The Learning to CARE Institute is a social venture in the field of volunteerism, established in February 2012. In many respects, it has taken the place of the another institution founded by Dr. Patricia Nabti, the Association for Volunteer Services (AVS), a non-governmental organization "to promote, facilitate, and improve volunteering and community service throughout Lebanon and beyond."
The premise of the Learing to CARE Institute, and the book it is named after (Learning to CARE: Education, Volunteering, and Community Service), is that people can learn to care. They can learn to develop the genuine feelings of concern for those in need and the problems in society that need to be addressed; they can learn to be socially responsible; and they can learn how to actually make a difference through commitment and effective action.
The term care contains within it an expression of both feeling and action. A person who truly cares about someone or something is compelled to act on that concern, to care for or take care of what s/he cares about. CARE also stands for the four attributes of a good volunteer, one who is: Capable, Available, Reliable, and Engaged.
The Learning to CARE Institute provides consulting and training for non-governmental organizations and public sector agencies in volunteer recruitment and management; for companies in developing their corporate volunteering programs; and for educational institutions in developing their volunteering and community service programs. It also develops resources to promote volunteering, including training programs, manuals, toolkits, posters, and children's books.
The non-profit programs of the Institute include maintaining a public website and newsletter on volunteering in both English and Arabic, being the Country Partner for Global Youth Service Days in Lebanon, and supporting such independent initiatives as Shamaa youth volunteer initiative, CCVA's program in certifying volunteer administrators, the Nakhweh website to facilitate volunteering, and the International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) for which the director of the Institute is its Regional Representative for the Arab nations.