SAN FRANCISCO – Friday, April 24th, 2009 – Between Four Eyes (B4E), a nonprofit collaborative promoting mindful awareness and character-building skill-sets and resources to support education and social change in developing countries, announces the next phase of its program development in Africa and the Middle East. In this, its third trip to the region, the group will offer programs for numerous educators and community leaders throughout Nigeria, as well as hold meetings with the Ministry of Education and others in Rwanda and Israel to move forward its educational programs to a national level.
In Nigeria, B4E has teamed with the non-profit Teachers Without Borders, a global alliance that supports teacher leaders worldwide, with professional development opportunities and support so that teachers may play a more vital role in their communities. In collaboration with Teachers without Borders, B4E will hold a six-day train-the-trainer program for roughly 150 teachers from across Nigeria. During their month-long stay in the country, the B4E team will also lead three-day courses at national universities and high schools.
To support this effort, B4E has developed a 100-page Teacher Training Resource Guide for its constituencies. This teaching manual will eventually be made available through e-learning, to teachers across the world who are interested in bringing a more holistic approach to education, attending to the heart as well as the mind of students.
To help teachers extend mindful awareness to students, B4E has also developed curriculum for its Mindful Ambassador Council initiative (M.A.C.) for high school-age students. This 17-session program offers the core of B4E educational content, with reflective practices, teaching stories, discussion topics, and journal exercises. Along with its teacher training, the B4E team of eight teachers will also focus on launching M.A.C. initiatives throughout Africa and the Middle East.
Founder, Theo Koffler, said of this next phase, “Educators and healthcare providers are really at the heart of our societies, and encouraging them to recognize their voices as capable for social change is a powerful message to convey. We are honored to partner with Teachers Without Borders and others, in offering our programs to support this purpose in Africa and beyond.”
The work of B4E is to support a world where people share the awareness of our common destiny, and whose vision of the world is based on compassion, social justice, equanimity and peace. Each one of us has the power to “be the change” we want to see in the world.
"On the part of the students, to whom the future of our nation and the world belongs, B4E mindfulness skills and practices have developed a new standard of behavioral excellence. Our students have hopes to become agents of social change and role models to their peers, to their colleagues in other schools, to their parents at home and members of their immediate communities." – Emmanuel Ivorgba, founder of Creative Minds International Academy in Jos, Nigeria
“The extraordinary work of Between4Eyes to bring mindfulness and positive character development to conflict and post-conflict communities is inspiring and so important in our world today where the capacity to cultivate compassion in our daily lives can help to bring about a more peaceful world.” – Richard Davidson, Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry
"To create a truly livable world, free from the kind of conflict and war we see today, understanding our emotions is essential. I see the launching of Between Four Eyes' programs in Africa and the Middle East as a very healthy, and needed, step toward this goal." – Paul Ekman, a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of California Medical School, author of Emotions Revealed, and co-author (with the Dalai Lama) of Emotional Awareness.
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Between Four Eyes is a project of Tides, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.