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Virtues Project Fiji

by Virtues Project International Association
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Virtues Project Fiji
Virtues Project Fiji
Virtues Project Fiji
Virtues Project Fiji
Virtues Project Fiji
Virtues Project Fiji
Virtues Project Fiji
Virtues Project Fiji
Virtues Project Fiji
Women at Rural Women's Day celebrations
Women at Rural Women's Day celebrations

Virtues Project Fiji has been very active these last few months.

Puppets – the puppeteers are about to return to the main island having spent months in the Yasawa Islands with the villages there and teaching the children about the virtues with their puppets. Another report will be forthcoming when they return shortly.

Youth leadership – 25 youth from a church group near Suva came together for a boot camp.

 The theme for the boot camp was the Role of A Good Leader a Digital world.

The youth were told that they were not allowed to bring any gadget at all during their camping. 

We now live a digital era, where anything and everything seems to be ruled by technology.  It was quite amazing to see the youth adjusting them without relying on their electronic gadget.

For the first evening the youth were taught how to light a fire using firewood for cooking.  It was a struggle to some of them, but using their virtues of responsibility and unity they were able to light the fire.

Emphasis was given to the youth on the importance of setting clear boundaries as we live in a digital era. They discussed some disadvantage of relying on a digital era, the first most important is to have personal privacy in the digital world and that's on top of the dangers of your personal data being stolen or sold. For instance, everybody has the ability to take photos and video footage on their mobile phone, then post it online.

Employers can search for people online and maybe find unflattering photographs, or see those expressing controversial opinions in social media or blogs.  Controlling your personal information is very difficult and sometimes impossible.

There is an increasing tendency for people to socialize and communicate via digital devices rather than through real life contact. This can easily lead to a sense of disconnect and isolation.

As part of the program youths were taught some life skills program by some skilled trainers to help them enjoy what real life is. 

The youth were asked what are the first thing you see each morning and the last thing you see before you fall asleep at night.

Is it the face of your loved ones, a book, or the icy glow of an electronic device? While we would all like to believe it’s the face of our significant other, it’s more likely our smartphone screen.

We’re drowning, but it’s not because of the technology itself. Rather, we’re participating in our own demise by failing to set healthy tech boundaries

Setting boundaries around technology use is a great first step towards controlling the flood of technology in our everyday lives. Although it can be difficult to create new habits, after a period of adjustment you’ll find you are happier and more present.

It was so amazing during our weekend there was no disturbance for any phone call or message since everybody was concentrating and enjoying what is like when living in a world without digital technology.  There was a lot of team building where youth were taught how to catch fish, swimming, playing cards, putting traps for wild pig, making camp and evening story telling sitting around the campfire etc.  There was a sense of connectivity amongst the group.  The youth have more time sharing their stories and listening to their friend stories.  They were able to work together collectively in making decision for their day to day program.

The outcome of the camp is that the youth understand how to set clear boundaries for themselves to be able to keep them safe in living in a digital era.

Working with Human Rights issues -

I was able to attend the training and did presentation on the invitation that was given to us to address Grassroots Responsiveness to Human Rights Abuse.  I shared on our tools and also  stories of our prison program and also families and communities which also address human rights.  The two days workshop discussed mainly the UN Mechanism on Human Right.  What strikes me how our program can also weave into the human rights program.  A qualified psychotherapist who came all the way from India to talk on how to counsel people who have their rights being abused.  She asked me how I deal with my situation in Fiji I mention that we use spiritual companion tool.  She asked a personal question to me what is my coping mechanism since its a very stressful event when you working with inmates.  I told her that I used my detachment and also it took me 3 weeks to cope with reality by sharing stories with my husband and do recreational program with my children.  She really acknowledge my answer and told me that I have a very good coping mechanism.  She mention that detachment is so much important in counseling.

I showed them how the river of life activities work by sharing one of our group member story.  It is so shocking how this youth has been sexually abused by his seniors while he still in year 1 & 2 at a boarding school in Yasawa.  The participants were really shocked on how appalling was his story and what really amazed me once he reach the stage of being push around by family member left school at form 3, smoking and even wanting to commit suicide  he had some positive friend who encourage him to remember that he has a purpose on his life.  The facilitator really knowledge our river of life activity. 

The workshop was a very successful one since they have acknowledge the work done by Virtues Project Fiji. 

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Since our last report a lot of work has been going on in Fiji to raise the awareness of the positive impact on dealing with abuse when using the strategies of The Virtues Project™. At a recent meeting with UNDP it was recognized that The Virtues Project™ addresses Human Rights, the Rights of the Child and produced a society of peacefulness and prosperity.

A workshop for youth was held in the May School holidays and was attended by six youth working with The Virtues Project who shared with the other youth how it worked for them. Then there have been more meetings with women’s groups to explain to them how important parenting is to giving their children the skills they need to be responsible adults.

The master facilitator of Virtues project Fiji has been able to attend meetings called by the UN agencies and donors to address the increasing problems of drug abuse, youth committing crimes, rape and abuse of children and women. At a recent meeting the Virtues Project representative explained how The Virtues Project was working to change the way people behaved, improve parenting skills and made a big difference in the communities. It was clearly recognized that The Virtues Project promotes Human Rights and the Rights of the Child.

In light of the failure of all other NGOs and government departments to achieve any lasting result The Virtues Project™ is being considered for greater support to assist in dealing with these issues. It is the aim of Virtues Project Fiji to train facilitators in other agencies and to have the training in the strategies of the Virtues Project incorporated into their own programs.

This is a work in progress and the support that has been provided by our donors is making a big difference to the capacity of the Virtues Project Fiji to meet this demand


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Two attachments help describe the developments with The Virtues Project in Fiji. 

The report explains how women were trained with the virtues project
in relation to protection of the environment.
The second activity which expands the work of the virtues project was that the
annual meeting of the Asian Develpment Bank was held in Fiji. A part of the conference was
held with the Non Government Organisations and Ms Talei Areki, a Master facilitator
with Virtues Fiji attended this meeting and was able to share the work that is being done
to assist the communities to use The Virtues Project skills to manage their affairs.

The second attachment is of photographs of these activities in a word document.

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facilitators with workshop participant
facilitators with workshop participant

Virtues appear to be passive – a person is honest, truthful, helpful, caring and so on. They are used to describe how a person behaves, especially under specific conditions. A child uses ‘confidence’ to solve a problem at school or accept a challenge.

Virtues in ACTION is defined by the 5 strategies of The Virtues Project.

The facilitators for the Virtues Project in Fiji have been working with individuals and families over the quiet Christmas and holiday period. One group came together in January to study how the Virtues work in their families.

One lady told this story: Her husband was the ‘boss’ in her family and used his authority to make life difficult for her and the children. His domineering attitude came across as his being a bully, but this was ‘normal’ in their culture and the family did not question this state of affairs. After learning about the Virtues Project and the strategies this lady decided she would use these tools to help her children but she could not be sure of how her husband would react. First she explained what she had learned to her family then that she wanted to use these tools to help the family to deal with the issues they faced. To her astonishment her husband went along with the idea and as they began to use the strategies her family ‘culture’ changed and there was a peaceful and cooperative outcome for the family function. She was so excited by these changes that she shared this with other members of the group.

The facilitators have been visiting other families asking for guidance in dealing with their issues. An example of how the first strategy – speak the language of the virtues - works with discipline in action. A seven year old was asked by his mother to ‘use his obedience’ to do something she wanted done. He replied “I left is at school!”.

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Schools, other organisations and the communities are requesting training in The Virtues Project to improve the relationships between the members of the community/group. Such relationships are teacher/student, student/student, administrators/staff, staff and general public and leaders and community members. The five strategies of The Virtues Project can be applied not only within the family for which it was prepared but between all members of the communities in their various relationships. The training that is being provided by facilitators in Fiji is affecting not only the relationships but has also proven economically powerful helping people improve their businesses.

The facilitators have traveled to cities and schools since the last report explaining how the Virtues Project works. Follow up training is being organised as part of the program for 2019. Further work is being planned for the puppets to help with the training in the communities.

As part of this activity the Virtues Project Fiji received an invitation during School Annual Awards Day:

A Virtues Project Fiji facilitator was invited from one kindergarten school in Ba and a primary school in Nadi to present on “How the virtues strategies helps parents to understand their role in their children's education".

The Ministry of Education aims is to deliver to our children the highest quality education contextualize to demands of this era. Thus the Virtues program see that students need to be capable not only of constantly adapting but also constantly learning and growing, of positioning themselves in the fast changing world. This is why parental support and guidance using the 5 strategies are important and parents play vital roles in these development.

The education system in Fiji understands with technological advancement, increasing social problems, there is a need to strengthen virtues and values amongst the student as well as teachers. Values and virtues will instill discipline amongst students as well as staff and eventually improve attendance and punctuality. A culture needs to be created in the school whereby the students, teachers and parents understand each other’s values and thoughts. Being appreciative, recognizing and accepting other differences would enable one to work collaboratively with others and together meet set benchmarks.

Therefore both the schools requested to have more follow up training for the teachers, students and parents to enable them to achieve their school objective and for parents to have the skills to be able to address issues that affect their personal lives.

Thus The Virtues Project Fiji is integrated into a whole approach to education.

We had technical problems and could not get photos of the children in this story.


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Organization Information

Virtues Project International Association

Location: Calgary, AB - Canada
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @hashtag/vpia
Project Leader:
Verona Lucas
Calgary, AB Canada
$16,603 raised of $20,000 goal
 
394 donations
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