SPREADING THE WAY TO HAPPINESS
The international network of volunteers and supporters of The Way to Happiness now spans 186 nations.
In many cities, Way to Happiness volunteers have implemented the precept “Safeguard and Improve Your Environment” by undertaking cleanup efforts to remove bottles, cans and trash from their neighbourhoods.
Thousands of schools have participated in “Set a Good Example” contests, in which youth take an active role in building responsibility, competence and trust. An independent review of the Way to Happiness programmes in schools found that 90 % of participating teachers noticed a positive change in their students’ attitudes.
The Way to Happiness is also used on sports fields and in gymnasiums as a tool for promoting good sportsmanship and fair play. Through character education programmes, student athletes develop common-sense values that can help them achieve high levels of performance as individuals and team members.
Professionals and business owners have spread The Way to Happiness in their communities by sponsoring contests and campaigns aimed at making schools safe and drug free.
The precepts of The Way to Happiness are utilised in countless other ways. As conveyed by a community advocate in Los Angeles, the booklet is effective in resolving day-to-day conflicts:
“We’ve had a very good response from people in our community since distributing The Way to Happiness. At our local building project there were a lot of problems between tenants: disputes, lack of respect and a lot of crime. The building manager gave books out at the monthly tenant meeting. As a result she noticed a significant change—and the crime rate was going down too. This was from the book.”
Way to Happiness volunteers have also used the booklets in crisis zones to bring calm and help quell violence. To reduce gang activity, Way to Happiness volunteers in Los Angeles removed graffiti from 130 buildings while passing out thousands of copies of the booklet. In Iraq, two volunteers delivered seminars to more than 2,500 people and distributed 30,000 copies of the booklet. In Israel, 15,000 Way to Happiness lectures and workshops have been attended by 350,000 people of all ages.
The Way to Happiness is also a provenly effective tool in crime prevention and criminal rehabilitation. It has been used effectively in penal institutions, juvenile facilities and community crime prevention programmes. It is also the core element of the Criminon Programme, a nonprofit organisation dedicated to the rehabilitation of penal offenders. The programme is at work in more than 1,500 prisons worldwide and has serviced some 150,000 inmates in 38 nations.
The Criminon Programme directly addresses the cause of criminality by restoring self-respect and by equipping offenders with life skills, returning them to society as positive and contributive members.
The Criminon Programme is offered through two delivery modes: on-site courses and correspondence courses. A Restoring Self-Respect Resource Kit is available for education programme directors in prisons and juvenile correctional centres.
The materials, available free of charge, provide the tools necessary to help offenders regain their self-respect and turn away from a life of crime. It is available from both Criminon and the Way to Happiness Foundation.
Prisons using reform programmes based on The Way to Happiness have reported dramatic drops in recidivism rates, even among the most hardened offenders.
Information concerning Criminon’s full criminal reform curriculum is available at www.criminon.org.