Learning Life’s 2016 Work, and Plans for 2017

In 2016, Learning Life focused its efforts on developing and testing our new Citizen Diplomacy Initiative, which engages lower-income American families, starting in Washington D.C.’s Wards 7 and 8, in live internet dialogues and project collaborations with families in other nations of the world.   More specifically, and among other things, we:

  1. Mobilized over 30 volunteers locally and internationally to assist with dialogue organizing, research, outreach, media, document translation, dialogue interpreting, educational content development, and more.
  2. Recruited over 20 advisors and consultants to help guide our research, planning, and project collaborations.  
  3. Developed a database of 100+ relevant funders, 120+ relevant metro D.C. organizations, 170+ embassies in D.C., 200 potential partners, nearly 250 individuals and organizations abroad, and close to 500 scholars in education, social science and international affairs.  
  4. Wrote 25+ CDI surveys, fact sheets, news and opinion posts, website pages, program and dialogue guides, and other documents, and translated key guides into Spanish, French, Arabic and/or Tagalog.
  5. Conducted seven introductory dialogues with eight families in Washington D.C., four families in Puerto de la Libertad, El Salvador, and two families in Dakar, Senegal.   

In 2017, we plan to start the family project collaborations with a photovoice project, followed by interview, research and writing projects that will pursue the families’ community interests and concerns.  We will also be expanding our base of volunteers (interns, mentors, project consultants), organizational partners, and participating families in the U.S., El Salvador and Senegal. We are also working to find CDI partners in one to two new countries for 2017, likely Jordan, Palestine, and/or the Philippines.

As we move into 2017, here are four ways you can help:

1) Donate to support our Citizen Diplomacy Initiative.  Sometimes small internet or transportation can prevent families from participating in our live, international dialogues, as we learned this year.  Your donations help pay for those small internet and transportation costs as well as printing, snacks for our valuable volunteers, and other items that allow us to sustain and grow CDI. When you donate, please consider becoming a CDI sustainer by giving $5, $10, $25, or $50 per week, month, or quarterly through your credit card.

2) Volunteer with Learning Life: Volunteers do the bulk of Learning Life’s work.  You can help with planning, fundraising, research, writing, design, video, social media, recruiting CDI families and partners in D.C. and abroad, language interpreting, document translation, dialogue moderating, and other tasks.  To learn more, contact us at email@learninglife.info.

3) Shop through iGive.com, and help fund Learning Life free. Shop more than 1,400 stores through iGive, and if you make Learning Life your preferred charity, a percentage of your purchase will be donated to Learning Life at no cost to you.

4) Buying or selling real estate?  Use a Referral Project realtor.  Through the Referral Project, realtors agree to donate 50% of their commission to the Project, and the Project then donates half of their proceeds to Learning Life at no cost to you.  From our latest Referral Project donation this year, Learning Life received $1,500.

Finally, please stay tuned to Learning Life news by following our Facebook, Linkedin, or Twitter pages, and sign up for our occasional email dispatches.

Happy New Year, and thank you for your support!  

Paul Lachelier, Ph.D.
Founder, Learning Life

P.S. For more on the thinking behind and developments in CDI in 2016, click on the following posts:

  1. Global Citizens for Our Global Age
  2. Inspirations for Learning Life’s Citizen Diplomacy Initiative   
  3. Three Deeper Take-Aways from the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election
  4. Our First, Live, International, Family-to-Family Dialogue
  5. U.S.-El Salvador Live Dialogue Leads to Dance
  6. Two New U.S. Families Join Citizen Diplomacy Initiative