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Lisbon, Portugal—UPF-Portugal concluded a three-month training program for prospective character education teachers in Lusophone countries.

Participants joined the online program, "Educating Character for Peace," not only from Portugal but also from Portuguese-speaking countries such as Angola, Mozambique, São Tomé and Principe, and Guinea-Bissau (being also in cooperation with Brazil).

The training program was held from February 4 to April 29, 2023, with an online session held every Saturday.

The program’s12 sessions were divided into three modules:

Module I: Foundations of Character Education

The Need to Educate for Character

Cultivating a Culture of Peace through Service

Life Goals and the Partnership between Home, School, and Community

Causes and Resolution of Conflicts

Module II: The Family as a School of Love

Family, the School of Love

The Universal Dimension of Family

Healthy Marriages

Preparing Youth for Marriage

Module III: Challenges of Youth

Ethics of Love and Sexuality

Consequences of the Sexual Revolution

Drug and Addiction Prevention

Understanding HIV/AIDS

The four trainers from UPF-Portugal—Sérgio Vieira, Paula Berto, Carla Vieira, and Paulo Nunes—meticulously prepared each presentation, including session plans with goals and objectives.

On average, 40 to 50 participants attended the weekly sessions. The trainees from Portugal included Ambassadors for Peace and partners from associations and educational institutions.

Trainees from Angola, Mozambique, São Tomé and Principle, and Guinea-Bissau included leaders and members of UPF and affiliated organizations—Youth and Students for Peace, Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, and Women’s Federation for World Peace.

On April 3, 2023, UPF-Portugal organized an online meeting between the key UPF leaders from Lusophone countries and Dr. Adama Doumbia and Dr. Paterne Zinzou, the UPF-Africa regional president and vice president, respectively. The purpose of the meeting was to report on achievements, convey opinions about international cooperation, and discuss possibilities for broader collaboration of Portugal with African nations, such as joint events and International Leadership Conferences.

Following the completion of the training program in April, a new phase began in May. Active and dedicated trainees utilized the topics covered to deliver mini-sessions of 15 minutes, maintaining the essence of the content while showcasing their creativity in applying the character education within their societies. Trainees from Portugal, Mozambique, and São Tomé and Principle already have given five very good presentations, and some others from Angola and Brazil also are scheduled.

Several months of dedicated work in this area have led to the creation of sufficient educational and curricular materials to start in the field. The current focus is on incorporating dynamic and practical activities, appropriate to the target audience, that can awaken greater enthusiasm in students.

By the end of 2023, we intend to have substantial material ready to present in any school, association, or institution—some of which already have expressed interest in these topics.

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