VIRTUES PROGRAMME


 VIRTUES PROGRAMME

The Programme aims at assisting the moral and spiritual development of children and youth.

The programme focuses mainly on the basic human virtues and their implementation in the communication among children, teachers and parents. It is based on the principles and strategies, laid out in the “Virtues Project” initiative. This initiative is recognized as a global programme for all cultures during the International Family Year announced by the UN. The books “Family Virtues Guide” and “Educators’ Guide” by Linda Kavelin Popov have been published in Bulgaria. This initiative has been successfully implemented by families, schools and child care centers in 85 countries around the world, among them Canada, Denmark, Australia, Austria, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa and the US.
Blagotvoritel Foundation’s team felt inspired by such an accessible and comprehensive model of presenting virtues and has been implementing it creatively in kindergartens and schools for over 5 years now. Teaching the basic human virtues during the homerooms became a valuable practice for personal growth and a model for tolerant communication between students and teachers, so it received the support of the Ministry of Education and Sciences of Bulgaria.
Over 8000 children and youth were introduced to the opportunities for practicing basic human virtues in their interactions. Our experience shows that the basic human virtues are preferred and selected subjects for discussion among youngsters since they affect them profoundly and are perceived as transformative changes in their behaviour.

 

The Foundation has conducted 7 projects since 2010:

“Virtues” was carried out in “Bojur” and “Veselushka” kindergartens in Sofia and “Detelina” kindergarten in Novi Han between October 1st 2010 and June 30th 2011. The children got familiar with one virtue over 2 hours each week and discussed how to practice it in their day-to-day life through compelling games.
Achieved results: 20 teachers enriched their methodological competence; 300 kids got familiar with the basic human virtues and started practicing them in everyday situations and communicating in the language of virtues; parents received support in acknowledging their extraordinary role in their children’s personal growth.
The Project was funded by the OAK Foundation of Switzerland.

“The virtues workshop” was carried out in “Georgi Sava Rakovski” Professional High School and “Sv. Kliment Ohridski” (Kostenets), “Neofit Rilski” (Dolna Bania) and “Hristo Botev” (Ihtiman) Secondary Schools between August 5th 2011 and August 4th 2012. 36 young people aged between 16 and 18 underwent specialized training in teaching basic human virtues in order to pay forward the gained experience to over 500 classmates during the homerooms.
Achieved results: The “Methodology for teaching virtues” Guide was published; the relationships between classmates, students and teachers in the 4 schools were improved; teachers’ professional competence in moral and spiritual education of youth was enhanced; the influence of risk factors was reduced.
The virtues classes became a desired and meaningful exercise for youth.
The project was carried out with the financial support of Republic of Bulgaria’s National Budget for 2011.

“Hour for virtues” was conducted between September 1st 2012 and June 30th 2013 in 20 secondary schools of Sofia Region. 20 teachers received specialized training and created, and trained students’ teams who taught virtues to their classmates in the homerooms. 
Achieved results: 100 teachers completed specialized training; over 150 students from 20 secondary schools were trained to teach the virtues; at least 10 virtues classes have been conducted in all 20 schools; over 2000 youths participated in the virtues classes.
The project was funded by the OAK Foundation.

The “Virtues Club” Project was conducted between October 1st 2013 and April 30th 2014 in 15 schools of Sofia, Pazardzhik and Zlatica.
Achieved results: 15 school counselors completed 3-day specialized training in teaching and practicing virtues; over 150 students from 15 schools were trained to teach virtues to their classmates; at least 10 virtues classes were conducted in each of the 15 schools; more than 3300 students participated in the virtues classes and began practicing these virtues.
The project was funded by the OAK Foundation.

 “Investment in the future” was carried out between May 15th 2013 and November 15th 2013 with 23 youth who have left the institutions for children and successfully navigate their own life path.  
Achieved results: 23 young people completed 2 specialized trainings, 20 virtues classes have been conducted in children’s centers; more than 50 kids and youth took part in the virtues classes; a new, supplemented version of the “Methodology for teaching  and practicing virtues” Guide was published in 150 copies; educators’ professional capacity to work with vulnerable youth groups was enhanced; a roundtable about the role and the place of moral education in the educational process was organized.
The project was funded by SOS Children’s Villages Sofia project “Steps towards independence” with the financial aid of SOS Children’s Villages Denmark.

“The ABC of Virtues” was conducted in 7 primary schools in Sofia between September 1st 2014 and May 31st 2015. 12 university students from the Faculties of “Pedagogics” and “Primary and Preschool Pedagogy” of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” gained new knowledge, related to the moral education of children and they taught in the homerooms.
Achieved results: 12 students completed 3-days specialized training; 50 teachers participated in one-day training for teaching and practicing virtues; virtues classes have been conducted in 7 primary schools in 28 class groups; over 800 students took part in the virtues classes.
The Project was funded by the OAK Foundation.

Classes that makes us stronger created a sustainable support for the ethical and spiritual development of children and adolescents, providing for virtues clubs, set up during previous projects of Blagotvoritel and establishing new clubs in secondary schools in the towns of Gabrovo and Veliko Turnovo.
The project was conducted with the financial support of OAK Foundation between  01.09.2015 and 30.06.2016.
Results achieved: renewed 10 school virtues clubs; created 3 new clubs;more than 100 students have undergone training in teaching and practicing virtues; 21 students and 3 pedagogues undewent three-day sspecialised training; more than 4000 students participated in the virtues classes and such school initiatives in 13 schools.

 




Timeline
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