We would like to see education, health, media and ICT working together toward a shared vision of supporting human development, of which well-being is its fundamental expression. We define well-being as the realization of one’s physical, emotional, mental and spiritual potential. It is inspired by a harmonious engagement with one's own self, family and friends, the community and the world at large.
- Read our Reflections on Well-Being [pdf]
- Read our Background Note on Well-Being [pdf]
- View a presentation on Well-Being and Education [ppt]
Holistic development of children and young people
We believe that every child is born vulnerable and loving, spontaneous and playful, curious and creative and with a deep innate desire to learn. Education, health, ICT and media, as well as society at large, need to nurture these qualities in every girl and boy to foster their unique physical, emotional, mental, social (1) and spiritual make-up, while supporting their desire for joy in learning (2). Listening to them with curiosity, respect and openness is essential to support their development. We believe that children know innately what they need to thrive and what benefits their well-being.
Pedagogical social responsibility
We believe that children learn from diverse environments, including formal and non-formal education and health systems, family, community, business, the media, ICT and government. Fostering well-being is a responsibility shared by society as a whole. Hence society needs to engage young people in sharing their perceptions and acting as agents of change to create with adults learning environments conducive to their well-being.
Diversity and self-organization
We embrace diversity as synonymous with life and celebrate the richness of human knowledge, experience and endeavor. No-one has the right to assume the power of legitimizing and imposing one correct way – no one size fits all. Education, health, ICT and media, as well as society at large, need to provide space and time for innovation, diversity, autonomy, creativity, reflection and self-organization. Systemic change We embrace the unprecedented opportunities for innovative, systemic change in education and health, to which the advances in information technologies and media contribute. Prevailing norms and structures need to be reconsidered in favor of creative, transdisciplinary learning and human development approaches across systems. We believe this process will make all modes of learning more responsive to the needs of children, their communities and society as a whole.
We embrace the unprecedented opportunities for innovative, systemic change in education and health, to which the advances in information technologies and media contribute. Prevailing norms and structures need to be reconsidered in favor of creative, transdisciplinary learning and human development approaches across systems. We believe this process will make all modes of learning more responsive to the needs of children, their communities and society as a whole.
Unity in Diversity
(1) Reflecting the WHO definition of health: Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
(2) This phrase echoes the sentiments expressed in the report to UNESCO of the International Commission on Education for the Twenty-first Century.
- We will focus on making children’s learning environments more conducive to their well-being by:
- Engaging children and young people in the transformation of their learning environments.
- Developing indicators for monitoring and encouraging the conscious nurturing of their well-being.
- Recognizing and disseminating co-creative initiatives that impact positively on their well-being.
- Facilitating multi-sector, transdisciplinary and multi-mandate dialogues on the well-being of children.
- Engaging partners from multiple sectors of society who have the depth and breadth to take forward the vision of Education by All for the Well-Being of Children.
- Developing a co-creative culture within UEF and with its global and local partners.
The voices of girls and boys are increasingly and more effectively heard, and they are actively participating in shaping their learning environments.
The well being of children and young people is a central goal of the education and health systems in more and more countries.
ICT and media contribute in unprecedented ways to reshaping the learning environment and promoting well being among children.
School systems are transformed in more and more countries to become more conducive to the well being of children.
We and our partners experience meaning, joy and financial sustainability for our endeavor.
As a result, children and young people in more and more countries experience improved well-being in their learning environments.
- A 16-page brochure about the Universal Education Foundation [pdf]
- History of UEF [pdf]
- Voice of Children in Palestine [pdf]
- Reflections on Well-Being and Education [pdf]
- Education by All in Wales [pdf]
- Pamphlet about the Universal Education Foundation [pdf]