13 January". We worked with Respect with the objective of ensuring that it is practiced in the home, between the members of the community, and toward nature, understanding the importance of preserving the environment. About 30 parents attended, and teachers were involved in sharing and learning. Another workshop involved two practices, icebreakers and then making drawings about values in small groups, indicating which values were important to them. People were joyful at being “known”. We continue to work with values, knowing that as members of the community learn more, the objective of harmony and integration will be achieved.

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Ghana: Love, unity, determination and cooperation
help an LVE school clean up after a flood!

Laila's children“My name is Lila Macqueen Djaba, an LVE participant and trainer here in Ghana, in West Africa. I run a school for the less privileged in my society for less than than $4 a term. I have been doing this for 11 years. The only help we get is from generous friends who come to assist us. 

I came into contact with Living Values Education some years ago when there was a workshop in Ghana. It was the first time I have actually seen people from different backgrounds come together in unity to learn together and also have fun. It was both children and adults. We learnt so much in our LVE training sessions; it built so much love in me. It has helped me in my work as a social worker and in running my foundation.

Yesterday, we had a flood at the school and love, unity, determination and co-operation won with us working together as a family to clean up and have everything done. I would have been panicked and wouldn't know what to do. 

Thanks so much to Living Values Education training and all its trainers who travelled all the way to this country to help us.”

children and teachers at Laila's school clearing up after the rain  
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Greece: New LVE Activities with Kindergarteners

Anda Katsaitoy, a kindergarten teacher on the island of Zante, shared some of the LVE Activities they have been doing in the last few months. Many of the activities are from the “Living Values Activities for Children Ages 3 to 7” book, while others are creative and cultural additions. You may wish to add some of Anda’s ideas to your program! They are listed on Greece’s Country Report page on the LVE international website. 

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Guinea Conakry: Two Steps Forward

Club Avenir des Enfants de Guinee has an ambitious proposal to establish and/or support ongoing community schools throughout Guinea, where LVE would be integrated in the teacher training and curriculum. As Abdel Yombouno, the President of this ALIVE Associate, noted, “The country's instability, lack of political will, financial and logistical resources and reliable communication are challenges. He and the LVE team are proceeding with workshops for colleagues, and strategies to involve partners. They wish to begin by creating a local school for early learning in Forécariah, 100 km from the capital. They have submitted LVE manuals to National Education which are adapting to the Guinean realities. These have been approved by National Education. Abdel and his colleagues are very committed to positively affecting young people and adults.

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Malaysia: Life Is Beautiful

The following story of an educator’s personal and professional growth after encountering LVE was shared by Shahida Abdul-Samad, the Focal Point for LVE in Malaysia. The educator, Mrs. Sa’amah, related her story: “Thanks to Allah, I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Values Education Course organized by the International Institute IQRA with the Department of National Unity and National Integration for Main Coaches. I gained a lot of knowledge during my participation in these courses. Before this, I felt myself to be just an ordinary person who did not have any privileges. I always blamed myself for what happened, even though there were times when things that happened were not because of me. I had no confidence, and I did not know what the goal was in my life.

Endowed with two special children made me feel more depressed and frustrated. I always said to myself, what and why. I once said to my mother, ‘Why is it like this?’ My mother said, ‘God will not test one of his servants for no reason. God cares for you and perhaps it is because you have a high level of patience that is not had by others.’ While I accepted what my mother said, I still blamed myself.

The same went for my career. Over the years I felt less appreciated because my career is that of a kindergarten teacher. I felt I failed in my studies when my friends were successful in getting higher positions. I felt pressured and disappointed. It was easy to feel angry, and I expressed my anger, sadness and frustration with my children and husband.

But, with the blessing of Allah, I was able to participate in the Living Values Education Course. This is where I came to know who I am. It brought to my awareness the beauty of life. There I learned about the twelve universal values, of peace, cooperation, responsibility, simplicity, freedom, tolerance, honesty, humility, happiness, love, unity and respect. I also learned a wide range of activities such as pure recall, imagining, quietening the self, painting, personal development activities and enhanced skills for social integration. This was the start of the peace I was looking for.

I was scared and excited when an educational officer asked me to organize educational workshops for teachers in each district in the state of Johor. Thanks to Allah, I was successful in implementing the program and the feedback I received was quite impressive. They said values education should be improved, especially today when values are increasingly disappearing.

My children, husband and family members also said that I am no longer the mother they knew. My students are now always saying, ‘I love my teacher.’ Every day they would hug me and some said, “Can you tell my mother to hug and love me like teachers do?” I was overwhelmed with happiness.

On this day, I feel life is very beautiful. I now realize and understand my responsibility as a human being, as a child, as a wife, as a mother, as a teacher and also as a citizen of Malaysia.
Thanks go to Mrs. Shahida, En. James Wong and the International Institute of Iqra.”

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Seychelles: LVE in Schools, the National Media,
the Corporate World and Government Ministries

Living Values Education in the Seychelles continues to be very active. For the past eight years, under the direction of the ALIVE Associate, a campaign that focuses on one of the core values has been selected. This has ranged from gratitude, respect, kindness and happiness in the recent past. 

These campaigns are launched in a chosen school by the Minister for Education at the start of the school year and other schools then promote the value throughout the year.  The campaigns are supported by the National media, through radio and television. A whole school approach is advocated and several training sessions have been held with the school community and parents. The feedback is very positive and the Living Values Education family keeps growing.  

We have extended the values work to the corporate world and government ministries. 
In 2015, we conducted a Train the Trainers marathon with a group of 66 Child Protection workers from the Ministries of Education, Health, Social Services and the Seychelles Police. Living Values featured high on the training agenda. 

Promoting the values programme brings great gratification to the trainers and the appreciation is remarkable.

“Both my personal and professional life have changed remarkably. I am more at peace with myself and as a result my home is a more peaceful and happier place to be.” ~ A parent 

“We are eager and looking forward to promoting values in our work place to enhance relationship and unity amongst colleague.’’ ~ Child Protection Trainer

“I would like to thank you for the enlightment of my staff through the values workshops. Everyone is feeling very positive and we have noticed the togetherness in the May Day activities organised on Friday, 1st May 2016,’’ ~ Governor of Central Bank Seychelles 
In these past years, I have been unable to attend international events, but we have been closely following the development and eagerly await the programme of events for the LVE 20th anniversary celebration.

Ruby Pardiwalla
Director, National Children’s Council
ALIVE Associate for the Seychelles

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Togo: Values-based Education Now in Every School

In 2014, LVE Togo successfully submitted a project proposal in response to a national appeal for projects by le Projet d’Appui à la Société Civile et à la Réconciliation Nationale (PASCRENA) – a programme coordinated in Togo by the European Commission. The objective of this four-year national programme is to promote civil society participation in the process of development, democratisation, and national reconciliation.

During 2015, the LVE Togo team, financed by PASCRENA, trained a large number of teachers and inspectors from schools throughout the five regions of Togo in values based education using LVE methodology. As a result, LVE Togo succeeded in convincing the Government of Togo that Civil and Moral Education should be taught in every school as a compulsory subject. Now, in 2016, every school implements values-based education through its Civil and Moral Education programme.


A little anecdote: At one school in the north of Togo there was a mathematics teacher and school principal who did not get along well and had not spoken to each other for a number of years. They were put together for an LVE activity on active listening. Somehow the ice was broken, they reconciled with each other, and now their relationship is fine again!


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USA: Awakening the Spirit of Humanity with Youth in Pittsburg

“LVE is an amazing resource! I especially like that LVE is a global initiative aimed at waking up the spirit of humanity in our youth,” wrote Susan Erson, a teacher in Pittsburg. She continued, “Two summers ago I was on a journey to learn all I could about Ubuntu and along the way I came across LVE. This is our second year using LVE activities at our school.  We use LVE to promote the value of the month during classroom morning meetings. Introducing values education to our urban school community has had a positive impact on our school culture.   

During our first year doing LVE our principal was enthusiastic about LVE and gave classroom teachers support and encouragement. Every teacher in our building has a copy of LVE Activities for their grade level. We continue to have 10 bulletins boards around the building that promote the value for the month. The gifted teacher at our school, Kelly Britcher, is a talented artist and creates posters for each value and maintains our values bulletin boards.

The high staff turnover makes it difficult to grow programs. We continue to have a monthly value. However, not all of the teachers are using the LVE resource with fidelity. Recently, I have been trying to think of ways to promote the value of each month with school wide student activities found in LVE. 

For example, this month our value is FREEDOM. 
LVE Ages 8 – 14: Students will complete Freedom Lesson 3, page 230.
School wide activity: School Freedom Quilt

Students will be given a 4x4 inch piece of brightly colored paper (quilt patch).
On 4x4 patch students will write, "I feel lucky I have freedom to _____.
They may include a visual representation on patch.
Patches will be tied together with yarn to create a quilt that will be displayed in hallway.
School wide Assembly: At our Black History Month Assembly, two students from each classroom will read their Freedom square.

My goal is to create a meaningful experience for our entire student body each month based on the value of the month using LVE as a resource guide.  

Thank you for creating such a valuable resource for students around the globe.”  

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Zimbabwe: 25 May Movement

The 25 May Movement is a campaign that started early this year, inspired by the growing negativity and hopelessness of Africans, and more specifically, Zimbabweans. It was the brainchild of a seventeen-year old Tanatsei Gambura, one of the contributing artists in the poetry anthology "Fresh Ink", who saw the need to highlight just a few of the things that make being African such a fulfilling gift.  The idea is to remind people that although things are tough, and for many Africans even waking up is a struggle, things won't change until our mindset changes. There is more to being African than the western stereotypes and overrated names. There is more to being African than what we are told.

The movement is the effort of fifteen girls who are planning on sharing a smile and a few words with fellow Africans in Harare in order to change outlooks and mindsets. The group is also set to release a spoken word video on Africa Day of a thought-provoking poem entitled "We Are Africans", written by Tanatsei and filmed by One Point Eight Pictures. In collaboration with Star FM, the team is set to share a message about Africa throughout the week on radio.

The movement is planned to spread to social media, with the hashtag #25maymovement and pictures of the girl's outdoor campaign. Catch the movement, join the campaign and celebrate Africa!

Natasha Ncube
Focal Point for LVE in Zimbabwe

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