Project Happiness: One Year and Counting…
The past year has been a busy one for Project Happiness here in Trinidad and Tobago. In September 2014, the programme launched in the presence of the Minister of Education, Dr. the Honourable Tim Gopeesingh, Project Happiness Founder and CEO, Randy Taran, ReThink Founder, Ernie Ross, and a passionate and dedicated team of ReThink Happiness Ambassadors.
Since then, Project Happiness has flourished under the diligent and mindful leadership of Project Happiness Regional Director, Amanda Fernandes. In its first term, the specially modified syllabus was implemented at Happy Hill Hindu School and Morvant Epiphany Anglican School, with just under 100 students. Within three terms the class was introduced to the classrooms of ten schools across the nation, reaching a total of 431 students. Among the schools that eagerly welcomed Project Happiness into their curriculum are:
Real and lasting happiness, the kind that remains regardless of any change in external circumstances, can be achieved by anyone.
Happy Hill Hindu School
Morvant Epiphany Anglican School
Don Miguel Hindu School
Reform Hindu School
San Fernando SDA Primary School
Coffee Boys Anglican School
Cipero RC School
Anstey Memorial Girls Anglican School
South Oropouche RC School
The curriculum focuses primarily on teaching children how to find happiness and how to cultivate one’s own authentic happiness. It covers topics such as gratitude, empathy, tolerance and embracing your strengths – “soft” skills that are often overlooked in schools under the assumption that children learn them innately or at home. Project Happiness strives to teach children these critical skills from an early age, in the hopes of equipping them with the emotional and social tools they need to handle life’s challenges as they mature.
Project Happiness has been embraced by students, teachers and parents alike, with several schools requesting that the programme be expanded to include all standards and grades.
Real and lasting happiness, the kind that remains regardless of any change in external circumstances, can be achieved by anyone. Both ReThink and Project Happiness believe in providing the means to help spread happiness and overall well-being. For children especially, there is the need to help build a foundation for happy, successful and meaningful lives. We both understand the importance of investing in a child’s development and this Project Happiness curriculum is one major step in providing the lifelong tools and techniques needed to cultivate happiness in our nation’s children.
With just a couple weeks until the start of the 2015-2016 school year, we’re extremely excited to see the programme expand even further to include health and wellness, along with a component that involves teachers and parents as well. Stay tuned for monthly updates chronicling Amanda’s work with her students.