Learning to CARE
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I must congratulate Patricia Nabti “from the depths of my heart” as we
say in Arabic, for choosing such a meaningful and powerful title for her
book. One of the most touted publications in the field of Education in
the last decade or so was Jacques Delors UNESCO’s Commission Report,
Learning: The Treasure Within, published in 1996, in which the
Commission came up with the four learnings: Learning to Know,
Learning to Do, Learning to Live Together, and Learning to Be.
These have become a mantra repeated in almost any conference or public
convention on education. I always felt that these four left out the most
important, which is Learning to Care. I had the chance to discuss
my reservations about these four at different occasions, and the most
sensible reply was that Learning to Care is included in Learning to Live
Together, but I always felt that this does not answer the question.
Learning to Care is more pro-active, more engaged, and more
compassionate, and now Dr. Nabti comes up with Learning to CARE as the
title and focus of her book. Congratulations. I think she has claim on
this title more than anyone else because she has, over so many years,
demonstrated what to care really means in practice. I thank her
for this major contribution.
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In this carefully designed and comprehensive “manual” on
volunteerism, Dr. Nabti draws the transition from the physical act of
serving to the emotional and social act of caring. Moreover, she has
succeeded in showing that helping and caring are as important
milestones in the development of a human being as are learning to walk,
or acquiring speech, or completing a high school degree… Indeed, as one
reads through the pages of this very rich resource book, one comes to
realize that there is an inherent need in each one of us to reach out to
others, to try and make the world a better, cleaner, and more beautiful
place… In Learning to CARE, one learns how to cultivate this need
so that it becomes an ability, and how this ability is later refined
into a concrete achievement… Self-actualization through the modest and
gentle act of serving others, that’s what volunteerism is all about.
And that is the message Dr. Nabti very successfully conveys, thus making
this book an invaluable tool for all those who believe that they can
make a difference…as well as those who do not know they can.
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Learning to CARE: Education, Volunteering, and Community Service is
an important contribution to the emerging volunteer community in Lebanon
and the Middle East and a wonderful guide to school-based service for
anyone, anywhere. With conviction and vision, Patricia Nabti takes the
reader through a discussion of the fundamental principles underlying
youth service—why it is
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Learning to CARE appeals to me, first as a Lebanese and second as
teacher. It gives me hope that there is a way to make Capable,
Available, Reliable, and Engaged Lebanese citizens; citizens who
think beyond the self and work for the greater good of the community.
The best way to make responsible citizens is to start at the base, and
what better place than schools? The effectiveness of the book, in my
opinion, is that in and of itself it is a complete guide to teaching
community service in schools. You need nothing else but the book and
the will to succeed. It is applicable widely because it caters to every
school’s needs. I find it easy to understand and easier yet to apply.
It is full of hints and techniques to follow in order to make community
service a joy and pride for every individual and school perseverant
enough to follow through. Finally, I love the “quotable quotes” that
are found throughout the book. In short, it is a great read that makes
the reader eager to apply the techniques of community service in his/her
The Association for Volunteer Services
Copyright 2008, Association for Volunteer Services. All rights reserved.