Tuesday, 30 September 2014


September 30, 2014: Eighty six young students undergoing Teacher's Training at St. Teresa's B.Ed College, Santacruz, spent an entire morning having a Value Education Orientation program conducted by AVEC. Thanks to Sr. Lilian Rosario, Principal of the B.Ed College who made it possible to invite the resource personnel well in advance. After a brief introduction, and an opening prayer by Sr. Lilian, the students were taken through a spiritual moment led by Mr. Rochwyn Fernandes. The prayer song, 'Sarveshaam Swastir Bhavatu' and a fantasy meditation enabled the students to focus on the value of nourishing the spiritual dimension of one's personal life.
 Fr. Glenn Lowe then took over the next few hours. He invited the young teachers to challenge themselves with a greater preparedness to become more than mere 'dispensers of knowledge' to becoming 'beacons of Value promotion'. The entire first session focused on the need to make appropriate 'qualitative changes' rather than spending time on 'quantitative changes'. The many examples given: Ms. Kia Scherr, Ms. Malala Yousafzai, Mrs. Immaculee Ilibagiza, Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi were inspiring too. The session focused on the need to stretch beyond the 'mere ordinary and littleness' and to launch into the realm of 'greatness'. Your students are entitled to a 'great teacher', not a 'little one'!
 The second session focused on how to make 'qualitative changes' in the lives of their students. The starting point comes on the power of one's WORD. "Your lifestyle is expressed through your word Change your 'word' and transform your 'world'.  This was very clearly brought out through the poem, 'Youth: A Lost Generation" by Jonathan Reid. The 'square puzzle' was another insightful exercise to challenge the students to have the courage to break old mind sets and to seek relevant solutions. 
The final part of the session, focused on aligning one's personal values with that of the institutional's values. Many of the young student-teachers shared their own personal experiences and even their own options to make qualitative changes. The entire day was an opportunity to make the necessary shifts in one's lifestyle, mindset and value system. The session included a lot of personal testimonies, deep insights, inspiring video clips, and an interesting PowerPoint presentation on the world and attitudes of the young people today.
 At the end of the session, Ms. Juveria Ghare proposed the Vote of thanks.
A number of students came forward to write their comments in the AVEC appreciation log book:
""Father, it was really an eye-opener and heart touching session. It would definitely make a difference in my teaching and as a whole to the society. Thanks for all your efforts" - Farhat Sayed
 "It was an experience listening to you once again. We appreciate your efforts to come and try to make a change in our mindsets. Thank you. Hoping to have you visit our college again" -  Priyanka Martis
 "It was an inspiring session you have given us. A dynamic and energetic person of God who opened our eyes as teachers to both intellectually as well as in character. Thank you Fr and God bless you" -  Sr. Betty FMA
 "Your session was very inspiring and an eye opener for all of us. It was great to have such a wonderful session even before our teaching has started" -  Fleur DSilva
 "It was an awesome session especially enabling each of us to think differently. Personally helped me in my way of thinking.  Thanks... for making a difference in my life" -  Sharon Parakal
 "I really enjoyed the session, especially the real life experiences that you shared with us. If ever in life, I come across students who appreciate and love me, I shall give your session all the credits! Thank you immensely" -  Lizann Lobo
 "I really enjoyed the workshop that you gave and I will always remember the video that you showed and I hope to become a teacher who makes qualitative changes in the lives of our students. Thank you again and God bless" -  Juveria Ghare

Congratulations to all the students and the management for making the time and giving us the opportunity to speak to your students. You well all so very cooperative and participate all through. Be blessed and thanks once again. May God bless you all as you prepare yourself to be effective and great educators of the young in your care.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014


This morning, around 450 students of STD IX & X, from St. Charles High School - Vakola, took part in a Value Education Orientation program that was organized by the AVEC Team. Thanks to the principal Sr. Jacinta for booking the resource persons well in advance. Sr. Jacinta, warmly welcome the guest speakers to the school. Mr. Rochwyn Fernandes animated the first part of the session by a prayer song 'Sarveshaam Swastir Bhavatu'. The young students were then taken through a spiritual moments of personal reflection coupled with rhythmic breathing. The entire session provided an opportune moment for slowing down, relaxing and staying focused for the following session.
 Fr. Glenn Lowe invited the students, through a number of daily choices, to check on their Value Compass in life. Without a Value Compass in life, running fast just makes no sense. Velocity is not important, in life 'Direction' is. He challenged the students to start making choices for 'higher values' even if it demands personal sacrifice. The short film, 'Two plus Two equals five' brought home the message very powerfully.
 He then presented the lives of Kia Scherr, Ryan Hreljac, Malala Yousafzai, and Immaculee Ilibagiza who chose the higher values of peace, service, forgiveness and reconciliation rather than revenge, selfishness, hatred and division. The students were then invited to look at four very important dimensions of their lives: The Present, the Past, the Future and their Problems. Through a number of practical and deep insights the students were able to 'listen attentively' to their now moment and to plot their own graph of life. The 'Spiral of Life' exercise helped the students to 'revisit their past' and to connect the dots of their lives. The 'Wheel of Life' exercise enabled the students to reorganize their future, based on their present standing in life. When it came to problems, the students were invited to 'write them on sand'; to talk it over with their parents, teachers, counselors and to seek help and advise.
 At the end of the session, the students were able to reconstruct their 'broken value compass' and commit themselves to make 'value based choices for the future'. Students Mrunmayee Khanvilkar and Neha Amin proposed the vote of thanks on behalf of the students of std IX and X respectively.
 A number of students came forward to write their comments in the AVEC appreciation log book:
"I would like to have such programs again and again" -Elita IX
"Thank you for helping us to glance over our past" -  Priti IX
"It was a wonderful session for us to face our problems, We will work as the spirit leads us" -  Susan IX
 "We are very grateful for assisting us and making us realize our part in life" - Sanchita IX
"I was very inspired to lead a good life" -  Maitrayee IX

 "I learnt to fight problems, felt inspired and awesome. I will surely practice as said. Father is proved to be an ideal. Loved the session" -  Sauleha Khan X
"I came to know the importance of values in my life" -  Sana Khan X
 "Thank you so much father for removing all the negative thoughts in me and giving me a new inspiration" -  Padmavati X
 "This session has made us live" -  Bhoomi X
"It was indeed an enlightening and an eye opening session" -  Diandra X
 "It was awesome, but the best part was we came to know about so many inspiring lives about whom we had never heard before" - Bhumika X
"It was an awesome session. we are inspired by you. we have learnt to choose the higher values in life" -  Nidhi X
 "I think this session was quite inspiring for today's children" -  Karishna X
 "Thanks for the push" -  Akshaya
 "Thank you father for this beautiful eye-opening session. It has really helped me to get a head start for the boards" -  Gail Almeida X
 "The session was inspiring and enlightening too" -  Herschelle D'Souza X
"This session was very inspiring and a meaningful one too/ thank you. we are happy to see you here" - Ankita Doppa X

Congratulations to all the students for your very active participation and cooperation all through the session and may God bless you all in your educative journey. Fr. Glenn and Mr. Fernandes