How the Virtues Project™ International got started
Virtues Project™ began in the mid 90’s
as a result of the concern of Linda and Dan Popov for the fact that so many
children throughout the world were physically and morally at risk. In seeking
a way to change the world, they realized that if they could do something
to help the parents and caregivers, the world could change in only two generations.
They felt a call to offer a resource and that ideal blossomed into the Virtues
Project™, a powerful tool for change.
They researched the ethical and moral literature of the world’s many traditions. They discovered that running throughout the literature, like a silver thread, were the Virtues. Virtues were described as the divine spark within the human spirit. The Virtues Project™ they created provides a non-sectarian framework for moral education for cultures around the world. The Virtues Project™ is not affiliated with any government, educational, or religious organization. It is based on the simple wisdom of the world’s sacred traditions. Its strategies help us to remember who we really are, and to bring forward the virtues that already exist within us.
The Virtues Project™ teaches a language that nurtures assertiveness, compassion, and integrity. It builds trust and well-being in relationships, families, workplaces and communities. It empowers parents to raise morally conscious youth, and it supports educators to bring out the best in students and minimize behaviour problems.
The concepts of the Project have been used by educators in primary and secondary schools in the Ottawa/ Gatineau areas and by parents with their children. The Vancouver School Board has adopted it. It is endorsed and applied in many other schools throughout the world. Many educators in the state of Western Australia are heartily endorsing The Virtues Project™.
Linda and Dan Popov developed a book called The Virtues Guide: A Handbook for Parents Teaching Virtues. Two months later these books found their way into more than 20 countries. They received requests for workshops and presentations from many places around the world, which included an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show. In 2000 The Virtues Project Educator’s Guide: Simple Ways to Create a Culture of Character was published. It is full of activities and lesson ideas of how to encourage respect, responsibility and other basic virtues in school and homes. Also available are decks of 52 Virtues cards: Reminders of the Gifts Within, are also available. These have also been adapted for use in both English and French schools.
Since that time they have traveled throughout many countries training facilitators, presenting to corporations, schools, diverse faith communities, indigenous communities and prisons. They formed a corporation called The Virtues Project™ Inc.
The mission of The Virtues Project™ is to provide empowering strategies that inspire the practice of virtues in everyday life. The project offers personal and professional development programs, trainings, and materials which are helping people around the world to create a culture of character in homes, schools, prisons, and corporations.
In 1994 at the close of the International Year of the Family, the Virtues Project™ was honoured by the United Nations Secretariat as a model global program for families of all cultures.
The Virtues Project™ is being used in healing and community development as well as a framework for moral education in cities and villages of many cultures.
The Virtues Project™ offers programs and materials for people seeking to deepen their spiritual awareness, parents raising morally conscious children, caregivers and educators seeking to address character education and moral integrity, and organizations seeking to enhance corporate cohesion.
The Virtues Project™ is not affiliated with any government, educational, or religious organization. It is based on the simple wisdom of the world’s diverse sacred and moral traditions. The virtues are universally valued by all cultures as the content of our character and the qualities of the human spirit. The strategies of the project help us to remember who we really are. Visit the Virtues Project™ International web site
Ros Macdonald MSW, RSW, is a certified Virtues Project™ Facilitator.