Love, Learn and Play
Universal Enlightenment and Flourishing (UEF) develops and supports programs nurturing the practice of Love, Learn and Play (LLP), an approach to flourishing which teaches children life skills, tools, and resources to flourish in diverse environments.
Our goal is to create accessible programs for children of all ages to learn the LLP approach. Our methodology bridges silos of academic research, wisdom of religions and cultures, with aspects of cognitive behavioral therapy such as journaling, mindfulness, positive discussion, and exercises offering empowerment. This philosophy can be adapted to meet the needs of every population, regardless of socioeconomic class or geographic location.
South Africa: An Innovative Partnership for Change
UEF’s mission is to enhance human flourishing by helping to usher humanity into an era of universal enlightenment, where all people are able to realize their innate longings to Love, Learn and Play. The Paul Hodges Trust’s mission is to enable women and girls living in the world’s poorest communities to access the resources they need to flourish against all the odds.
Powered by our shared values, in early 2021, UEF partnered with the Paul Hodges Trust and We Yone Child Foundation to design, deliver and test a ground-breaking pilot project: The UEF Love, Learn and Play Girls’ Club, in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Our focus was to provide opportunities for flourishing to vulnerable girls in South Africa’s poorest communities where restricted by the negative gender norms, girls were at high risk of violence, abuse, early pregnancy and school drop out.
Utilizing existing social worker networks to identify those most likely to benefit from the UEF funded initiative, we started with identifying and addressing key needs of underprivileged female adolescents in Sierra Leone, including: mentoring and leadership, harnessing creativity, building self esteem and expression, strengthening peer networks, community advocacy, and awareness of body positivity and rights. We set about accomplishing this through the UEF framework for flourishing by engaging in Love, Learn & Play.
The pilot program implemented UEF’s innovative framework into action. Thirty girls met weekly for 16 sessions, engaging in dynamic discourse and activities surrounding Love, Learn, and Play. Measured through a range of qualitative and quantitative data, participation in the club led to significant positive changes and increased self-confidence.
The results from our first initiative, sharing LLP in action as a tool for improving mental health, breaking cycles of poverty, and a framework by which we truly flourish has proved to be a huge success.
Building from the success of the pilot program, the Paul Hodges Trust and UEF scaled up the program in 2022 to extend the curriculum from 12 weeks to 6 months, and launched the LLP Girl’s Club in two different locations, George Brook and Freetown. The first group of 50 girls attended these clubs and graduated in October. A new batch of fifty girls is set to graduate in May of 2023.
Bringing LLP to Puerto Rico
In Summer of 2022, UEF in partnership with the San Juan Community Library in Puerto Rico Launched a summer program. Girls and boys ranging in age from 7-14, enthusiastically participated in the LLP Youth Club to experience self-expression and growth in a safe environment following all COVID precautions. According to the Library Director Ms Connie Estades, there was a special synergy between the LLP Youth Club and the Library’s summer reading contest where the members of the LLP Club joined the Library and the summer reading contest and vice versa. Parents as well as the participants expressed their appreciation for this unique program that easily adapted to the social and cultural realities of Puerto Rico due to the universal appeal of love, learning, and play.