Volume 7 Issue 4
Newsletter for Virtues Project New Zealand
New Zealand begins
Virtues Mentorship Conference 2004
Fiji ‘Firsts’ and a
High School Teacher’s Report
Changing the Culture of
Character in Schools
Licensed Trainer in Europe
Virtues Ideas E-zine
Virtues Project Leader’s
Manual on CD-Rom
Virtues Action Learning in New Zealand
News from around New
Zealand and the Pacific
Zealand begins Facilitator Registration
One of the
strategies to improve our service in delivering excellent workshops and
presentations about The Virtues Project is to encourage people to become
Registered Facilitators. This allows VPNZ to know who is actively running
workshops, to provide networking and support, and to be able to make referrals
to facilitators from inquiries that come to us.
VPNZ in line
with other regional Virtues Project bodies is formally instituting this process
as of August 1, 2003.
Those 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.
fee of $100NZ 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.
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.
This is 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
All who 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.
On June 14
thirteen keen Virtues enthusiasts met in Paekakariki to discuss how the Virtues
Project in New Zealand can improve their efforts in sharing Virtues with Maori
communities. The call for interest had gone out over the Virtues Aotearoa
distribution list and several people responded, many who were not able to attend
but were keen to share their ideas. Thanks to all of you who responded with
such generosity and enthusiasm.
meeting resulted in the creation of a Maori Development team who will meet
periodically to discuss strategies for taking virtues to a wider community.
Some of the goals that the group identified as starting points for consultation
are: 1-creating move Virtues materials and music in Te Reo (Maori language for
our overseas readers), 2– writing proposals for funding, 3-sharing Virtues with
friends who are prominent in Maori affairs, and 4 - developing a marae-based
approach for workshops.
energy was generated from this hui and everyone put their hand up at the end,
making the commitment to stay involved and take leadership in this role. The
next meeting will be in August.
Mentorship Conference 2004
-Weaving Our Spirits Together
Mentorship? It’s more than a networking conference or a beautiful spiritual
retreat, although our South Pacific regional conferences provide these
opportunities. Mentorship is meant to provide people with the opportunity to
learn at a deeper level from others who have developed mastery.
you to come and weave with us.
Share your stories
— be a mentor and be mentored.
The Mentorship will begin on Saturday morning 9 AM the 24th of January and
finish on Monday 3.00 PM the 26th January (Auckland Anniversary Day). People can
arrive on Friday evening 23rd January .
The cost this year is estimated to be $300.
This year's programme will allow you to explore those areas you are passionate
about and inspire you to take your Virtues practices deeper and wider. Most
importantly it will put you in contact with others - these bonds will sustain
you in the year ahead both personally and in the Virtues work you do.
formal welcome, these are some of the things we are planning:
Connecting the Connections - sharing what is happening in each region
and letting others know what help is needed
* Sharing Virtues Action Learning Projects and learning how to set your
own action learning goals
* Working with
indigenous groups; how to respect and understand different cultures and groups.
Sharing what's worked.
Spiritual companioning ; how we teach this and practising the skills
Developing Strategies for reaching your goals with Virtues
Dr. Dan Popov and Linda Kavelin Popov will be with us together with other
happen at the Vaughan Park Retreat Centre in Auckland again this year. Costs
haven’t been confirmed yet but we will publish these costs in the October
and a High School Teacher’s Report
Virtues Project Fiji shared with us a report to one a funding organization about
the results of the Virtues workshops being held in Fiji. Here’s a list of
‘Firsts’ that were identified:
1. Fiji is
the first country in the world where the Ministry of Education has incorporated
the Virtues Project into its programs for every school to use throughout the
2. It is
the first country in the world, where every media company is promoting the
virtues simultaneously each week for 52 weeks.
3. Fiji is
the first country where the prisons department has made the Virtues Project
training part of its program for the prison officers for every prison in the
founders have observed that this is the first country where they have seen a
communications company (i.e. Telecom Fiji Ltd) support and promote the Virtues
Project as a service to the community as well as for staff training.
school teacher, Mr Emoisi Boila writes this report about the effect of the
Virtues Project in his school:
There is a
remarkable change in the overall character of St. Thomas High School in Lautoka,
Fiji. It is a school known for drugs, truancy, fights and where students were
given total freedom to express their “rights” but have taken advantage of this
freedom and used it the wrong way.
Project has changed this school with the cooperation of the Principal and his
staff. At first the students found it irritating, hard to cope with and weren’t
cooperating. Teachers were even sworn at, rude remarks were scribbled on the
wall, rumours were spread, but the spirit of the project was working for us.
After a lot
of hard work, determination, patience and tolerance, the situation has improved.
There are still problems-every now and then we experience shop lifting by
students, fighting amongst students, stealing from one another, and some
disrespect for teachers but I am glad that these have far lessened compared to
conducted a social science class on relationships. The questions were: what and
how do they relate to one another within their families-what were their
relationships between them and their parents, brothers, sisters and their
neighbours. It was a moving, touching experience when students related their
family situations with tears in their eyes. Some were frustrated as they gave an
account of their experiences at home.
“George” could not control his tears as he talked with frustration and anger
about his family. I decided to let him speak it all out. He told a story of
being an abused child, neglected, left to fend for himself, with no one to look
up to, and with a womanising father. No wonder he was always looking for
attention in class. He pokes students with sharp objects, lifts his “sulu” in
front of girls, punches boys, swears, lies, causes a lot of problems and is
always noisy. After he had told this story, he came to realize and understand
the reasons for all his behaviour. He was only looking for attention, love and
care but no one would bother to listen to him. My heart went to him that
afternoon. He was assured by some of his classmates who always fight with him
that they have come to understand him at the moment. The spirit was working.
students told how they were loved and cared for by their parents but only a few
broke down before they could tell their story.
student told how he lost his parents when he was 5 years old. He did not know
his father well. There are eight of them in the family where the eldest is only
17 years of age. Living in a family home of two bedrooms, whenever there are
visitors, the children are sent out. There is not enough food on the table,
shoes to wear, clothes and uniforms to wear. Another child is in a family of 8
children and the mother struggles to keep them, working as a house girl, merely
can’t imagine why the world could be so cruel to some people while others enjoy
such luxury of life – but this is beside the point.
strongly recommend that teachers spend quality time just listening to students
to understand them better than giving advice, talking and judging them. Teachers
must learn the skill of ‘offering spiritual companionship". I have found this
useful to deal with students 12 years to 15 years of age.
your children well, teachers need to understand them, offer as much as help as
we can, then change our attitude towards the students. In this way we can always
help students to improve themselves.
weekly assemblies are based on virtues themes. Each form is to speak on the
Virtues theme with songs, dramas, speeches and posters. During the week,
students must practice the Virtue of the week. Each morning sharing takes place
in each form and the students share how they were able to practice the virtue of
the week in school, in the public, and at home.
Once a very
young girl had her money stolen. A day later two boys apologized and repaid the
money they had stolen from her. They had realized what they had done and had
decided to be responsible for their actions.
teachers can teach effectively is to respect students. When you give respect to
students, you will also become respected. So practically if teachers want to
enforce students to use the virtues teachers themselves need to practice them.
With the students it should be seen in their daily work, language and what ever
the teachers do.
Culture of Character in Schools
Nassim Madjzoub, a young woman from the UK who is writing a paper about how
Virtues can change the culture of character in a class/school/country was
challenged by her supervisor . The supervisor pointed out that while the
intention of The Virtues Project may be to teach the universality of Virtues, 52
was too many for teachers or children to get a handle on. The supervisor felt
that teachers would end up choosing just the Virtues they would want to
emphasise. This is a concern because it is recognised in the educational
community that teachers by and large are from the dominant culture of any area
and will teach values upheld by their own culture. So, challenged the
supervisor, won’t The Virtues Project just provide another tool for teachers to
uphold the dominant cultures values to the detriment of other cultures?
supervisor is right! But so are you. What usually happens- teachers or whole
schools will choose virtues they want to emphasise for the class or the school.
Many schools will set a schedule of teaching virtues for a whole term or even
the whole year.
match these virtues first with their mission statement, then with activities
that are happening in the school. For instance, the week they do rocky shore
study, they might teach caring and draw it into caring for the environment. Or
the week they begin preparing for their school play, they might study creativity
and the week of the play might be confidence. And in between - during the
practices - they might have studied self-discipline. A high school PE programme
here in NZ has matched Virtues to each two week block throughout the year,
focusing on virtues that enhance self-esteem, team work, and good sportsmanship.
teachers want to stay with certain virtues longer because they feel the children
don't understand them but other teachers see a rapid growth in understanding
virtues and children practicing them with gusto. These second teachers are able
to support children learning virtues beyond the weekly or twice monthly
scheduled dollop of Virtues of the week or month! When the programme is truly
child-driven, the children learn the virtues very quickly and do not find 52
overwhelming. Sometimes they even start adding their own to the mix. The Virtue
of Humour, of Wonder, of Beauty, etc.
supervisor's question - if the teachers are choosing which virtues to emphasise
and controlling what input the children are getting, are we limiting the
universality of the virtues approach? Isn't this just another way for the
dominant culture to teach their own values?
is no, that is not what happens in the end. Teachers will teach their values or
the community's values in any case- some with greater respect for other peoples
values and some with less.
Project supports Values Education BUT it is NOT Values Education in the
traditional sense. Virtues are not values - they are the building blocks of
character. Every culture honours the concept, the virtue of Respect,
Truthfulness, Courage, but each culture will SHOW this quality in different
ways. Respect can be shown with respectful words in one culture and respectful
silence in another. The underlying intention is to be respectful. The Value is
the way we show this intention - the words one culture uses, the silence the
other culture uses. When I come to visit you, you may ask me to come in, you may
expect me to take off my shoes at the door, you may offer me tea and cakes
without first asking if I want some. Or you may shout out the window for me to
let myself in, you may finish a conversation on the telephone, waving me into
the lounge, and totally forget to offer me any refreshment but end up having a
long, sincere and exciting conversation with me. These actions are the result of
cultural values held by an individual as a response to their own culture. The
Virtues enthusiast learns to see the Virtues underlying each person's actions.
begin to use Virtues - in order to teach them to the students - they learn about
what these qualities mean, they begin to see and acknowledge INTENTION in their
students - 'I saw you were being caring of George this morning when you wanted
to help him and you started pushing Carl. Being caring for others is important
and George is glad you are his friend. George is learning to stand up for
himself and tell Carl what he likes and doesn't like. If this happens tomorrow,
what will be a good way to help George without you getting into trouble with
using this process is the key to transforming the climate of culture in the
classroom. When students are acknowledged for the underlying virtue in their
intention, they rise to the best that is within them. They show more virtues,
not accidentally, but with purpose, to be the best they can be.
teacher responds in kind- rising to the best that is within her/him. And is
inspired to go deeper into what these virtues mean so they can continue
supporting more of this process.
mind is not a vessel to be filled
fire to be ignited”
n t e r n a t i o n a l P e r s p e c t i v e s
Trainer in Europe
formerly of the Whakatane region here in New Zealand is now Sue Ferguson (having
just married) and is living in the UK. She has just become a Licensed Trainer
and is working with Margaret Mohamed doing Virtues Project workshops in Europe.
Sue is specializing in working with schools naturally and many teachers and
educators are finding her experience working with children and character
education very beneficial.
Mohamed continues as Licensed Trainer as well and reports Virtues Connection
Geneva has formed in the past two months. The new Virtues Connection has set
goals for promotion and networking and has advertised their first set of
workshops coming up in the next few months. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more
information or look on the Virtues Project International Website so you can let
friends and relatives in Europe know about these opportunities.
of people who have attended workshops keeps rising. Both Margaret Mohamed and
Sue Richards have done a number of courses in Geneva, England, Sweden and
Germany. Together they have done two second-level three day courses in Geneva
and Norwich UK. They were a great success. Several people have registered to
begin the process of developing as a facilitator and lots have bought the
Leaders Manual on CD. Margaret also did a 5 day in Ampleforth UK on her own as
Sue was away on her honeymoon!!! Future plans include 5 days in Spain early
September and 5 days in Holland early October. Local enthusiasts are organising
these for Margaret and Sue.
hopes to do another training in Geneva in November. Sue may be working more
directly with UK schools in her area. They are both involved in
encouraging, mentoring and supervising some of the newly trained people to start
running workshops themselves. This is a learning curve for all involved but
seems the best way to build a sustainable base in each country. They are also
encouraging the formation of connections to meet in each area to keep people
practicing the strategies together.
in interesting dialogue with other Virtues facilitators around the world. Get
advice about different approaches to different groups. Share helpful activities
If you have
taken Virtues Project facilitator training, you can join the exchange by
registering with email@example.com. 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.
recent story shared on the facilitator exchange:
I want to
share this inspiring story from my daughter's friend. (she gave me permission to
share her story.)
woman recently got a job in an office in Seattle, WA and brought her virtues
cards with her the first day of her new job. She said as people came to her desk
to introduce themselves she had then pick a virtue. She told them that sometimes
dealing with the public in the way they do tests their emotions and that
practicing virtues each day will help in staying positive through these tests.
She said now
every morning people stop at her desk and take a virtues card back to their desk
and practice it and bring it back the next day and pick a new one!! She said
it's working so well that people from other floors are coming to pick cards too!
simple idea and it shows the POWER of using the virtues.
Enthusiastically, Terry Rahn (Wisconsin)
From the Desk of Virtues Project New Zealand
Virtues Ideas E-zine
Beth Lew is
publishing an email newsletter especially for educators. It includes a Virtue
of the Month and activities for different age groups—preschool, elementary,
middle and high school. Also it includes an endorsement from a different school
each month and helpful website links. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you
would like to be on the distribution list.)
Project Leader’s Manual on CD-Rom
available for $100NZD for those who have finished facilitator training and live
in New Zealand.
can print things off as you need them.
Learning in New Zealand
enthusiasts gathered together in June for the fifth intake of the Virtues Action
Learning program in New Zealand. We learned about Action Learning, went for
spirit walks, ate lovely meals together, shared projects and journeys from last
year and set new projects for the coming year. It was a marvelous, heartfelt
and joyful weekend that filled us all up and inspired all the participants to
action. Radha Sahar was able to join us for the last session and shared her
wonderful farewell song about companioning. There wasn’t a dry eye as we ended
our weekend retreat.
programme is now being offered internationally and can be done by phone and
email. But for those of you who live close enough, the residential programme
is well-worth a weekend away from home. Next year’s programme will be in
News from around New Zealand
and the Pacific
Project Licensed Trainer Gilbert Paki of Whangarei, is piloting in three
selected school sites, a behavioural program for year 7 and 8 students in
conjunction with the Miriam Centre, a local child protection agency.
works alongside a dedicated team of child and family therapists who over the
past 3 - 4 months have had 188 children referred for therapy from schools
throughout Northland. Of these, 155 children are referred for carrying out overt
acts of violence against other children and adults, such as stabbings and other
serious forms of physical violence.
project involves working with the school staff as well as the children and their
families. While in its initial stages of development, The Virtues Project will
eventually be integrated into this pilot program in appropriate areas, such as
the school disciplinary systems and parenting.
parallel level, a recent request was made from Whangarei community mental health
workers for training in The Virtues Project. A number of other health workers
also requested a "strengths-based" training model that would enhance their
introductory 2 day "Awakening the Virtues Within" course on the 23/24 August
will be followed by a 3 day facilitators course 26 to 28 September. For further
details please contact Gilbert Paki, phone (09) 435-5026 or email email@example.com.
the ''Soulful Life'' workshop offered by Dr. Dan Popov ,a group of Wellington
women (including Lynne Klap) have been creating some Soul Ceremonies and putting
into practice some of the things learnt from the workshop. The purpose of the
ceremonies have actually to celebrate, support and acknowledge the virtues in
young people in our community and for the older members to share their wisdom.
So far they have been centred around young women.
virtues were considered in creating the ceremonies:
Purposefulness - being mindful of what and why we were creating the ceremony
Setting clear boundaries around the ceremony so a deep sense of reverence is
created and has meaning for the young people and ourselves
Love - The
motivation behind the acknowledgment was love for the young women and their
helped the older women who created the ceremony do their own soul work and has
been a profoundly moving experience all round
July, about 39 US military men and women and 23 Korean citizens received
introductory training in The Virtues Project in Seoul. The training, sponsored
by USO– a volunteer agency dedicated to supporting the welfare of American
military overseas, included preparing the military personnel to deliver an
English as a Second Language programme created for them by Claire Ngwira of New
Zealand. The Americans will teach the Virtues ESOL lessons as a service project
to Korean children in an effort to enhance Korean-American relationships. The
Korean citizens who attended the workshop will help by doing presentations to
Korean school principals and staff and assist in setting up the service
projects. The programme has already been successful in two schools in Seoul
with many more on a waiting list to receive the programme.
the two day introductory training, the Korean participants and 6 American
military personnel received facilitator training with Beth Lew. The Korean
participants loved The Virtues Project and see it as a way of healing the
differences in their country as well as a way of identifying and maintaining
their own unique cultural values. The Americans are just as eager to take The
Virtues Project back home with them when they return.
agenda are a full translation of The Educators Guide in Korean and publishing a
set of Korean Virtues Cards. The designs include original cartoons drawn by
Kapono Chung, a 23 year old art student, in the style of Digimon characters–
sure to be popular with children
Workshops and Conferences
Mark your Calendars
Vaughan Park Retreat Centre
Register through Lynne Klap at firstname.lastname@example.org
who have attended
Project two or three day Intensive
Trainings 2003 in Wellington
August 8-10, 2003
skills with Virtues, discuss promotion, development, practice
presentation and spiritual
Facilitator: Beth Lew
Awakening the Virtues
2 day introductory
facilitator training $160
Nov 1-3, 2002
Deepening the Virtues
day intensive, (Required training to become facilitator of
Licensed Trainer: Beth
Virtues Trust Events for 2003
Spiritual Companioning, Couples Retreat
in beautiful Purau Bay.
This is a convenient get-away with time to relax in your own private
holiday home. Workshops include life-changing, virtue-inspired
relationship skills. Limited to 4 couples at $345 per couple. Send a
deposit of $50 to hold a space.
Ka Taoka Tapu a o Matua Tipuna
(The Sacred Treasures of
our Ancestors) at Rapaki Marae in Lyttelton Harbour, facilitated by
Sheldon Ramer and Tahu Stirling. This special event begins with dinner
at 6 PM on the 5th and ends after lunch on the 7th.
$295 per person, all meals included
Awakening the Virtues Within,
a workshop for
parents, teachers, care-givers, and community workers, in
Christchurch. An overview of Virtues Project applications, including
personal development. A great “refresher” course, and prerequisite for
facilitator training - $195.
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 lunch. Lots of Virtues
activity. (Please register your interest on this, so we can plan ahead
for a day full of joyfulness and creativity!)
JAN 3-5 2004
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
Unless otherwise specified,
all Canterbury Virtues Trust workshops are facilitated by Ellen & Sheldon
If you would
like to arrange a special event for your group, or receive a brochure or more
information regarding any of the above programmes ring Ellen at 03 329 4380 or
the Virtues Within
introductory workshop with founders of The Virtues Project: Linda Kavelin Popov
and Dr Dan Popov
or early bird- $220
offered by VP Licensed Trainer Fiona McDonald
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: 6-9 pm
8th & 9th
September (Mon & Tues) Time: 9:00 am—5:00 pm
115 Cambridge St, West Leederville
3 Day Advanced
This 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
24, 25, 26 November
(Mon, Tues, Wed)
9:00 am—5:00 pm
Course in Group Facilitation Skills
This accredited 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!
Details: Virtues NZ
226 Evans Bay
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
Freephone 0800-500-885 (answer
phone available after hours)
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
Positive 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 payment options:
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)
This newsletter 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
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