Strengthening Family Systems

The new Ethics Education programme called Strengthening Family Systems aims to support parents and caregivers to nurture values and spirituality in children.  The first phase of the development of the programme will use the Learning to Live Together framework with families in Brazil, Ecuador, India, Portugal and the United States of America.

Teachers, social workers, community leaders, psychologists, family therapists, who have been trained on the use of the manual, are developing programs using the framework of the Learning to Live Together to work with families from different socio-economic, religious and cultural backgrounds.  The purpose is to support positive parenting and the creation of safe environments for children, and to learn which elements of the Learning to Live Together Programme and others can serve the work with families and how.    

The information, learning, insights and recommendations from the pilot programs will serve the development of a new resource to work with families. Members of the Interfaith Council on Ethics Education for Children are working parallel on the first draft of the conceptual framework of the programme that will be complemented with the findings of the pilot projects, in addition to insights from theoretical models and practical expertise. 

Updates on the development of this programme will be shared soon.

Read our special issue of the Arigatou International - Ethics Education Newsletter focused on family, values and religion. In this issue Arigatou International Geneva joins the celebrations on the 20th Anniversary of the International Year of the Family to raise awareness about the importance of the family for the development of children, and the role of parents and caregivers in the creation of safe spaces for them to grow and develop their identities fully. 

Families constitute an important space to protect children and support them to develop physically, emotionally and spiritually. Despite this important role, many children around the world are, unfortunately, victims of physical, sexual and psychological violence perpetuated by their own parents, other family members or caregivers. Violence in the family remains normalized in many parts of the world, often it is not denounced due to fear, shame, lack of support or knowledge. In several places corporal punishment, negligence, emotional indifference or violation of children's right to participate in decisions that affect them or to be heard, are not the exception but the rule in their lives. Many children are victims of violence in the name of protection, justified by cultural and religious norms; and yet social and religious leaders play an important role in challenging harmful practices, promoting the rights of the child and encouraging parents and caregivers to unlearn violent practices to raise their children and to understand how and how much they influence and shape their lives and future. 

In this issue you will find articles on the role of the family in the development of values in children from different religious and philosophical perspectives, as well as from experts on child development and family relations.