Learning for Well-being Foundation
The Universal Education Foundation was set up in 2004 as a non-profit organisation registered in the Netherlands. The Universal Education Foundation (UEF) is an advocacy foundation that works in co-creative partnerships towards Learning for Well-being with a spotlight on children and youth.
Daniel Kropf and Marwan Awartani, co-founders of the Learning for Well-being Foundation, met at a meeting in Rome in June 2002. From that first meeting it was clear that they shared a desire to see a new kind of society in which their passion for the well-being and happiness of children could be realized.
They understood that manifesting their values through this vision required a shift in thinking and decision-making; the integration of education and health systems; a common agenda to include public institutions as well as business and private foundations; recognition of our interconnectedness, and the uniqueness of every human being.
They also knew that this vision rests on knowing that relationships are built on trust and curiosity.
From their commitment to this shared vision, in May 2004, with Corinne Evens as an additional co-founder, they established the Universal Education Foundation (now: Learning for Well-being Foundation). Since then, various partners have participated in developing L4WB’s strategy and have joined in co-creating and implementing programs that reflect the vision and values of Learning for Well-being.
To uphold the vision 'Education by all for the well-being of children'; to inspire people to listen more to children and young people and to take more initiatives to implement change for their well-being.
The Learning for Well-being Foundation is, at its heart, a group of people who have come together to support a shared vision and the activities that can enliven that vision. We are committed to manifesting a world where each one of us can participate fully, in a holistic and systemic way, to discover and enrich our unique qualities and experience our common humanity, on the individual and collective level.
Our vision is inclusive and supportive societies where everyone realizes their unique potential throughout their life. Implicit in this vision is the belief that it is only through developing inclusive and supportive societies that everyone will be able to realize their unique potential. Therefore, learning for well-being must focus on supporting environments and processes that allow individuals and groups to develop as competent systems. Changes to societies are only possible through individuals and groups engaging in holistic and systemic processes for themselves and others. We believe this can occur through developing their capacities to make decisions and take actions that serve themselves, others, and their communities. Our objectives are to transform ourselves, relationships between children and adults, societies, and research. We transform ourselves through constant inquiry, and seeking to practice our message in every
gesture. We create moments for our own self-development, and we offer opportunities for our partners and community to develop through our approach. We transform the way children and adults relate to themselves and to each other, so each can realize their unique potential. We do that by offering personalised means to engage and develop our core capacities, and the way HOW individuals make decisions and take actions in holistic and systemic ways.
The Foundation has 4 thematic areas in which our programs are divided: Transforming ourselves: trainings and workshops that are experiential and focused for individuals.
Transforming Relationships: Projects that focus on transforming relationships, placing particular emphasis on enabling parents, childhood professionals and children to work together for their mutual development by understanding the common language implicit in the L4WB principles.
Transforming Societies: projects that influence WHO have an impact on the lives of children,
placing particular emphasis in enabling parents, childhood professionals and children to ‘speak’
a common language and work together for their mutual development. Transforming Research: Projects that focus on WHAT is known, and what we need to learn, about the capacities that enable us to be more ‘finely and deeply human’, so that we can strengthen, promote and assess them more effectively.
The foundation runs the following activities:
• Voice of the Children Initiative
• Elham Inspirational Programme
• Policy glossaries
• Learning for Well-being Forum
• Universal Education Network
• Mutual Learning for well-being : A discovery journey
Voice of the Children Initiative
Brings to the public's attention children's opinions about the impact of learning environments on their well-being. Currently, it supports an ongoing programme of international quantitative and qualitative research that studies the ways in which learning environments (education, health, ICT and media) impact on children's well-being. The Voice of Children ‘Learning Environment Observatory’ (LEO) is also developing and testing a research toolkit. UEF is developing a set of indicators to measure how the above learning environments contribute to children’s physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual well-being. Different ways of listening to children, such as the VOC Virtual Community, will be explored.
Elham Inspirational Programme
Identifies, recognises, supports and disseminates contributions by individuals and teams that are effective in promoting children’s well-being in learning. They may take the form of policies, projects, materials, tools, etc., involving the learning environments prioritised by UEF. Through the recognition and support of the Elham Ambassadors, the UEF fosters awareness as to how to effectively promote children's well-being.
UEF, in collaboration with the Learning for Well-being Consortium of Foundations in Europe, is currently developing a Learning for Well-being Policy Glossary designed to provide the basis for a common conceptual understanding and guideline for policy makers at all levels in Europe. It is focusing across sectors (e.g. health, mental health, social affairs, education, etc.), draws on state-of-the-art and multidisciplinary research on well-being and, crucially, it will propose principles for policies and ideas about how to “make it happen”. One aim is to help create that necessary shift in mindsets and practices that can better respond to the diversity of individuals and their learning processes, valuing the fulfillment of individual potential.
Mutual Learning for well-being : A discovery journey
Since 2005, UEF and its collaborators have been engaged in a process of capacity-building about Learning for Well-being. This process comprises a series of discovery, consciousness and awareness-raising activities and events aimed at unfolding and develop key capacities towards learning for well-being.
Learning for Well-being Forum
UEF created an international forum on ‘Learning for Wellbeing’ which brings together global and local actors from business, government and civil society, representing different learning environments, including media, ICT, education and healthcare. The purpose of the forum is to put children’s well-being on the education and health reform agendas. It helps to identify priorities and key insights by creating a trans-disciplinary space for mutual learning and discussion.
Universal Education Network
Serves as an advocacy, awareness-raising and dissemination organisation to promote initiatives for the well-being of children and young people and organises events such as international and regional fora. The members are the foundation's global and regional partners, stakeholders from education, health, ICTs and media and the initiatives recognised by the Elham Inspirational Programme.