Wednesday, 30 July 2014


July 30, 2014
Fr. Glenford Lowe and Mr. Rochwyn Fernandes visited St. Stephen's Middle School - Cumbala Hill to animate 135 students from STD V - VII and 7 Teachers of the school. Fr. Ernest Fernandes, manager of the school warmly welcomed the guest speakers and made them feel at home. Thanks to Mrs. Mavis, ex principal of the school for her warm words of welcome and gratitude to the AVEC team for taking the time to speak the students and teachers of the school. Floral bouquets were presented to both the speakers.
At the very outset, the students were highly disciplined and focused on the program ahead. One could sense a deep eagerness to learn something new and to make the best use of the opportunity that came their way. The program began with a common prayer and song led by Mrs. Mavis. Mr. Fernandes began his session with a Prayer song followed by a few moments of guided meditation. The use of rhythmic breathing and connecting to everyday life was a very helpful way of calming down. He then introduced Fr. Glenn to them.
The normal two and a half hour session for students was reduced to just an hour. While the four hour session for the teachers was also reduced to just 50 minutes. With the help of simple examples and the use of a PowerPoint presentation, Fr. Glenn was able to draw the attention of the students to make choices for 'higher values'. "In life, when it comes to material goods, were always choose the higher valued goods. But in our social, spiritual and emotional life, we also choose the lesser value", he said. We chose revenge rather than forgiveness, hate over love, dishonest over honesty and the list goes on and on!
 The students were taught the importance of doing one's daily duties well rather than choosing 'excuse' as a norm to justify our laziness. He also challenged the students to start 'Making a Difference' and to listen to one's inner voice. "My Life: A Valued Journey" was an opportunity to look a the values of having a 'winners' attitude, working together as a team and to have the courage to share one's personal life and story with the teachers and parents.
 In the short meeting with the teachers, Fr. Glenn focused on making the necessary value based shifts and to start making 'Qualitative changes' in their daily lives. School, sadly only promotes 'quantitative changes' and rewards those who only achieve 'more of the same'. When students are aware that the teachers and management also focuses on 'value based changes' rather than mere academic progress, then the whole school becomes better and more qualitative in nature.
 At the end of the session, Ms. Mansi Sharma, head girl proposed a vote of thanks on behalf of the students. While for the teachers, Ms. Sarika Fernandes proposed the vote of thanks.
 A number of teachers, wrote down their comments in the AVEC log book:
"Thank you Fr. Glenn for guiding us on the right track to be happier, healthier and holier" -  Varsha
"Thanks for your enlightening session on "Management By Values", you have taught us how all of us can make a difference if we become aware of our strengths and weaknesses. keep us in your prayers that we may bring the changes in the lives of our students and ourselves too" -  Mrs. Philomena lobo
 "Thank you, a word that changed our life" - Fatima
 "Excellent work and thanks for helping the millions in our society and world at large" - Mavis

Congratulations to the management, staff and students of St. Stephen's Middle School - Cumbala Hill for your very warm hospitality and cooperation all through the program and for being so attentive and participative too.
May god bless you all and may your educative journey with the young bear much fruit.

Sunday, 27 July 2014


July 27, 2014
AVEC organized its first Teachers' orientation program for 62 Teachers of St. Mary's Convent High school. Thanks to Sr. Smitha, Principal of the school for making the booking well in advance. Sr. Smitha welcomed the two guest speakers to the school community. Floral bouquets were also presented. The session began with an interfaith prayer song to invoke God's blessings for peace, abundance, health and joy in the lives of everybody. The prayer song added a spiritual touch to the entire program
 Mr. Rochwyn Fernandes, AVEC Project coordinator, thanks the management for the warm welcome. He guided the participants through a moment of personal meditation and relaxation through rhythmic breathing. The teachers found this whole exercise very calming and spiritual. Mr. Fernandes, then spoke to the participants about AVEC and its contribution to the promotion of Value education in the Archdiocese of Mumbai. He then introduced Fr. Glenn and incidentally, today happened to be the third anniversary of his kidney donation.
 Fr. Glenn drew the attention of the teachers to more 'soul searching' and introspection rather than mere knowledge. "I have not come here to give you more of the same! This session is not about inviting you to make more 'quantitative changes', it is about making small 'qualitative changes", he said. Every invitation to change is painful and unwelcome. But those who have the courage to make it, in the bargain, also create ripple effects. Teachers are 'gurus' and one's who dispel the darkness. Value education enables the process faster and better.
 The participants spent a lot of time focusing on the importance of making 'perspective changes'. The insight into 'Career' and 'Vocation' was deep and thought provoking. "Careers are only a human adventure; a partnership with self. Vocation is a Divine-Human adventure; a partnership with God-Others-Self", he explained. The participants were invited to shift from 'prison to palace', 'referee to coach', and from 'career to vocation'. Small qualitative shifts necessarily results in quantitative shifts too.
The many examples of Kia Scherr, Malala Yousafzai, Immaculee Ilibagiza, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa were sufficient evidence of people who chose to live by a 'higher value'. Most of us choose to live life by embracing the lower values. We opt for violence over peace, corruption over honesty, filth over cleanliness... Our session today if to manage our lives by Values. Once were are aware of our core values, we begin to learn to live on a higher plane.
 The world of the young and the mindsets of our young students are important aspects that every teacher has to focus on. Very often we only focus on the 'syllabus for the student' and forget the 'student of the syllabus", he said. The six pain points of our youngsters today are real and need immediate attention. They need to be discussed in class and the right values be proposed as a path to living a significant life.
Due to the limited time, the Brian Hall-Benjamin Tonna Value map was left out. Normally the AVEC sessions are for a 4 hour duration. But we hope that a second session will be organized in the next term. The final part of the session presented the four life styles we find ourselves in. Shifting to a higher lifestyle, necessarily means also embracing  higher values and reflecting it in our WORD too.
 At the end of the session, a number of teachers wrote their appreciation in the AVEC log book:
"Thank you for the enriching program and for sharing all your insights and experiences. I'm sure that enriched by the same, we'll seek to be the light to dispel the darkness and bring significance to our lives. Can we have more of your sessions please? They were rejuvenating indeed." - Mrs. Philomena Fernandes
 "Thank you for this short orientation program. It was very enriching and you have broadened our perspective and gained knowledge about the youth. God bless you We wish to have more of such programs" -  E Monis
 "A well prepared presentation. very Good at the start of our educational year. Will surely be of a great help to me as teacher. thanks for the contribution" -  Prasanay
"Thank you for the enriching and enlightening session. As teachers, now and then, we need to be shaken off our lethargy and old mind sets. You've been successful in doing that at least to some extent" -  Juliana Pinto
 "Thank you Fr. Glenn for the short and enriching session. Thank you" -  Sr. Christine CJ

Thanks to all the teachers and management of St. Mary's Convent High school - Mulund for giving us this opportunity to speak to you all on 'Management by Values" 

Saturday, 19 July 2014


July 19, 2014
The teachers of Lourdes High School - Kalyan, participated in a day's Value Orientation program conducted by Fr. Glenford Lowe in the school AV Hall. 40 Teachers participated in the program. The program began by an introduction by Ms. Jacqueline Fernandes. Fr. Gerard presented a floral bouquet and welcomed Fr. Glenn to the school. The school Vice principal and senior supervisor also presented roses to the guest speaker.
The session began with an invitation to the teachers to 'press the pause button' and to get out of their daily routine. "School promotes routine, and very often, teachers become victims of routine", he said. "Management By Values (MBV) is an opportunity to look at yourself in the mirror and make a difference in your self first, your life style and your vocation as educators" , he challenged them. The teachers were taken through an intense moment of soul searching and to make the necessary 'perspective changes' in order to trigger new 'procedural changes'. 
 "Qualitative changes are more important than quantitative changes", he added. When one makes a 'qualitative change', it has a ripple effect and produces 'quantitative changes' too. The numerous examples of Kia Scherr, Immaculee Ilibagiza, Malala Yousafzai, Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi brought the meaning more clearly. Fr. Glenn shared his now 'kidney donation' experience as a 'qualitative moment' in his personal life that now has triggered into a 'quantitative moment' too.
The teachers were challenges to make Value shifts and to move from 'prison' to 'palace', from 'career' to 'vocation'., from 'referee' to 'coach'. Shifting to a higher quality of being and acting makes one 'healthier, happier and holier'. A very profound insight worth reflecting upon! The participants were also invited to analyse their favorite WORDS in class, because of which they are 'named or teased' by their students. Your words make your world. The small participative exercise enabled the teachers to see the wisdom of 'survival', stability', 'success' and 'significance' lifestyles. All of us are called to move to being 'significant people'. Living only on the level of survival is no vocation at all!
 After break, the participants reflected on the meaning of Values and the need to Manage By Values. The days of Manage by Instruction (MBI) and Manage By Objectives (MBO) are obsolete and disowned today. The 21st century focuses on Management By Values (MBV). The teachers were guided to look at their own personal values and institutional values. Each teacher was made aware of his/her position with regard to the 'alignment' of the two sets of values. Significant lives have a high sense of personal satisfaction and job satisfaction. 
 At the end of the session, the teachers were asked to reflect on 'Team Lourdes' and discover ways in which the entire Management and Staff could synergize their efforts to raise the level of the institution to its former glory. "You can be the generation of teachers to rebuild the school on the foundations of Values and save generations of students, or you could be the generation of teachers who chose to live on the level of mere survival and loose the entire generations forever", he concluded.
At the end of the session, the song 'Go Light the World' was viewed. Ms. Jacqueline Fernandes proposed the vote of thanks while a token was appreciation was also presented.
 A few of the teachers came forward to write their comments in the AVEC Log book:
"A marvelous session where in I was able to ponder upon how I could bring a 'qualitative change' and how could I be 'significant'. Thank you and looking forward for more sessions" -  Mincy Blesson -  
 "You are a great motivator and educationist. Thank a lot! Only regret that our govt and society does not give power in the hands of such good people. Hope change takes place" - John D'Souza

"An eye opening session for all of us. Short and inspiring. Struck the right chords" - Mrs. Anne Sony
 "Thank you Fr. Glenn for a wonderful session. Thank you so much for helping me to find a better me" - Mrs. Poonam Singh

"Today's session was enriching, enhancing and we transformed ourselves today positively. We are sure we will introspect and change" - Mrs. Seema Jacob 
"Fr. Glenn, you really do a great job of inspiring and motivating the people and touching their lives and heart as you have done mine. Really a person makes a large difference. Lovely session" -  Ms. Sarah Gaikwad

Friday, 18 July 2014


July 18, 2014
After a number of years, finally AVEC was invited to organize an Orientation program for the students of STD IX & X at Lourdes High School - Kalyan. The incessant rains caused us to arrive a bit late at school. Today, was an experience of a kind! We saw the good and the worst side of students. For the very first time, in all our 130 school visits and encountering over 20000 students did we come across such disrespectful behavior! Somehow, the STD X were not at all interested in the session. All through the prayer song and the initial half of the session, the students, especially the boys kept disturbing. In spite of repeated request from Fr. Glenn, the students showed no signs of interest. The session for the STD X was then discontinued and the students were requested to go back to class. 
The second session with the STD IX was a totally different experience. They were better prepared and more disciplined. The two and a half hour session on 'My Life: A Valued Journey' was a real moment to introspect and make the necessary changes for living a more meaningful and significant life. Fr. Glenn challenged the young students to start Making A Difference. The examples of Kia Scherr, Malala Yousafzai, Ryan Hreljac and Fr. Glenn's own testimony of being a Kidney donor were inspiring to all. "You need to stop making excuses and start asking 'Meaning questions' in order to find solutions for daily living", he said. "Get back to the valued path and listen to your inner voice", he advised them
The students were then taken through a series of questions, insightful examples accompanied by a creative PowerPoint presentation. Twelve Diamond Values were proposed to the students to prepare themselves for the world ahead. The importance of having a 'Winner's Attitude', the strength of TEAM, the wisdom in 'Communication', the power of 'Creativity', the depth in 'Motivation', the humility of 'accepting corrections', the need for Multitasking, the vision of seeing the 'Bigger Picture', the truth about 'Money', the quality of living a 'Balanced life' and finally the secret to 'living a Life of Abundance' were values that really made sense to all the young students. 
The students were given a lot of examples and they were challenged to get back to the Valued path and live these 12 Diamond values in a constructive way. At the end of the session, Ms. Jacqueline Fernandes proposed the vote of thanks. Floral bouquets were given to both the speakers by the school Vice Principal as a sign of appreciation. 
 A number of students came forward to write their comments in the AVEC Log Book:
"I am deeply inspired by Fr. Glenn. i promise to become M.A.D. I salute Fr. Glenn for donating his kidney to a needy person" -  Roshan Dabhilkar IX-D
"I am inspired too by Fr. Glenn. I promise to become a successful person in the future. Thank you Fr. for giving us this learning on values" -  Siddesh Patil IX-D
 "Very inspiring and heart touching. Definitely going to be M.A.D. thank you for this inspiration" -  Rohan S. Adhav IX-D
"Rev. Fr. Glenn thank you for your wonderful session. You, as well as your M.A.D, is very interesting. We are definitely going to make a change" -  Gaurav Khalsa & Akash Shahu IX D
 "Rev. Fr. Glenn thank you and I promise to make a change and be MAD" -  Akilesh Patil IX C
"Fr. Glenn has impressed me a lot. He was very frank to tell and share his feelings. The examples of M.A.D, ie Ryan and Malala Yousafzai were the examples that impressed me a lot. I'll bring a change in my life" -  Shridharan S,and  Piyush Rathod IX-D
 "Dear Fr. Glenn, your explanation was so good and really inspired us/ Really we will have to change!" -  Delwin Davis IX -B
 "Thank you dear Fr. Glenn for your inspiring message. I promise that I'll apply the 12 rules in my life" - Bensen Thomas IX D
 "Wow! What a nice and clear explanation about life and Values. I really loved him. I will do my best to put all the 12 values in my life" -  Shreyas Jadhav IX D
 "Fr. Glenn you session was great. And just like you said, "You really Made a Difference" -  Angela Lijo IX-D
"It was a very nice and inspiring session and I will make a great difference" - Bharat Metha IX-A
 "Fr. Glenn thank you for your beautiful session which inspired each and every one of us. I will surely have a winner's attitude and bring a change in me" -  
 "Though I was there for only half the session, but still it had inspired me a lot and from today, my life will be changed" -

Congratulations to all students of STD IX for your very active participation and cooperation all through the session on Values.
God bless you all and may your journey in life be a significant contribution to others. Thanks to Ms. Jacqueline for organizing the program for the students. God bless you all