Allow me, on behalf of the ALIVE Board, to extend a very warm welcome to the 62nd Living Values Education Newsletter! I appreciate that it has been some time (and longer than usual) since our last newsletter and there is a lot to catch up on as we have been very busy in the past months. The big news is the launch of the completely re-designed andupdated Living Values Education website at livingvalues.net and if you haven’t yet looked at it yet we invite you to do so. Its features and functions include: Easy to navigate, with a clean, modern, attractive and responsive design that resizes pages to suit desktops, tablets and phones; search engine optimisation; an extensive library of booklets, documents, photos, posters and other resources for downloading free of charge; renovated country pages; instant translation of web pages to over 100 other languages; site search; and an archive of all our newsletters since 1999.
As you explore the new site you’ll also notice that we’ve refreshed our logo to make it more crisp and clean; the new logo is closely aligned to the original one (which had become an old friend but was beginning to show its age) and we hope that you like it.
With over twenty years of offering empowering values-based education workshops and materials, and a changing of the guard amongst ALIVE Board members, it seemed that it was time not only to refresh our website but also other aspects of our work. This was a massive task as a lot has happened over the years and there were a number of areas where attention was needed. One of these was our award-winning series of five books and, in discussion with our publisher, HCI Books, we felt that it was time for us to embark on a new phase of publishing. This involved the copyright to the books reverting to ALIVE so that we could initiate a thorough update and expansion of the books to include new values activities and take account of some of the ways in which the world has changed in the past two decades. This is a major undertaking that will take time to complete but we are delighted to announce the launch of the first two updated and expanded Living Values Education Activities Books: Living Values Education Activities for Children Aged 3-7, Book One and Living Values Education Activities for Children Aged 8-14 years, Book One.
For some time we have been conscious that it is not always possible or practicable for people to buy hard copy books printed in another part of the world, especially when economic circumstances are challenging, and to help address the need for readily-accessible and affordable materials we now offer a library of Rainbow Booklets. These booklets are available here and, between them, cover an extensive range of topics, including activities on values from our activities books, notes, guidance and self-learning content. They are designed to be downloaded easily and free of charge and then printed as handily-sized booklets that may readily be photocopied and used in a variety of circumstances.
Our new website contains links to our newsocial media accounts and please do visit our Facebook page for interaction with others around the world concerned with the place of values in their life and in our schools and communities.
A lot of work has gone into all these new developments and we extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to all those who have helped make everything happen. We’d be delighted to know what you think of the website, books and other offerings and welcome your suggestions for adding to or improving the website as while it is already comprehensive it is intended to be an on-going "work in progress", continuously being updated and refined as new content, ideas and services become available.
In closing, it’s very good to be in touch again and we hope to hear from you with your news, success stories, comments and suggestions. We plan on quarterly newsletters and so our next one is scheduled for June; please be sure to look out for it - and, in the meantime, to send us news to include in it!
Best wishes Chris Drake President, Association for Living Values Education International
NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Cameroon - Acts of Kindness
Patricia Ndikum of Caretakers Initiative, the ALIVE Associate in Cameroon, reported that “Random Acts Of Kindness” was just one aspect of a recent LVE workshop during which each participant was tasked with performing a good deed for another person, without letting the person know, and then observing his/her behaviour after that. The following day participants reported on what they did. The results were fascinating: some said they transferred credit to someone’s phone while another left a gift at someone’s home. The receiving individuals tried to know who did the good work but to no avail; finally, they said God blessed them.
Sema Ozsoy, the Focal Point for LVE in Turkey, reported on a two-day workshop she ran on 12-13 September 2018 in Antalya, Turkey for 36 teachers at Akant Antalya School. The founder of the school, Aysegul Dermut, a teacher herself actively participated in the training and is determined to implement the Living Values Education Approach school-wide so is planning more LVE events for the 350 teachers in the Akant Antalya kindergarten, elementary, middle and high schools.
Despite a packed schedule of teaching and part-time study Areti Foufopoulou (former ALIVE Director) always makes time for LVE and wrote saying: "Once again, it was such a joy to experience how values education work not only is worthwhile for its own inherent importance but also allows us to come in touch with astonishing people! Stella Sarantopoulou, a wonderful lady, teacher and teaching consultant, kindly invited me to Kalamata to do a four hour LV Seminar for her teachers on 19th June 2018 and then there was a great event in Zante on 3rd July! As well as teachers from Zante who have been consistently working with values activities for some years now, four teachers came from Kefallonia to present their work based on the values of respect and love for stray animals and caretta-caretta which is the protected turtle of Zante and Kefallonia."
Indonesia - Values-based College for Financially-challenged Students in Bali
Karuna Bali Foundation, the ALIVE Associate in Indonesia, runs Campuhan College a school in Ubud, Bali, and uses the LVE Approach as the foundation of its teaching and learning activities. Many of the College’s students are high school graduates in financially challenged circumstances who do not otherwise have access to further education and they are offered a fully-sponsored one-year full-time Values-based Leadership course. One of the features of the course is focused on the concept of "Paying Forward" with an annual event to support the cost of sponsoring students for the following year. In August, at the beginning of their course, each of the 25 students selects his/her own values and commits to "living in" those values for the year. The students are taught about five basic emotional needs, namely being loved, understood, valued, respected and safe, and they and the course facilitators then collectively decide on what best practices can help ensure that those needs are met.
A safe space to play in Padang
We gladly received a short update from Fitria Laurent, an LVE trainer in Padang, West Sumatra who has run many LVE workshops. After a workshop held in February 2018 with 16 participants, Fitria made arrangements for them to share and put their LVE skills to good use with 385 children, aged 6 to 12, in Padang city with support from a foundation called Yayasan Anak Shaleh. She wrote: "Divided into six groups, the children enjoy fun-activities facilitated by 2-3 facilitators for 3 to 4 hour a day, 4 days a week and this has been going on as an after-school activity for about 6 months now. I am happy to be a volunteer for this activity because the children did not have a safe space to play. Now, they have this special little space to spend their after-school time while the 16 facilitators have a chance to practise and expand their facilitating skills."
LVE activities have been implemented at Banklong Bangkrajan Elementary School, Nakornprathom, Thailand to promote the "School of Virtues" project, which is being implemented in primary schools under the Office of the Private Education Commission of the Ministry of Education. The aim of the project is that schools should develop smart/good persons with morals and desirable behaviour and the school has been using LVE activities as the tool to bring about changes in the behaviour of the children from kindergarten to Primary 6. The teachers found that the lesson plans in the activity books are useful and help make their work easy and enjoyable and as a result the students grow and glow day by day.....
USA - Living Values Education in Prison workshops in California
Roughly 130,000 individuals are incarcerated in the California Department of Correction and not only does California have a very high incarceration rate but on average nearly two-thirds of the 43,000 people released each year will return to prison within the first three years after their release. A factor in this high recidivism rate is a disconnection from values and The "Living Values Education in Prison" 12 week workshop helps address this problem, so also preparing offenders to become providers, leaders and examples for their families and communities. For several years now, Kris Himmelberger (see photo below) has been running workshops in the California prison where he is incarcerated and he wrote as follows:
"Living Values Education combines a unique blend of experiential activities and practical methodologies that address dynamic criminogenic needs, factors that contribute to and cause crime. For instance, irresponsibility, impulsiveness, poor behaviour controls, and lack of remorse are factors in all crimes. The “Living Values Education in Prison” workshop addresses these factors and helps participants re-connect with and clarify their values, rebuilding self-esteem through aligning them with the values needed for pro-social living and a better world. Furthermore, it gives each participant a sense of community and a support network."