MESSAGE FROM
OUR PRESIDENT/CEO MICHAL BERG

Dear SFK Friend,

2018 was not an easy year around the world. As chaos, violence and uncertainty is being broadcast daily and nonstop, our children are, more than ever, in need of support and tools to navigate their fears, stress and internal emotional turmoil.

I hope that the stories and people we feature in this report will give you a good taste of the impact we had this past year and for the urgency of reaching more children as we move into the new year.

Here are some highlights of the excellent progress we made in 2018 which is paving the way for much more in 2019 and onward:

  • We launched a high-quality, intensive online Certification Program that trains and licenses individuals and professionals to teach the SFK program to children in their communities. So far we’ve certified teachers in seven different countries.

  • After a long journey, we finally became a recognized and approved program for schools in Israel by the Ministry of Education. This is a big step towards getting us into the school system.

  • We trained 22 school teachers in the Arab sector of East Jerusalem to teach SFK in their classrooms, reaching approx. 3,000 children.

  • Through our partnership with 19 organizations in LATAM, we reached over 4,000 children.

I want to express my deep gratitude for each one of you who took part in this important work in whatever capacity this past year. We deeply appreciate all of your effort and support. I invite you to keep giving future generations the priceless gifts of inner strength, self-value and the understanding of our interconnectedness.

With Love, Michal Berg

Cecilia Rivero, Guatemala

2018 was no different from my previous years at SFK. The dynamics of the program continued to push me to grow, develop my potential, connect with my inner child, and help more children discover their own wonderful strength.

One specific goal I reached this year was sharing what I have learned with other SFK facilitators in Costa Rica, Peru, Florida, Mexico and Guatemala. My message was that the most powerful way to impact children is to actually live what we teach. I believe that through this work, we are sharing our Light and helping each student on his or her own path to self-worth.

To implement this concept in my own life, I did the SFK activities myself. In one of the exercises, I needed to choose words to describe my True Self. I chose Bold, Passionate, Seeker, Loving, Creative, Innovative, Connector, Cheerful, Affectionate and, above all, Child. I became an SFK Certified Facilitator, which helped me strengthen my connection to my inner child, improve my self- esteem, and be more resilient. This incredible training has put me on the path to winning “the game of life!”

Still the most wonderful thing that happened this year in SFK was to see the transformation in adults who ventured into the program as if they were children. One of these individuals is Marilú, who told me: “I feel very proud of myself. I’ve been an activist for three years and I know I still have a long way to go. All that I’ve learned, I’m practicing. The Winning the Game of LifeTM course was my transformation.”

Until recently, despite being an activist, Marilú was a quiet lady and very much afraid of how people would react to her HIV diagnosis.

Nowadays, she represents Costa Rica at international conventions and is an ICW delegate (International Community of Women living with HIV), attending meetings to update national regulations for HIV Care. Marilú now has a motto: “I’m shining.” I believe that shining is always easier if you connect to your inner child and remember that you are Light.

That was my 2018, and I will keep moving forward this year. I want to live every day of 2019 shining forth and asking the Light to keep me humble and open to new experiences. As Miguel de Unamuno, philosopher, novelist and poet of the last century, wrote:

Enlarge the door, Father, For I cannot pass, You’ve made it for the children. I have grown, in spite of myself, For mercy, make me small. Return me to the blessed age In which to live is to dream

Monica & Carlos from Naomi for Kids Lima, Perú

Our commitment to SFK stems from the need for children in Peru to have tools to strengthen their self-esteem, develop skills for positive leadership and acquire values that contribute to their spiritual development. Children go to school to study but are not taught how to manage their emotions.

In the schools we have visited throughout the region, we have consistently found children with various socio-emotional problems that concern us. We have a special needs daughter who is growing up in a “normal” way. We make the effort to give her opportunities to grow spiritually, but we see that most children her age do not have access to spiritual tools and knowledge. For us, it is hard to think that when she grows up, her peers may not have the emotional sensitivity necessary to accept her. That’s why we have decided to offer the program in many different schools. We want children to develop their spiritual and emotional skills, so that they can foster a more sensitive world, and are able to accept, care for and nurture children such as our daughter.

SFK programs help children gain control of their emotions. The school principals have reported that since the SFK program has been taught in their classrooms, the students have developed a more positive attitude towards daily conflicts with their peers and other members of the school community. We want all children to be happy, and for this to happen, it is important to provide them with the tools to develop their spiritual nature.

We became familiar with SFK when we participated as volunteers in the United States and decided to bring it to Peru. We want to help children improve their self-esteem and be able to recognize the quiet inner voice that directs them to make good decisions.

We currently work with 21 public schools, and the testimonies from the teachers and principals indicate that there has been a decrease in the number of fights and disturbances during the day. The classrooms already have another dynamic, grades have improved, and the students are more cheerful and seem to appreciate themselves and others more. Most of these children come from homes without parents or from conflictive coexistence. It is satisfying to see how they have begun to have more self-esteem and to communicate proactively in their family and school environments.”

Milagros B. Casas El Cambio Comienza Conmigo Caracas, Venezuela

My work in helping children is rooted in my conviction that children are the world’s most valuable natural resource. We have to create a world with healthy children and the best place to start is caring about their social-emotional education. For sure, they will be more effective adults, and we will make the world a better place.

Children are the same all over the world, and when you get certified to teach the SFK program, you can help children from America to India. There are no limitations. The language of children is love, play and laughter. We engage with children instinctively. They may have a different culture, but an ache or a laugh is universal.

SFK is an extra mile of love. Perhaps you will be inspired by our short videos and photos to go that extra mile, too.

Parents always want the best for their kids, but sometimes, after putting in a lot of effort with little result, they start to lose faith that things can be better. When kids genuinely transform as a result of the SFK program, teachers and parents are really impressed. The testimonies are amazing. Just one simple decision to do this program can seriously change many lives for the better. With the tools and awareness kids gain in SFK, they can choose to stop their reactive behaviors, and alleviate a host of family problems.”

Halah – East Jerusalem

“I have been teaching SFK courses for 11 years, and for the last 3 years I have been training facilitators to teach the SFK program in East Jerusalem schools.

I have noticed many positive changes in my students as they learn the SFK program. Overall, they become calmer, learn how to take responsibility, and are more caring with others. One of the teachers in East Jerusalem reports that students who go through SFK wind up with higher grades.

I remember one of my students named Ahmad had difficulty sitting through the first few classes. By the third class, however, he was able to sit and listen intently. Eventually, he became an avid participator and helper for his peers. Ahmad looked forward to his SFK class every week.

I truly enjoy teaching SFK, and through it I have become more connected to my own feelings. I recommend the SFK programs to all teachers and parents who want to help their kids become more internally connected and positively involved in their community.

Sharoll Fernandez, Zera, La Paz, Bolivia

Seldom in our lives do we find a place that gives us all the keys we need to grow and find fulfillment. And yet it happens. My personal story is a testimony to that truth. Once I encountered the SFK program, something was awakened in me, and I knew I was being called to share.

SFK has given me a profound understanding of how to play the “Game of Life” through joy, transformation, self-love and love of others. Most importantly, through the SFK Certification Program, I have been given tools and knowledge of how to share this understanding with little children.

I now see my life as a story, the story of SFK and Zera. It is a powerful story of growth and transformation. Each child that I teach is a reason to continue it. What I see in these children is priceless. Some of them come in anger, others in sadness, and still others come shining regardless of their background or context. SFK is the playground where they learn to share with one another in deep and lasting ways. It is amazing to see how they begin to perceive their world differently, and come to know that on a deep level they are the creators of their own lives. This understanding alone is huge and life-changing. In this story, we all grow together, we all learn, and we all share. And I am the one who receives the most.

Silvia Sandra Munaylla-Principal Manuel Fernando Bonilla Elementary School, Lima, Peru

Since 2017, our school, 7003 Manuel Fernando Bonilla, has benefited from the Winning in the Game of LifeTM program. We are very grateful to the Naomi for Kids Association, which has made it possible for many students to learn the SFK program and develop the social, emotional, and moral capabilities that are so necessary in today’s society. Because of SFK, we have been able to avoid violence and disrespect in our school that is due to societal and environmental factors. The SFK teachings have also generated a wave of other positive effects. There have been fewer

incidents of fighting, and the teachers and staff have observed healthier student relationships. We have noticed improved self-perception and social skills among 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. These experiences will help our students be more prepared for any challenges they may face in the future.

We are very thankful for this program which has definitely improved life within our school. The community is confident that SFK is essential for the future of our students here in Peru.”

Ivonne Juárez, Psychologist at DIF, Zacatelco, Tlaxcala

Ivonne Juárez Tuxpan, a psychologist of DIF Zacatelco, located in the Municipality of Zacatelco in the state of Tlaxcala, Mexico, who through our partnership with DIF, a government agency that offers families development opportunities through classes and activities, was trained and taught SFK in their center this year:

“I had the opportunity to teach the SFK program in our center with 10 children and their parents. 8 of them successfully completed it. I am very grateful because we saw positive changes in the children, not just behaviorally and cognitively, but above all, emotionally. We taught children from different households and situations–from those who were living in a state of great vulnerability, to those who were in what is considered an average family unit. We found that through the program, everyone experienced transformation, regardless of their circumstances.

I remember one child in particular who had been bullied at school and was very timid and prone to isolate as a result. It was incredible because by the time he finished SFK Level One, his behavior began to change. His mom reported that he had started getting along with his peers at school, and was more participative in the classroom. His grades also went up.

We are very excited about the possibility to continue on with SFK Level Two. The DIF would like to expand this program in our community and all of Tlaxcala because there are many children who need all the benefits this program offers. We know that if we expand SFK in our community, we will be able to improve the quality of life of these children and help them be happier.”

Mahmoud Badran, Arabic Language teacher in an elementary school in Kofor Akabe, East Jerusalem

I started teaching fifth grade at the beginning of this school year and am thankful to have had the opportunity to teach SFK’s Level One Program: Winning in the Game of LifeTM.

This curriculum was entirely new to me, and I had no idea what it would bring both to me as an educator and to my class of young, developing minds. After I received the necessary guidance and training, I began by teaching one lesson from the program on a bi-weekly basis.

During each lesson, our class would watch the SFK video to connect to the main idea being taught. Then the students would discuss the key points, and link them to their own personal experiences. The projects they would work on in each class involved writing, thinking, and artwork, all of which helped them apply the principles to their own lives.

There’s absolutely no doubt that the SFK program helped my class explore new territory and grow by developing their ability to express emotions, think and react appropriately, listen effectively, and be a part of a team. Through the classes, they also improved their creative writing skills and tapped into the power of their imaginations.

I’m so thankful that a program like SFK is available and can help children from such a young age. I’m very grateful that I was mentored professionally so I could properly teach the material and help children in my area.

Padre Alfredo Infante –
Fe y Alegria Elementary School la Vega, Venezuela

The SFK programs are developed to awaken greater self-esteem, a sense of autonomy, problem solving skills, social skills and a sense of direction in children.

In our particular case, this program made a positive impact on the behavior and outlook of our students. We will continue to facilitate Winning in the Game of LifeTM and Exploring the Journey of lifeTM. We recommend that you open the doors to SFK in your countries, schools and organizations.

Raquel Cadavid, Musica Para la Paz, Medellin, Colombia

Having the SFK program in the Música for La Paz Schools has been an invaluable aid for the education of our students. Our foundation operates in places that have been hurt by violence, racial discrimination and many other different social problems. Our goal is to teach music as a tool for the construction of peace.

Playing a musical instrument requires effort, discipline, learning to overcome obstacles and get up in the face of frustration. Thanks to the lessons provided by SFK, we have been able to support this process so that our students have the necessary tools they need to succeed regardless of circumstance.

The most beautiful thing of all is to discover that these teachings help not only the children, but also their families.

We have witnessed the transformation of children and the constant enthusiasm they show in their SFK classes. All the activities in the program are clear, didactic and fun. In addition, having constant support, facilitator training, and monitoring of each class, makes it increasingly simple for our kids to get the most of out of all we are offering to them.

The Family Fun Fair took place in Lima, Peru. Our partners from Naomi for Kids invited children from the public schools where they facilitate the SFK programs. 630 children and parents attended. They enjoyed arts, crafts, and other SFK inspired activities, as well as live music and giveaways

Facilitator training in Uveros, Colombia

In February 2018, SFK trained 5 facilitators who, through our partners from Música Para la Paz, took the programs back to the children in their indigenous communities.

Police training Bogota Colombia

In February 2018, SFK trained 14 National Police officers in Bogotá Colombia. These officers took the programs to at-risk communities in their cities.

CEDAR School in Ciudad Netzahualcoyotl, Mexico

In 2018, SFK trained facilitators who taught the program to the at-risk community of Netzahualcoyotl, a suburb of Mexico City, which has the highest crime rate in that state.

SFK online Certification program empoweres parents, teachers, professionals or simply passionate people who want to help children lead a meaningful, connected and successful life through teaching the SFK curriculum! Participants of the program are receiving a toolkit of leadership and communication skills to better help children develop empathy, grit, and confidence. They are learning cutting-edge educational best practices, along the SFK curriculum lesson- by-lesson tips and guidelines.

Graduated:

Wendy Glantz / USA

Hali B. / USA

Monica Malik / India

Ceci Rivero / Guatemala

Maria Nicholson / USA

In Progress:

Luis Felipe Barros DaLuz / Brazil

Leticia Scandolara DaLuz / Brazil

Miriam Zadeh / USA

Gabriella Botti / Italy

Alyssa Mercado/ USA

Christer Holger / Sweden

Joanna Quinn / USA

Karla Garcia / MX

Maria Nicholson – Grand Prairie, TX, After School Lead Teacher and recent graduate of SFK Academy.

The SFK program provides knowledge and wisdom to help children and parents elevate their consciousness in order to win in “the game of life.” I am very excited about sharing this program with my community.”

Deimer 6 YO Uveros, Colombia

Juan 13 YO 6th grade Venezuela

Ingrid Lorena 13 YO 7th grade Uveros, Colombia

Colegio Juana Alarco de Dammert
5th grade 10-11 year old girls Lima, Peru

Veruzka 12YO 6th grade Venezuela

Nashanty – 5th grade 11 years old – Lima, Peru

SFK Graduates, Uveros, Colombia

As a 501 c3 nonprofit organization, SFK depends on the support from generous individuals to support our program, fundraising and administrative expenses which includes maintaining legal and financial accountability.

Since SFK acquired its own FEIN in 2010, our financial statements have been audited by independent, reputable auditing firms in Los Angeles, known in the industry for their rigorous auditing practices. Every year SFK passes with flying colors. Our 2017 financial statements were audited by Gursey Schneider LLC and we are getting ready for the audit of our 2018 financials. We also comply with IRS requirement to file the Form 990. Full copy of SFK’s financial statements and Form 990 are found on our website www.sfk.org.

At SFK, we take transparency with our donors, site users and the community very seriously. We work hard to keep the GOLD seal of transparency awarded to by Guidestar in 2018.

This is how SFK sourced and used funds in 2018:

Would you like to discuss bringing the SFK Program to your school or organization? Please contact us at info@SFK.org or (310) 464 0570.

Spirituality for Kids International Inc.
PHONE: 310.464.0570
EMAIL: info@sfk.org

@spiritualkids