2003 Volume 8 Issue 1
Newsletter for Virtues Project New Zealand
Weaving Our Spirits Together
about the "Gentle Giant"
Childhood Convention 2003 – Aotearoa, New Zealand
Teaching Virtues in Tanzania
From the Desk of
Virtues Project New Zealand
Leader’s Manual on CD-Rom
Ideas E-zine (email newsletter) for Educators
Become a Registered Facilitator
News from around New
Zealand and the Pacific
Raranga Wairua: Weaving Our Spirits
Touching our passions
Mobilizing our inspiration
Going deeper in the strategies
Keeping the practices and the ‘fire’ going
This Virtues Mentoring is more than just a networking
conference or a beautiful spiritual retreat. Mentorship also provides the
opportunity to learn at a deeper level, from others who have developed
Virtues mastery. We invite you to come and weave with us. Share your stories
- be a mentor and be mentored.
Raranga Wairua will begin on Saturday 24 January at 9 AM and finish on
Monday 26 January at 3 PM (Auckland Anniversary Day). Accommodation is
available from Friday evening 23 January if needed.
This year's programme allows you to explore the areas you’re passionate
about and inspire you to take your Virtues practices deeper and wider. It
will put you in contact with others and these bonds will sustain you in the
year ahead - personally and in the Virtues work you do.
The retreat will be a forum for growing and developing your Virtues whether
you are wanting to apply it at a personal level or to facilitate workshops.
Dr. Dan Popov and Linda Kavelin Popov will be with us, together with other
guests from around the globe.
After a formal Maori welcome, the programme includes:
- sharing what is happening in each region.
respect & understanding. Sharing what works.
* Sharing Virtues Action
Learning projects, and learning how to set your own learning
how we teach this, plus practicing the skills.
for reaching your goals with Virtues.
Tel: 64-4-389-4992, Email email@example.com
Venue Tel #
during the event:
Come just to “Get it’’ on another level. Come and
STORY ABOUT THE
One of the newly trained Fijian Virtues facilitators related
a story of how he used “Recognizing Teachable Moments” and the art of
“Spiritual Companioning” to save the life of a family.
M.C., a large stature of a man, was one of the participants
from a training with a corporation who was so enamoured with The Virtues
Project he wanted to go out immediately and teach this to others. Everywhere
he went he made mention of Virtues. One day he was passing a house that is
on the way to his farm and noticed the little boy there did not acknowledge
him as he usually does. The child was lying on his tummy on a bench under
the mango tree beside the humble house. He stopped and asked the boy what
The boy eventually said his parents were fighting and he was
feeling very frightened and sad. M.C. told the boy to tell his father he
would come see him that night. True to his promise, he came back that night
and nine more nights. Over that time he was able to get the details of a
very distressing story. The man was an uneducated sugar cane cutter and his
wife was working in town to support the schooling of their four children.
One night the wife arrived home in a van very late. The husband accused her
of seeing another man. He was so angry that he tore up the house, threw the
pot of food outside and beat up the woman. The children went to bed scared
and hungry. The woman said she was going to kill herself by drinking
poison. The man retaliated that if she did he would hang himself.
M.C. worked through their problem with them and they came up
with a solution that perhaps the husband could go to the boss and ask if
indeed the wife had been working late. This way he could learn the truth for
himself and clear his heart of the jealousy. Then he could tell the boss of
his concern for the wife working too late, as her children needed her at
night time. The wife agreed with this plan. She agreed not commit suicide if
he promised to find out the truth and not to beat her. They both agreed
their children needed them and they could not leave them alone.
The Virtues facilitator is so very thankful for having the
Virtues training and that he was able to save this family from disaster.
Here’s a recent photo of Margaret Mohamed and Susan Fergusson
(nee Richards) in Europe.
Margaret and Sue are working together running Virtues
You can contact them by email through
Early Childhood Convention 2003– Aotearoa, New Zealand
Late September the National ECE Convention was held at
Palmerston North, with approximately 1000 registrations. Beth Lew and I
were to do a 90 min workshop on The Virtues Project and had talked about
meeting together at the conference and letting things flow from there. At
5.45 pm the night before, my darling Husband rang to say he had received a
message from Beth "I think I have broken my foot and won't make it
tomorrow". A quick call to Beth to confirm this, a few moments of temporary
panic, then straight into thinking how would I manage this – I had brought
no resources with me. I had little time that evening, so it was an early
start the next morning to draft up an outline before it was off to the
venue. When I found the room, there were 2 people already there, saving
their place – I should have known what was in store right then, but I was
too focussed to take that in. I set up the seating – judging maybe 20-30
people – put up a very brief outline of what I wanted to cover, wrote up the
website contacts, Linda, Dan, John and Beth’s names and roles, then off to
borrow resources – leaving a request for those in the room (30 minutes to
go, 10 people there) to please just keep making space as others arrive. Off
downstairs to find the very generous Rick Sahar of UCA – borrow books,
Virtues cards, posters, and he kindly donated wallet cards. Back up into
the room with the help of a couple of friends I met along the way to be met
by perhaps 40 people, crammed in! (15 minutes before the start time). As I
put up the posters and prepared myself, folk kept pouring in the door,
others kept making space and finding chairs, and people began to sit in the
little hallway as we ran out of room. When I finally felt ready and
focused fully on the group – still 5 minutes to start time – I was facing 55
people in a tiny space, sitting very intimately up against one another, all
Result – an event that ran smoothly with the contribution of
the whole group in setting up the space while I found the resources, a
fantastically energised 90 minutes including so much attentive listening
that you could have heard a pin drop (if there had been room for it to fall,
of course!), a hubbub of 55 people doing a Virtues Pick simultaneously and
loving it, and lots of contacts for The Virtues Project including a contact
with the National Te Kohanga Reo Trust, the College of Education in
Christchurch, and Parents As First Teachers programme in Napier. What a
privilege to present to such an open and giving group of people –
childhood educators rock!
Thanks again to Rick Sahar and UCA for your generosity, and
to all those other old and new friends on the day who brought this all
Teaching Virtues in Tanzania
I recently completed a Virtues Workshop with teachers in the
remote rural area of Northwest Tanzania, where the people are very poor
subsistence farmers, where 70 cents for two days work to make a grass mat is
considered a good price. I was invited to the village of Mugajwale to
conduct a Virtues Workshop for local teachers. Mr Prosper Nduke would
translate my English into Kiswahili.
STRATEGIES USED FOR THE WORKSHOP
My only prior knowledge was Prosper's admonition:
don't understand English. They will need translations"
and "They are very poor
and can't pay for the books, or even for photocopying"
“Bring everything with you."
In Dar-es-Salaam, during the week prior to my departure, I
typed out the main points of each segment of the Introduction, the basic
principles and the Five Strategies of The Virtues Project, and had them
translated into Kiswahili by my colleague, Hashim. Then I glued the small
English passage to the chart paper, and copied out the Kiswahili version
with marker pens onto the chart paper. I added some illustrations.
For the "Virtues Pick," another computer-literate friend
translated the information on the cards onto a single page. We printed them
off the home printer and we photocopied them for use during the Workshop.
We had permission from Linda Popov to translate the cards.
We arranged for the Workshop to take four days, to allow time
for translations and new concepts to form. This is when I started to find
out what the dear participants had experienced during their years of
schooling, as students and as teachers … the crippling, numbing effect of
violence and abuse.
It took a while for me to realise that the blank expressions
and downcast eyes on the participant's faces, was their self-protection
learned from many years of their schooling. Added to this is the fact that
younger people must never express an opinion in front of their elders. The
elders must be revered at all times. (continued page 5)
Thank goodness for the "Some concerns you might have" part of
the introduction. The partner introduction exercise was so subdued that I
couldn't hear anything. I began to worry. So I offered up some desperate
prayer to help me find the key to open these dear friends to learning.
The exercise "From Shaming To Naming" (in Kiswahili and local
language) was a step in the right direction. Now I realise that admitting to
oneself that the shaming language used on them from their elders (who must
be revered and who are ALWAYS right) is a huge challenge to the culture.
Hence their reluctance to admit to the names they were called. So we had to
focus on what virtue the elders could have named to evoke the desired
response of "diligence" or "wisdom".
I found that making quick little sketches on the blackboard
to illustrate a point activated attention.
I should have brought some simple puppets, even sock puppets.
Casting my glance around the room, I noticed two cloth hats. I quickly put
them on my hands to make talking puppets to tell a little story.
This was an icebreaker. The adult audience responded to the
improvised puppets made out of cloth sun hats, in much the same way that
unsophisticated five-year-olds would respond. Their eyes lit up and they
After lunch we started singing in the local language. They
all joined in with gusto, making the rhythm with claps and beating on the
The Village Chairman came for the afternoon session. He made
a speech congratulating Prosper in bringing an "Internationally acclaimed "
program to his village and the Chairman joined in the discussion exercises
in the small groups. We played the circle game where you throw a ball (the
cloth hat again) to a named participant and state a virtue. This simple game
had them all in the most amazing laughter, so loud that the neighbouring
children came creeping up to the classroom to see, with wide-eyed wonder,
adults throwing something to each other and collapsing with laughter.
Everyone promised to come at 8:30 for the next day. I called
on their creativity to compose a song.
Day two saw everyone punctual at 8:30, ready to begin with
songs in local language. By this time I had found that I must use ALL the
learning modes, drawings and quick sketches, puppets and stories,
role-plays, small group discussion, and make sure that the shy ones are
included and are speaking. The women want to hold back and not participate.
I found that putting people of the same generation together for the
discussion exercises gained more participation from the women, than when I
put young people and older people together. Then the younger people remain
HOW THEY COMPOSED A SONG
I asked for a Virtue off the chart that our song will focus
on. They chose "love". I gave them a few minutes to write something down.
Still nothing. More encouragement from me. Still nothing. Then one
participant went to the blackboard and wrote up his inspiration. That
brought some laughter from the room as everyone recognised a popular song
about Love that he had used. H'mm …New approach needed. So I said,
"Everyone has to write down anything that pops into your head about love and
you only have 60 seconds to do it. Start NOW." They all looked startled and
I said, " You only have 40 seconds left. Write now."
And they all wrote something down. Then I asked everyone to
read what s/he had written. After each one I said." Uh-huh" and nodded. They
all listened to each other. Then they all expected me to "choose the best."
But I did not do that.
I gave each a piece of cut-up writing pad paper and a marker
pen, and said, "Now write out your phrase or piece in big writing on this
paper." Then we went to the circle space and set the papers out on the
floor. I put everyone into pairs and gave them the task of composing a song
using some, or all of the phrases.
And this worked.
After some hesitation at the newness of the task, they then
worked with their partners. with quiet enthusiasm. After about 15 minutes
of composition, really creative work, we shared the performances. This was
like the opening of a garden of flowers. This was a wonderful highlight of
the week. They all came to life. Each pair, even the silent, shy ones, had
chosen a few of the phrases and developed a melody to sing with it. As they
sang their new song, the other participants paid close attention; beat the
rhythm and some started dancing in their traditional way to the new rhythm.
Their eyes sparkled, they laughed, their bodies relaxed. A
new spirit was quickened. This was the REAL key to opening the learning
pathways with this group of participants.
After the enjoyment of performing their new composition there
was much relaxed, genuine laughter. They formed close bonds of friendship
with each other. This was their first real experience of Cooperative
Learning. They responded brilliantly.
Each day we did a "Virtues Pick" from the Kiswahili
translations. I noticed that they beamed with pleasure when that daily
routine came around and were eager to read and ponder on their Virtue for
When we did the module on "Honouring the Spirit", they were
puzzled about the reference to "honour the environment". So we used a ball
of coloured string and did the "Web of Life" activity. Only one person in
the group had ever considered the Interconnectedness of all life forms. This
was a revelation to them.
We spent a whole day and a half on Spiritual Companioning. We
did several role-plays where Spiritual Companioning was demonstrated, in an
In their evaluations, most indicated that this was the most
useful thing they gained from the Workshop.
The East Africa Virtues Connection has organised a
Virtues Facilitator's Workshop
to be held at the:
Baha'i Centre, Mfaume Road West Upanga, Dar-es-Salaam,
Monday 15 Dec to 20 Dec 2003.
Accommodation is available in the hostel of the Baha'i Centre
for $2 per night or a nearby hotels at a higher rate.
Please contact Sandra at
“People don’t care how much
you know until they know how much you care.”
Virtues Project Educator’s Guide page 138
“I expect to pass through
this world but once;
any good thing therefore
that I can do,
or any kindness that I can
show to any fellow creature,
let me do it now; let me not
defer or neglect it,
for I shall not pass this
From The Virtues Project
Educator’s Guide page 178
From the Desk of Virtues Project New Zealand
Participate in interesting
dialogue with other Virtues facilitators around the world. Get advice about
different approaches to different groups. Share helpful activities and
If you have taken Virtues
Project facilitator training, you can join the exchange by registering
with firstname.lastname@example.org. Just tell them that you would like to subscribe and
be part of the Virtues Facilitator Exchange. Then everything that is sent
to the exchange will appear in your email inbox and you can respond to it if
you wish, and be part of the dialogue.
Virtues Project Leader’s Manual on CD-Rom
Now available for $100NZD
for those who have finished facilitator training and live in New Zealand.
You can print things off as
you need them.
Virtues Ideas E-zine (email newsletter) for Educators
ideas for working with student?—subscribe by email-
Virtues Ezine’s available from North America:
of the Week by Betsy Lydle Smith email@example.com
Virtues Gazette by Nancy Watters—firstname.lastname@example.org
of you who would like to be listed on the website as a Registered
Facilitator, to have your workshops advertised on the VPNZ website as well
as periodically in the Education Gazette, and to receive referrals from
national inquiries are now asked to fill out our registered facilitator
application form. (Please contact Beth Lew for a copy of this form.)
will be turned away but the form allows VPNZ to better know your skills and
interests and will help us match you with referrals.
yearly fee of NZ$100 is also required as of April 1 each year. Since we’re
starting part way through the year, as of August 1st we are requiring $75.
fee will help pay for some of the services we are providing and will also
help people to make a formal commitment to working with The Virtues Project.
part of the development process outlined by VPI over the last year. On
becoming a Registered Facilitator, you may elect to enter into a mentoring
relationship with a Licensed Trainer and begin to build specific skills that
will help your professional development.
have done three day facilitator training before 2003 are eligible to
register. As new people finish 5 days training, they will be invited to
register as well.
FREE VIRTUES ACKNOWLEDGEMENT POSTCARDS
Here’s an opportunity to:
Promote the Virtues Project in a simple and meaningful way
Easily pass on a Virtues acknowledgement every day
Help you find Virtues in others
Practice the language of the Virtues
Make a difference in somebody’s life
The Special Virtues Postcard
A space for you to write a special message to somebody
A list of the 52 Virtues
The Vision and Mission of the Virtues Project
The National and International Virtues Websites
postcards are FREE and available to anybody that has done a Virtues training
and who will commit to sending out a minimum of 5 Virtues acknowledgements
sending a Virtues card, you will be acknowledging somebody in a very special
way and promoting the Virtues at the same time.
a family member or a friend
somebody who is doing a good job in adding to the community
someone who needs some uplifting
someone who you noticed has done a good deed
time someone comes to mind that you would like to acknowledge, just jot them
down and make a list. That way it’s easy to send out five a week.
of postcards are held at Virtues Project New Zealand:
Wellington Road, Paekakariki
supply = 20 Postcards
within NZ; $2 international reply coupon outside NZ
Supply = 96 (1/2 kilo)
within NZ; $10 Australia/South Pacific; $20 anywhere else
Supply = 192 (1 Kilo)
$3 within NZ; $30 anywhere
News from around New Zealand and the Pacific
Trish Drury has
been putting together a database of Virtues facilitators and enthusiasts and
would like to thank everyone for helping to support this initiative.
With the development of this
database when someone contacts Virtues Project International we can put them
in direct contact with a Virtues facilitator or enthusiast.
Currently the database
consists of :
New South Wales - 5
Victoria - 5
Queensland - 8
South Australia - 1
Western Australia - 1
A total of 20.
When Trish receives
enquiries from VPI she forwards them to the whole group on her database and
whoever responds first with "I'll take that enquiry" gets it. Taking
responsibility and communicating that willingness to do so is be very much
appreciated, says Trish. “I'm sure that if we can
be systematic and orderly in this manner The Virtues Project will spread
more rapidly - as well as increase the number of participants in our own
If you know of anyone else
whom you suspect might like to include themselves in this database it would
be appreciated if you would pass this message on.
Contact Trish at email@example.com
Home: +61 2 4579 6066
Mobile: 0417 497 317
60 Panorama Crescent,
NSW 2756, Australia
Since taking up
first part-time work, and then full time work, I have been less available to
promote and present Virtues Project events. However, the work I did last
year is showing fruit with a far greater awareness of the Virtues Project
showing. When I talk to people about the Virtues Project, more and more
often they have heard of it, and know someone who has attended an event I’ve
facilitated. I am also beginning to get stories about people who have taken
the Virtues into their work and how this has touched the person sharing the
story. This gives me hope for the long term vision of VP in Taranaki.
Recently the Baha’i community sponsored a one day parent workshop. 14
people attended ranging from some yet to embark on their parenting journey
through to parents of teenagers. It was especially wonderful to have three
parenting couples within the group. Being only one day we covered an
overview of the project and the first three strategies. The evaluations
confirmed that it was a useful day for all, and a dozen said they would like
a follow-up. How delightful that after a struggle to find just one day to “spare”
for the Virtues Project, the thirst was there already for another!
Virtues Connection has come up with another great promotional idea!
and Poems that Build Character” they are inviting students to submit
creative stories and poems about a positive experience with a Virtue. All
submitted work will be acknowledged and a panel will select works to be
published in a resource book for schools. If you are interested contact
Taupo Virtues Connection PO Box 1000, Taupo.
Workshops and Conferences
Mark your Calendars
Vaughan Park Retreat Centre
Long Bay, Auckland
Estimated Cost: $300-350
Register through Lynne Klap at firstname.lastname@example.org
who have attended a Virtues Project two or three day Intensive
Intensive Trainings 2003
Nov 7-9, 2003
Deepening the Virtues Within
3 day intensive, (Required
training to become facilitator of
Virtues Project workshops)
Contact: Licensed Trainer:
Canterbury Virtues Trust
Events for 2003
Canterbury Virtues Trust Peer Mentoring
Here’s something for
everyone who has participated in at least one full day of Virtues training.
At Purau Bay (hoping for a
fine day), bring the family along, come for morning tea and then a shared
Lots of Virtues activity.
(Please register your interest on this, so we can plan ahead for a day full
of joyfulness and creativity!)
JAN 9-11, 2004
A Soul Full Life Retreat
with Virtues Project
Founders, Linda and Dan Popov. Venue to be announced.
Experiential in nature,
these three days present an overview of Soul Centred Development
and its implications in our
lives. A real treat!
Contact: Lindi Pelkowitz—
January 2-3, 2004
Awakening the Virtues Within
2 day introductory workshop
with founders of The Virtues Project: Linda Kavelin Popov and Dr Dan Popov
Cost: $250 or early bird-
4 March 2004 Shaping
Character Educator’s Workshop
Contact: Donna Smith
17 March 2004 Shaping
Character Educator’s Workshop
“A Soul Full Life”
This workshop provides keys,
which unlock your full spiritual potential, by using the transforming power
of the virtues. It creates a new mindfulness about your spiritual tasks at
this time of your life. Through information, exercises, music, meditation
and sharing circles, you
will gain insights on –
The tasks of
How to create
the power of your virtues
The role of
Cost: $395, (early bird
discount available when paid in full by 26th Oct)
Contact: Sylvana Simon
IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA
offered by VP
Licensed Trainer Fiona McDonald
‘Introduction to the Virtues Project’ Workshop
This 2 day or 5
evening training, is an introduction to the Virtues Project. It is suitable
for all those who have children in their care either as a parent or
teacher. It gives the participant an understanding of the project and an
opportunity to gain an understanding of the 5 Strategies. Participants will
learn ways to empower moral growth in themselves and their children whether
at home or school.
4, 11,18,25 August, 1 September (Mon) Time:
8th & 9th September (Mon & Tues) Time: 9:00
115 Cambridge St, West Leederville
Day Advanced Workshop
builds on the “Introduction to the Virtues Project Workshop” which is a
pre-requisite for this workshop. It provides the participant with in-depth
experience and practice in the 5 Virtues Strategies whilst enabling them to
identify and clarify the key elements for teaching Virtues Workshops.
25, 26 November (Mon, Tues, Wed)
9:00 am—5:00 pm
Accredited Course in Group Facilitation Skills
course in Group Facilitation skills is an ideal programme for training
facilitators for the community educational vocational and industry training
fields. Learn how to run groups, the theory, process and dynamics of
groups. Discover how people learn and take in information.
The five day
training includes the unit BSZ404A, which is part of the certificate IV in
assessment and Workplace Training however it offers further knowledge and
skills than the basic unit covers.
29 & 30 Oct , 5, 13,19 Nov (Wed & Thurs)
8:30 am—5:00 pm
115 Cambridge St, West Leederville
let us know if you would like your workshops advertised in this space!
Contact Details: Virtues NZ
226 Evans Bay Parade
The Angelic Way
CD of original Virtues
music by Stefan Brown
Appropriate for use in
schools and at home $29.95
UCA - Virtues Materials Suppliers-www.ucamusic.com
Freepost 4045, Box 52076
Titahi Bay, Porirua
(answer phone available after hours)
Virtues Bilingual Poster
Virtues USA Poster
NZ Virtues Project Wallet Card
Packs of 25 cards $5.00
(Single cards can be bought
for 25 cents each - only when other resources ordered)
The Family Virtues
The VP Educator's
Virtues in Me -
Virtues in Me -
Virtues Wall Sheets -
Language for Play Activities
Te Reo Maori or English
and The Tears
of the Albatross –
Tape and wisdom book in
English and Maori . $21.95
(up to ten posters fit in one tube) $2.50
- to be added to all orders $4.00
Please choose one of three
1. Send a cheque payable to
"UCA Ltd" for your order
(Please ensure to include
freight fee and tube/s where applicable)
2. UCA can invoice your
organisation. Payment would be due once you receive your order
3. Pay by Credit Card:
Visa Bankcard MasterCard
Your name as it appears on
your card ____________________________________________
_______________________________________ Expiry Date ___________________
(Secure credit card ordering
via the website - www.ucamusic.com)
is intended to offer support for Virtues Project facilitators and those who
would like to use the Virtues Project in their professions and personal
lives. If you would like to receive a hard copy of Virtues Aotearoa, please
subscribe. Virtues Aotearoa is published quarterly with a subscription cost
of $10 per year. Just contact
email@example.com or 89 Wellington Road, Paekakariki.
Also available is an email text version which is sent for no charge.
Contact as above.