Announcing Learning Life’s Outstanding Volunteers & Family Diplomats of 2022

Learning Life is pleased to announce its outstanding volunteers and family diplomats (FDs) of 2022.  “Learning Life is blessed with a growing number of volunteers and family diplomats worldwide, and we are happy to recognize and reward those who contributed to our international democracy and diplomacy work in outstanding ways,” said Learning Life’s founder and director, Paul Lachelier.   

The volunteer awards were for outstanding mentor, Board of Advisors member, and interns.  The FD awards were for most improved family storytellers who participated in Learning Life’s inaugural FD training as part of Learning Life’s Family Diplomacy Initiative (FDI).  You can see each of the award recipients below as well as all our 2022 FD family storytellers.  

FDI is an ambitious, long-term effort to connect, train and empower a growing international corps of FDs to participate in decision-making at local to global levels.  The FDs’ training — in citizen diplomacy, advocacy skills (starting with family storytelling), plus family trends, patterns and issues — is vital to their ability to effectively advocate for families across the world.  Learning Life successfully launched the FD training this year (more details on the training and its impact to come in our end-of-year report), and will continue to develop it over the coming years as we also grow our international corps of FDs.    

This year, all those FDs who completed the nearly four-month training, meeting weekly on Sundays from July 10 to October 30, were given certificates of completion, with or without honors depending on their attendance, participation, and completion of and improvement in pre- and post-training evaluation surveys and/or family stories. Nineteen individuals from fifteen countries completed Part 1 of the training (focused on developing knowledge about citizen diplomacy and global family trends, patterns and issues) and/or Part 2 (focused on developing skill in storytelling).  The certificate awards were announced for the following people, who completed both Parts 1 and 2, unless otherwise noted: 

Certificates of Completion: Chirunim Agi-Otto (Nigeria), Ittai Chaunzar (Zimbabwe), Atenkeng Cynthia (Cameroon, Part 2 only), Marvin Fan (China, Part 1 only), Justice Onyekachi (Nigeria), Mohammad Siavash (Afghanistan, Part 2 only), Chloe Terani (USA), Joe Toles (USA), and Gustavo Villalobos (Costa Rica). 

Certificates of Completion, with Honors: Aaron Akomea (Ghana), Tenille Archie (Trinidad & Tobago), Mulbah Flomo (Liberia), Belle Gjeloshi (Albania), Esma Gumberidze (Georgia), Nusrat Jahan Nipa (Bangladesh, Part 2 only), Lekshmi K (India, Part 1 only), Tadiwa Mudede (Zimbabwe), Sami Noman (Pakistan), and Leroy Quoi (Liberia).  

Click here to learn more about each of our family diplomats and their families.  All those who completed Part 2 on family storytelling receive a $100 stipend.  They are featured in the poster below along with their country and family story topic:

The five winners of the “most improved family storyteller” award receive an additional $100 award beyond the $100 stipend for all 2022 family storytellers in the above. These award winners are:   

Learning Life’s outstanding mentor in 2022 is Sherry Liu, pictured below with her mentee, Alaz’yah.   

Our outstanding Board of Advisors member is Ben Yavitz:

Last but not least, Learning Life’s three outstanding interns of 2022 are:

Learning Life’s outstanding mentor, interns and Board of Advisors member receive a one-year subscription to National Geographic Magazine in appreciation for their contributions.