Mindfulness Without Borders is a registered charitable organization with researched programs whose goal is to provide Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)* and Mindfulness* training to youth and the adults that surround them. Our mandate is to cultivate individual well-being through our programs and resources. By encouraging the practice of self-reflection and authentic connection we create a solution to today’s increasingly divided world. As an organization, our commitment is to work collaboratively with thought-leaders and researchers from diverse fields to advance a kinder, wiser and more compassionate world for all.
Since 2007, Mindfulness Without Borders has developed educational programs that emphasize an intelligence of the heart. Our goal is to bolster positive emotional development, critical thinking, resilience, and wellbeing for both youth and adult populations in a community. We promise to address two of the most critical challenges facing them:
how to strengthen mental health
how to maintain healthy human connections in an increasingly divided and complex world
Fundamental to our programs, we believe that every individual has the capacity to look within to nurture their unique positive qualities. We promise to focus on the potential to raise their awareness – with the tools of Social and Emotional Learning and Mindfulness ¬– to empower each individual and therefore strengthen their community from the ground up.
We believe in:
Making emotional intelligence skills accessible in youth and adults.
Fostering individual growth through compassion-based education
Creating cross-cultural conversations which build bridges for a kinder, just, and ethical society.
MWB’s Educational Programs
The organization has two operational hubs. MWB-Canada focuses on country-wide partnerships with school districts, middle and secondary schools, universities, as well as health, business and community organizations. MWB-USA is based in Marin County and manages international partnerships and activities.
1. Language for Youth Population
In today’s world, youth enter high school unprepared to face the demands and challenges of daily life, and yet the world demands it of them. Increasingly, students are faced with mental health challenges and behavioral problems that can be exacerbated by social media and the insurmountable pressures of a rapidly changing world. When undetected, these challenges interfere with their ability to grow and learn. It places them at risk for more serious outcomes such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, eating disorders, social isolation and suicide. In the age of COVID-19, these problems are even more pervasive.
To help mitigate this growing trend, MWB knows that a well-rounded secondary school education must involve more than academics. It must also involve teaching students the skills they need to prepare them for their adult lives. We teach positive character development and social-emotional literacy, along with the responsibilities to be good stewards of the Earth. We also know that when young people feel healthy and valued, they are more kind, collaborative and present – the very foundation for more peaceful and compassionate communities.
Responding to this rising need, our evidence-based Mindfulness Ambassador Program, which is available in English, French and Spanish, offers a new context for learning important soft skills. The program merges Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)* theory with secular Mindfulness* practice. It is within a shared learning platform that participants can exchange ideas cross-culturally and acquire tools that can be applied immediately in life. Facilitated by MWB staff or graduates of MWB’s Facilitator Certification training, the programs’ 12 theme-based lessons have proven results such as increased self-awareness and communication, improved focus, better stress management and more resilience in the face of challenges.
2. Language for Adult Population
Business executives now recognize that social and emotional intelligence are critical factors that contribute to effective leadership and professional success. Today’s growing challenges in the workplace are human challenges. Successful employees need confidence, skillful ways of communication and the ability to adjust to the many changes that occur in everyday life. They need to maintain healthy human connections – especially when setbacks and challenging situations emerge.
Our Mindful@Work program offers a highly interactive learning environment in which people from all backgrounds can benefit. We start with a foundation of mindfulness and through group conversation, experiential activities, and writing assignments, we build upon the core emotional intelligence competencies that lead to personal growth and overall wellbeing. This powerful combination of skillsets strengthens the quality of the choices they make and their orientation to life. In our Mindful@Work professional development workshops, we highlight five domains that build upon optimizing human potential:
compassion and empathy
As participants familiarize themselves with these skills, they have more focus in the present moment, feel more connected to themselves and others, bounce back from emotionally challenging situations, and experience less stress. Intime, they strengthen the skillsets and build resilience that is needed in navigating today’s uncertainty.
In 2007, under the initial name of Between4Eyes, we launched our Mindfulness Ambassador Program for youth and adult workshops. They were taught exclusively in the developing countries of Rwanda, Uganda and Nigeria. We led programs in select schools and NGO’s that encouraged self-reflection, present moment awareness and the role each person can take to help bring their community out from under the ‘us and them’ paradigm and into reshaping a more peaceful existence.
Our non-hierarchical learning environments provided a platform for an active exchange of ideas and the development of relational trust. This shared learning experience help strengthen the art and practice of deep listening to oneself and others. Participants experienced first-hand the benefit of open communications, authentic sharing and perspective-taking – helping to break down cultural barriers and strengthen human connection.
By 2010, we changed our name to Mindfulness Without Borders. We realized that while the conditions change from community to community, the challenges they face are universal. Rather than travel from location to location, we centralized our operations. We pivoted to online certification trainings for our international populations and on-site programs for local communities. Successful graduates of the certification training received immediate access to our lesson plans, educational workbooks and collateral materials to assist in their marketing and sustainability efforts. Along with ongoing mentorship, there are now more than 1300 certified facilitators from around the world, who have targeted populations at Law Schools, Police Academies, High Schools, Universities, wellness and clinical facilities.
Since 2017, we estimate that MWB’s programming has served more than 250,000 youth and 1500 professionals across 14 international borders including Rwanda, Nigeria, Uganda, Jamaica, Turkey, Vietnam, Israel, United States, Singapore, Australia, Mexico, Chile, UK, and Canada.
Ongoing costs of developing curriculum or needing resources for ongoing research, marketing and advertising.
As a charitable organization, we provide scholarships as well as free access to our programs and resources, whenever requested.
In a world where an unprecedented global pandemic, violence and division has increased polarization, we look to the [XYZ Foundation] for support in stewarding our work forward, which is more important than ever. I am requesting the opportunity to submit a full proposal in an effort to address the growing need individuals of all ages have in acquiring skills that support their social and emotional health. Ultimately, we are a charitable organization committed to bridging the growing divide between people in societies through the integration of two important pedagogies: social and emotional intelligence and mindfulness. After all, if we want society at large to operate on a higher ethical code, to expand our worldview and our shared human experience, we need to address the role that thoughts, feelings and actions have in shaping a more just, ethical and caring world.
In its most general sense, mindfulness is a quality of awareness that grows out of paying attention, without judgment, to what is happening in the present moment. When we are mindful, we deliberately slow down to notice what is happening inside us (our thoughts, feelings and body sensations) and outside us (in our environment). The development of mindfulness helps us to notice our emotions and experiences. It moves us from automatically reacting to stimuli to pausing and paying deliberate attention to what is happening in the moment.
*Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)
SEL represents a cluster of five different domains and skills including self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship building, goal-setting and responsible decision-making. The mastery of these core skillsets help individuals to unlock their full human potential and prepare them for personal and professional success.