The Virtues Project offers personal and professional development programmes, training and materials which inspire people to live by their highest qualities, their virtues. It is now used in over 100 countries around the world and has been honoured by the United Nations Secretariat as “a model programme for families of all cultures”.


It was founded in 1991 by three concerned individuals who felt called to do something to counteract the rising violence among youth and families: Linda Kavelin Popov, a psychotherapist, organisational consultant and community healer; her husband Dan Popov, a clinical paediatric psychologist and senior computer scientist; her brother, John Kavelin, an art director with Walt Disney Imagineering.

Researching the world’s sacred texts, they discovered something simple and profound. At the heart of all spiritual traditions are virtues, described as the essence of the human spirit and the content of our character. A guide containing fifty two of these universal virtues was published to help parents to bring out the best in their children and themselves. Five Strategies were developed to restore the practice of virtues in everyday life. Other books and support materials followed as word of the Virtues Project spread. The Popovs speak to thousands of people each year and are featured presenters on the television series “Virtues: A Family Affair”.

The Five Strategies of the Virtues Project help us to live more reverent purposeful lives, to raise children of integrity and compassion, develop a culture of character in our schools, and inspire excellence and service in the workplace. These strategies build foundations for safe and caring communities.

Strategy 1: Speak the Language of the Virtues
Language shapes character. The way we speak, the words we use, have great power to discourage or inspire. The language of the virtues helps us to replace shaming and blaming with personal responsibility and respect. It is a frame of reference for bringing out the best in children and ourselves. It helps us to be the kind of people we want to be.

Strategy 2: Recognise Teachable Moments
Recognising the gifts and life lessons in our daily challenges helps us to cultivate character in ourselves and others. When we have the humility and confidence to learn from our mistakes, every stumbling block becomes as stepping stone.

Strategy 3: Set Clear Boundaries
Virtues-based boundaries focus on respect, restorative justice and reparation to create a climate of peace and safety. Personal boundaries help us to build healthy relationships and protect our time, our energy and our health.

Strategy 4: Honour the Spirit
The strategy begins with respect for the dignity of each person and encourages us to make time for reflection, reverence and beauty. It is expressing what is meaningful in our lives by participating in the arts, honouring special life events, and sharing our stories. Creating Vision Statements increases unity and morale in our homes, schools and workplaces.

Strategy 5: Offer Spiritual Companioning
By being deeply present and listening with compassion and detachment, we help others to ‘empty their cup’. This counselling approach empowers others to define teachable moments and to reflect on their virtues. It supports moral choice, intimacy in relationships, and peaceful conflict resolution. This process is a powerful tool for healing grief, anger and trauma.

The Virtues Project can be sponsored by governments, corporations, social service agencies, community organisations, schools and by individuals everywhere. Programmes and topics are designed for a wide range of audiences and are adapted to address specific issues and goals. They can be presented as an inspirational key note for a conference, a series of workshops for a community group in crisis, an on-going programme with a school, parent group or company, or a personal development retreat. A growing, world wide network of dedicated Virtues Project facilitators offers programmes and presentations in countries around the world.

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