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More about Alive to the World

“The Family in Latin America”, by Christine de Marcellus Vollmer to the United Nations, New York

Migration from the countryside to cities created a radical shift in 20th Century social life, breaking families apart, removing young adults from the guidance of their elders and creating shanty towns where family structures have broken down. In this disrupted environment, where gangs and lone mother families are commonplace, we have found in Latin America many bright adolescents who yearn for a better way, know right from wrong and are waiting to be shown how to live.

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“Alive to the World as a cure for youth violence,” by Christine Vollmer to the UK Online Think Tank on Preventing Knife Crime

Gangs and their leaders give lost boys, and some girls, a sense of belonging and meaningful challenge. Alive to the World gives children these similar values and good role models, with proven success in preventing violence and dropping out from school.

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TED talk: Alberto Vollmer speaks of Proyecto Alcatraz

The universal values on which Christine Vollmer has based Alive to the World are also exemplified in the remarkable work of her son, Alberto Vollmer. The Alcatraz Project of which he speaks has successfully rehabilitated hundreds of Venezuelan gang members with the aid of Rugby and hard community work.  Reformed criminals are now holding down good jobs and taking the Project into 26 gaols.

“Why the parents’ role in sex education is unique,” by Louise Kirk at the 22nd Asia-Pacific Congress on Faith, Life & Family, Kerala, India

All parents take part in sex education. They are also the best teachers. Giving them the confidence to take on their role helps to inspire a deeper level of trust and friendship between parent and child. This averts communication “walls” and helps parents to remain their children’s first mentors through the teen and early adulthood years. Teachers can do a lot to encourage parents and complement what is learnt in the home, consolidating good teaching as children mature.

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The World Congress of Families XIII, Verona

Because children of today will in many countries be a much smaller workforce and under severe constraints, with many retired people to support, they will need extraordinary grit to survive and have their own families. We must prepare them well and be optimistic. We started Alive to the World in Venezuela 17 years ago to counteract the corruption of values and are now seeing remarkable results. 

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Louise Kirk describes to Phil Holden, Deputy Leader of the Scottish Family Party, how Alive to the World came to be created, its core principles and how the programme works in practice. The interview begins 8 minutes into the podcast, which is first introduced by Richard Lucas, Leader of the Party.

“Discovering Virtues, the Basis of Faith”, by Christine de Marcellus Vollmer to the European Family Congress, Rome

Virtue is still the heart’s longing, recognized by every human being. It is much harder to teach when neither the family nor the media provide good role models and when so much is bought rather than made or worked for. Mrs Vollmer relates the moving story of her son’s work among Venezuelan gangs and explains how Alive to the World was composed.

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“New relationships resources for early learning at primary school,” by Louise Kirk in the Family EducationTrust Bulletin Winter 20/21 (Page 5)

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Response to the PSHE Consultation, 2011, by Alive to the World UK

This 66-page response to the UK Government’s PSHE Consultation of 2011 contains arguments, statistics and historical background which remain relevant.

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More Background resources

Relationships and Sexuality Education: official documents
Relationships and Sexuality Education
Support and advice
Support and advice
Other useful resources
Useful resources