History of Living Values Education

Living Values Education was initially developed by educators for educators in consultation with the Education Cluster of UNICEF, New York, and the Brahma Kumaris. This came to pass as Cyril Dalais, a Senior Advisor with the Early Childhood Development Program Division at UNICEF, read the "Sharing Values for a Better World: Classroom Curriculum" chapter written by Diane Tillman in Living Values: A Guidebook, a Brahma Kumaris publication. In June of 1996, he called the Brahma Kumaris to say, "The world needs more of this."

Feeling that children would benefit by values education and safe, nurturing quality learning environments, UNICEF and the Brahma Kumaris invited 20 educators from five continents to meet at UNICEF Headquarters in New York in August of 1996.

The group discussed the needs of children around the world, their experiences of working with values, and how educators can integrate values to better prepare students for lifelong learning. Using the values concepts and reflective processes within Living Values: A Guidebook as a source of inspiration, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child as a framework, the global educators identified and agreed upon the purpose and aims of values-based education worldwide - in both developed and developing countries.

The team of 20 professional educators from around the world agreed that they wanted the approach to be global, infused with respect for each person and culture. They worked cooperatively together to make sure the books had a variety of values activities from diverse cultures, religions and traditions.

Twenty-one years later, the directors and advisors of the Association for Living Values Education International (ALIVE) wish to offer their deep appreciation to the numerous organizations and individuals who have contributed to the development of Living Values Education, and who have implemented Living Values Education in countries around the world. Many dedicated Living Values Education coordinators, trainers, artists and even film makers around the world have served as volunteers. The approach, materials, training programs and projects continue to be developed as new requests for special needs populations are received, and as different countries well versed in the Living Values Education methodology create new materials for their context.

In the early stages of development of Living Values Education, the Brahma Kumaris contributed extensively. They helped edit the initial pilot materials and disseminated Living Values Education through their global network of centers and their relationships with educators. A peace organization deeply interested in values, the Brahma Kumaris continue to provide support or partnership when such is desired by a national Living Values Education group.

Other organizations which also supported Living Values Education in its beginning stages were the Educational Cluster of UNICEF (New York), UNESCO, the Planet Society, the Spanish Committee of UNICEF, the Mauritius Institute of Education and the regional UNESCO Office in Lebanon.

An Independent Organization

In 2004, Living Values Education created its own independent non-profit organization, the Association of Living Values Education International (ALIVE). ALIVE was formed with the aim to benefit more educators, children, young adults and communities through the involvement of a host of other organizations, agencies, governmental bodies, foundations, community groups and individuals. Living Values Education educators in some countries formed their own non-profit Living Values Education associations in order to become an ALIVE Associate while other NGOs became ALIVE Associates. ALIVE Associates and Focal Points for Living Values Education act as the lead for Living Values Education in their country and train educators in schools and agencies to implement Living Values Education. Examples of NGOs who became ALIVE Associate are: Club Avenir des Enfants de Guinée in Guinea Conakry, Yayasan Karuna Bali in Indonesia, Hand in Hand in the Maldives, and the National Children's Council in the Seychelles.

None of the above cooperation would have been possible without the dedication, work and love of the educators who believe in Values Education, the Living Values Education national teams around the world, the ALIVE Associates and Focal Points for Living Values Education, the Living Values Education trainers and volunteers, and those who serve on the ALIVE board and International Advisory Committee. We would like to thank each one of you for your work towards safe, healthy, caring, quality learning environments for children and a better world for all.