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ANNUAL REPORT 2021

Message from our Chair and Managing Director

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Daniel Kropf
Chairman and Founder

Despite the collateral challenges faced in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people found new ways of working together and supporting each other — particularly supporting the wellbeing of children and young people, and their engaged participation in matters that affect them.

At the Learning for Well-being Foundation, we care deeply about children, relationships, and the future of our societies and communities. We remain committed to exploring the intersection between wellbeing (as self-knowing) and creating social change through child participation in competent partnerships with adults.

At the heart of this, is the quality of relationships between children and adults and the development of foundational core capacities.

We believe these core capacities act as mediators between the inner and outer worlds of human beings. They allow us to deepen our understanding about how and why we naturally function as whole systems. Equally, they provide pathways for us to communicate and engage with other people and our environments in the work that we need to do together.

Through our focus on core capacities, we are offering a process for individuals and organisations to begin looking at the wholeness of life, not only focused on deficiencies or problems but also on aliveness and health and track emerging possibilities.

Our 2021 Annual Report focuses on some important milestones which will show you how we moved closer to promoting wellbeing and participation, while strengthening the foundation and its team as stewards and role-models of our message. The last year represented the end of a strategic cycle, and gave birth to a new strategic orientation and the formulation of a theory of change that will guide our work in the next decade.

We wish to thank the board, our team, our many collaborators of different ages, and our community partners for their support and dedication in making the vision of our Foundation a reality, and for their perseverance in maintaining meaningful connections, in spite of the challenges.

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Yakarah Attias-Rosen
Managing Director

A little reminder of our Strategy for 2020-2022

In 2019 we established three interconnected strategic aims for the period of 2020 to 2022, focused on: promoting well-being and participation of children and supporting adults, and strengthening the Foundation’s ability to implement its programmes with alignment, love and courage.

Well-being

Children and adults learn to create and experience well-being
  • Inner diversity is acknowledged and addressed in learning and development.
  • Children develop their whole selves, engaging mental, emotional, physical and spiritual perspectives.
  • Education pathways and assessment are holistic and personalised.
  • Deepened awareness and understanding of core capacities and their impact in children’s well-being, learning and development.

Partnership

Children and adults collaborate in decisions that impact them in all environments
  • Wider support for intergenerational collaboration.
  • Increased intergenerational collaboration in local social action.

Foundation

The L4WB Foundation is a community steward and a strong backbone organization
  • We feel fulfilled in our roles, and aligned with the foundation’s purpose.
  • Our communication is accessible and compelling.
The following assumptions demonstrate how the three aims are mutually supportive:

Children and adult’s experience of well-being affect the quality of their participation in decision-making. Namely, participation must be purposeful, respect one’s inner (and outer) diversity, and is embedded in supportive relationships.

Children’s participation impacts their experience of well-being. It contributes to their sense of agency and self-esteem, it makes them less subject to harm, and their views amplify outcomes to their environments, including peers and supporting adults. Collective and systemic well-being can only be defined and generated with the involvement of children and young people.

The foundation’s board, staff, and collaborators ability to model and practice will strengthen the quality and impact of the foundation’s programmes in the fields of intergenerational collaboration, child participation and child well-being.

Activities and
Achievements
in 2021

Child Well-being

Our activities aimed at promoting children’s well-being are carried out with an intergenerational lens - acknowledging the importance of adults of reference in the lives of children, and the web of relationships within children’s environments.

Most of our activities under the banner of well-being are focused on supporting children’s agency in defining and creating well-being in their formal learning environments, increasing their self-awareness about what offers them a sense of purpose as well as their inner diversity, and how it manifests in the way they learn and develop.

In 2021, we have advanced our understanding of the critical role of core capacities in children’s living and learning, we have gathered holistic assessment practices that move away from standardised, high-stakes testing, and we have expanded our ecosystem of partnerships working on developing well-being in school communities supported by the Learning for Well-being framework.

Assessment that Supports Whole Child Development

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The publication “Assessment as Dialogue: Twenty inspiring practices from classrooms and schools around Europe” was one of the project’s results and collects over 20 practices of innovative and formative assessment methods.

Find here the link to the project website

“Quality of Childhood” Sessions at the European Parliament

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In partnership with the Alliance for Childhood Network Group, we worked with Members of the European Parliament to develop the agenda for each Quality of Childhood session.

In 2021 we held four sessions. Within the sessions, we had the opportunity to present the book “Assessment as Dialogue” and the “What makes me?” report.

School Well-being

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Israel

In partnership with Education for Life Israel, we developed a pilot for a national educational programme on Digital Well-being for children starting with all middle schools in Eilat. A set of 20 lessons were developed for teachers in order to implement the program in their classrooms.

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Netherlands

We established a partnership with Van Montfoort, a company dedicated to youth development in the Netherlands, for the promotion of well-being in School Communities, supported by the Learning for Well-being framework.

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Palestine

Our partners in Palestine have started developing the “Well-being in Communities” initiative. We facilitated a 10-session experiential online workshop, introducing the  Learning for Well-being framework to a group formed of Synergos associates, staff from the Ministry of Education Palestine, and the Universal Education Foundation.

We developed a Participants booklet with basic tools for supporting self-awareness in relationships and participation: circle sharing, body anchoring, focused awareness and participation.

What Makes Me. Core Capacities for Living and Learning

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Interviews to experts

We launched  “What Makes Me. Core Capacities for Living and Learning”, a report developed alongside the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti, and the US based Fetzer Institute,  of a research that aimed to  unearth what is known in empirical literature about the importance of these core capacities in children’s well-being and development, how they influence one another, and what conditions are required to protect and promote them.

It was first presented at the World Innovation Summit on Education and also introduced through social media campaigns.

Several videos were also produced: A series of animated videos introducing each core capacity, and a video with interviews to key actors in the research project explaining the rationale and motivation for the project.

Take a look at our videos
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Visit the Project microsite
For us, this is just the first milestone of our exploration of core capacities.

Building well-being capacity of ACT2gether Youth

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In 2021 we developed an ACT2gether Youth Mentoring programme: The Learning for Well-being Experience.

It consisted of an experimental series of activities to support self-awareness, using some practices based on the Learning for Well-being framework, with the aim of later creating a support programme for future children and young people joining ACT2gether as collaborators (with the expectation that young people themselves can co-lead as peer trainers).

Achievements
in the area of

Well-being

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Signed an agreement with the Ministry of Education for a school-based intervention.
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Set groundwork with introductory training for the ministry staff, ESNAD, and Universal Education Foundation staff and young ACT2gether volunteers in Palestine through a 10-session workshop on "Introduction to Learning for Well-being".
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Young volunteers co-developed a comprehensive school health guideline with a holistic approach jointly with the Ministry of Education in Palestine.
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Developed a "Participants Booklet" with basic tools for self-awareness in relationships, learning and participation.
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Facilitated 5 sessions of the ACT2gether Youth Mentoring program, allowing members of ACT2gether Youth to explore and deepen their understanding of the L4WB approach.
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Launched the book "Assessment as Dialogue: Twenty inspiring practices from classrooms and schools around Europe".
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Presented the research on "Core Capacities Capabilities for Living and Learning in Childhood" at the QoC session of September 7th.
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Pre-launched the mapping of experiences from different foundations involving Children and Young People in decision-making.

Child Participation and Intergenerational Partnership

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ACT2gether World

In 2021 we continued to strengthen our established ACT2gether sites through implementing our different activity strands of LAND, LEARN and LINK.

ACT2gether Latin America, Germany, Palestine and continued working successfully on their various projects, and ACT2gether Netherlands was successfully established as our more recent site.

ACT2gether Local Sites

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Palestine

Intending to cooperate on joint activities, the Universal Education Foundation with ACT2gether Palestine and the Ramallah Federation signed a partnership agreement to strengthen the work of ACT2gether in Palestine, focusing mainly on conducting workshops for the organisation’s teams according to the Learning for Well-being approach.

The Ramallah Federation also played an essential role in supporting the planning of an event around Children’s Rights to be implemented on World Children’s Day, November 20th, to highlight Palestinian children’s central rights and well-being.

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Bolivia

After two years of effort, ACT2gether Latin America celebrated concluding the long process of accompanying the formation of the Plurinational Committee for Children and Adolescents in Bolivia. The Plurinational Committee is the highest representation of children at a national level; it creates opportunities for participation and activism for children and adolescents at every level of decision-making and opens spaces for intergenerational partnerships in creating public policies.

The Committee has 18 members, each with a different role and responsibilities, representing equally men and women and all departments of Bolivia.

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Netherlands

AfterAfter 1.5 years of broadening and securing a network in the Netherlands, A2G Netherlands has gained a lot of vocal support for its plan to organise 2getherLAND Netherlands in April 2023. This resulted in the creation of an Endorsing Committee for this several days event where young children, youth and adults will learn and work together.

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Germany

The Bertelsmann Stiftung is the organisation that implements the ACT2gether initiative in Germany, working closely with the Learning for Well-being Foundation to apply the organisation’s framework more optimally. In 2021 we continued supporting them with content and ideas in preparation of 2getherLAND Germany 2022, and members of their JET (German Youth-Expert-Team) participated in our first Global Voices Live session in September.

ACT2gether Online

Global Voices
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‘Global Voices’ is a global project developed by ACT2gether Youth for young people aiming to allow people from different backgrounds to share their perspectives and talk about the issues that matter most to them. It also intends to promote making new alliances with adults in the future to work together around these topics.

On 2021 we held three LIVE sessions to discuss several topics, including mental health and climate change.

Two of our Youth Team volunteers took action in one of the world’s most important climate change events: COP26, taking over the ACT2gether Instagram account to share their experience at the Green Zone inside COP26, the activities organised by COP26 Youth Hub, and interviewing other young volunteers and decision-makers.

Visit our social media threads to access “Global Voices”
ACT2gether Art Sessions
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We created these sessions to allow all ages to come together to do something fun, learn something new, and most importantly, connect or reconnect online in times of isolation.

We successfully held four art sessions every last Sunday of the month, from April to July, covering different types of art: Painting with Coffee, Painting with Spices, Painting like Mondrian, and Spoken Word/Poetry.

Take a look to our first

Research on intergenerational relationships and children’s rights

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The International and Canadian Child Rights Partnership (ICCPR) is a global multi-sectoral, interdisciplinary partnership of 41 team members and 30 partners the Learning for Well-being Foundation being one of them, including researchers and practitioners from international and national universities, governments, NGOs, human rights institutions, and young people with lived experience. ICCRP fosters cross-sectoral knowledge co-creation across generations and geographies by analysing facilitators and barriers, conceptual models, and relational practices related to child rights.

The ICCRP identified a critically overlooked element in realising child rights through prior work: intergenerational relationships. With the new Partnership Grant earned, the ICCRP will focus on this new, innovative research direction to examine how intergenerational relationships can transcend current barriers to realising child rights through intergenerational partnerships (IPs). It was fulfilling to receive the confirmation that this proposal had been accepted, and we look forward to developing this project.

Building well-being capacity of ACT2gether Youth

The Learning for Well-being Foundation co-chairs the Thematic Network on Children and Youth at Philea with the Bertelsmann Foundation.This network of philanthropic organisations involved in children’s issues works to support the Convention on the Rights of the Child, helping to put children’s rights onto the international agenda and taking a collective step towards the realisation of those rights. This network also focuses on enhancing children’s participation and raising their voices within organisations that work on their behalf.

In 2021, the network initiated a mapping as a contribution to the ACT2gether Initiative to catalyse child participation in philanthropic practice by sharing experiences from different foundations involving Children and Young People in decision-making. On November 25th, the Youth Thematic Network held a pre-launch webinar to give a preview of this project; over 40 people joined and demonstrated a significant interest in the preliminary results.

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Based on the knowledge from the field and the gathered practice via surveys and interviews, this work offers guidance for philanthropic bodies on children and young people’s involvement in grant-giving and programming. In addition, it aims to develop foundations’ capacity to engage with children as stakeholders in decision-making.

The Learning for Well-being Foundation gave an in-kind contribution to funding the publication. Other organisations that are part of this network are: Foundation Botnar, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Cuneo and Open Society Foundations.

Milestones
in the area of

Child Participation and
Intergenerational Partnership

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Signed an agreement with Ramallah Federation for support of ACT2gether Palestine.
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Supported the election of the Plurinational Committee for Children and Adolescents in Bolivia.
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Implemented the project “Participation: a beginning and an end to the rights of children, teenagers and youth”, by holding capacity-building workshops for teenagers from different public schools in La Paz in a joint effort with EDUCO Bolivia.
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Developed a "Participants Booklet" with basic tools for self-awareness in relationships, learning and participation.
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Formed the Global Voices Project and held 2 LIVE sessions around diverse topics with young participants from different countries.
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Joined the International & Canadian Child Rights Partnership (ICCRP) to research how relationships can foster child rights and share our findings via global networks to transform research, policy, practice, and relationships.
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Presented the research on "Core Capacities Capabilities for Living and Learning in Childhood" at the QoC session of September 7th.
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Pre-launched the mapping of experiences from different foundations involving Children and Young People in decision-making.

Strengthening the Foundation

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Strengthening the Foundation in 2021 focused on creating processes for personal and professional development, and clearer spaces for decision-making and tracking progress. The pandemic also dictated the need for improving internal and external communication as a way to overcome the challenges of working remotely, and increasing our presence and outreach through digital means of engagement.

Developing a Theory of Change

In 2021, we completed the first stage of development of our Theory of Change. It synthesises the L4WB framework and depicts four main aims of the organisation in the short, medium, and long term, towards our overall vision; how we would like the world to be.

The aims define the direction of the foundation’s activities and are linked to the shifts the foundation wishes to create concerning identified problems. We believe these shifts can be supported through developing their core capacities to make decisions and take actions that serve themselves, others, and their communities.

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From fragmented to holistic learning environments
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Children’s environments support the holistic engagement of all involved. This means that both children and those interacting with them feel participation is woven with purpose and can connect their actions with their inner life. It also means that learning and living experiences stimulate physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual development and are supported by core capacities throughout life.

From standardisation to personalised approaches
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Children’s environments recognise that learning and participation happen differently for each child, depending on their inner patterns of processing their experience. Families and educators explore and recognise these patterns as they unfold and create ways through which children’s natural qualities and strengths can be valued and expanded.

From fragmented to holistic learning environments
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Children’s environments support the holistic engagement of all involved. This means that both children and those interacting with them feel participation is woven with purpose and can connect their actions with their inner life. It also means that learning and living experiences stimulate physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual development and are supported by core capacities throughout life.

From fragmented to holistic learning environments
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Children’s environments support the holistic engagement of all involved. This means that both children and those interacting with them feel participation is woven with purpose and can connect their actions with their inner life. It also means that learning and living experiences stimulate physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual development and are supported by core capacities throughout life.

Next is a diagram explaining the key elements of how we use the Learning for Well-being approach to creating the shifts we want to see in the world.
Click the image to enlarge

Team & Board Development

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Our team and board development activities are an expression of our commitment to leading by example, the principles outlined in the Learning for Well-being framework. They also recognise that aligning each member of our team’s unique potential with the purpose and trajectory of the organisation is a dynamic relationship that requires constant attention and adaptation.

Team Retreats
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In 2021 in the Fall, we held our first in-person team retreat since the beginning of the pandemic. It was a special event where many members of our remote team had the opportunity to meet for the first time since they joined the foundation. We focused our time together on creating a baseline understanding of the Learning for Well-being approach, and how it informs intergenerational relationships and child participation, and in building the basis of a 3-year strategy to start in 2022.

“Learning, Acting, Being” Calls
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The L.A.B. Calls — Learning, Acting, Being — are flexible online gatherings that support participatory decision-making and peer learning within the team. In 2021, the calls were used to share general updates on activity development, crowdsource insight on strategic decisions, build the team’s capacity in planning and monitoring progress. In one of the L.A.B. calls we shared our childhood photos as a means to capture the essential qualities that might still be present in the team, as adults. We used the photos for our team’s page, but also got to know another —endearing— dimension of our team.

Intergenerational Board Meetings
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Since the establishment of an intergenerational board in December 2019, board meetings are unique opportunities to try-out processes for creating meaningful shared decision-making between younger and older board members. In 2021, we experimented with holding youthonly meetings prior to the general board meetings to review support documents, clarify messages and prepare arguments. We focused the board meeting on addressing critical questions for the organisation, and redesigned the format of our quarterly activity report so that it’s clearer, simpler and friendlier.

Communication

Revamping our communication tools

In 2021, we decided to improve how we share our stories with the world and created a new format for our monthly newsletter that integrates our flagship concepts: ACT2gether and Learning for Well-being.

Besides the changes in layout, we have also included new sections that showcase personal stories and give both children and adults a space to express their own experience of the events hosted by the foundation.

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take a look at our
Core capacities campaign on social media

From April to December 2021, we held a social media campaign on core capacities, the cornerstones of the Learning for Well-Being Foundation’s work.

As social networks and the digital world are increasingly present, we wanted to find fun and reachable ways of informing and working with the core capacities, to make this information accessible to all.

During the month of April, we laid the ground for the campaign by sharing some thoughts about why core capacities are important. Then, we followed with a thematic calendar with inspiration and practices that enabled followers to explore a different core capacity in each month.

Learn more about inquiring
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Signed an agreement with Ramallah Federation for support of ACT2gether Palestine.
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Supported the election of the Plurinational Committee for Children and Adolescents in Bolivia.
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Implemented the project “Participation: a beginning and an end to the rights of children, teenagers and youth”, by holding capacity-building workshops for teenagers from different public schools in La Paz in a joint effort with EDUCO Bolivia.
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Developed a "Participants Booklet" with basic tools for self-awareness in relationships, learning and participation.
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Formed the Global Voices Project and held 2 LIVE sessions around diverse topics with young participants from different countries.
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Joined the International & Canadian Child Rights Partnership (ICCRP) to research how relationships can foster child rights and share our findings via global networks to transform research, policy, practice, and relationships.
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Presented the research on "Core Capacities Capabilities for Living and Learning in Childhood" at the QoC session of September 7th.
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Pre-launched the mapping of experiences from different foundations involving Children and Young People in decision-making.
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