The focus of the group is to expose young people to others of the same age group who come from different backgrounds and belief systems, in order to engender understanding with the knowledge that, where there is understanding (a realization of a common goal and co-operation), there is a legacy of peace and a sense of making things better than we found them.
Tapping into the global network of youth development gives Face to Face/Faith to Faith members an opportunity to grow and learn, and also to identify constructive ways they can give back to the world.
One of the biggest areas of focus for this CC is the creation, through their camps and events, of a safe place where young people can comfortably express their questions without fear and receive honest, open answers. They believe that we cannot understand each other unless we are free to ask “awkward” questions, and we cannot help others to understand us unless we are able to face and answer the awkward questions in a spirit of compassionate dialogue.
The group’s biggest highlight so far was a visit to New York. The youth leadership has been selected to attend a Summer Camp Intensive in Holmes, New York, and the exposure to other faiths, other cultures and other foods was memorable. Another highlight has been being together in a safe space to dialogue, especially when there are religious and national tensions.
Getting to know people on a very deep level in a very short period of time is something they highly value. As members of URI, they plan to continue to bring a platform and create a safe space for people to ask their questions and to share in an environment of trust. They also plan to bring the lack of fatherhood into higher awareness and they want to be present for the fatherless children, helping them in some way. They will also work to continue to instill and develop leadership skills and show new leaders how, where and when they can take these skills back into their communities.
Faces of Peace Association-Kenya (FOPA) is a youth led registered Civil Society Organization. It brings together youthful, ambitious, dedicated and peace loving Kenyans through various forums such as community work, volunteer work, networking, training, and capacity building, among others. Faces of Peace Kenya initiative leaders met for the first time during the 2010 Global Peace Festival in Nairobi and were very active in ensuring peace prevailed during the elections across the country in 2013. They have run several projects like UN4U, Youth and Police Peace Initiative, Financial Literacy Programs, ICT skills workshops, and Post 2015 Agenda and Capacity Building. The Youth and Police Peace Initiative (URAFIKI WETU USALAMA WETU) is their most memorable highlight. This program aims to reconcile and foster closer relationship between the youth and the police. It stems from the realization that the youth and the police played a very big role in the post-election violence of 2007/08, most of which was negative involvement. It aims to break the mistrust, suspicion and unfriendly relationships that have existed between the youth and police, especially in the run-up to the general elections. This program involves taking young people to the police station and establishing a platform for positive engagement with the police. The youth and police undertake various community works within the police station: cleaning of the police station, holding cells, slashing, garbage collection, and tree planting. This is followed by an open forum where the youth, police and other invited guests and stakeholders engage in constructive discussions on security and other issues affecting the youth and police. This event is climaxed by the youth brushing the police officers’ boots in a show of humility, friendship, togetherness and cooperation.
Faith 2 Faith has been involved in a number of activities in 2009/2010. These have ranged from the International Day of Peace event to peace vigils to celebrate Diwali and Christmas events. We have also held daily luncheon clubs and weekly discussion sessions on topics of interest. In January 2010, we marked the Holocaust through reflections, candle lighting and pledging to work together to prevent future discrimination.
FEN is an Australian hub for strengthening an interfaith dialogue between science and religion. FEN’s goal as a network is to encourage action between different faith communities regarding ecological insights through holding events, producing publications and sharing information through its networks and on social media. The FEN network of people is currently representative of Aboriginal, Anglican, Bahá’í, Buddhist, Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Jewish, Hindu, Islamic, Quaker, and United Church faith traditions. FEN aims to share mutual appreciation of religious traditions regarding ecological insights, to discern and foster religious reasons for environmental advocacy, and to strengthen the dialogue of science and religion between different faith groups, professionals and the community FEN’s work.
Through their network, FEN believes it shares the experience of religious and cultural diversity which enhances the depths of one’s own religious tradition, and aid its members to grow in understanding of the connections between faith and ecology. FEN essentially builds up networks within and between faith traditions and environmentalists. FEN fosters mutual appreciation regarding faith and ecology also through development of common statements on issues and passing on information and resources to their faith communities. FEN supports its members with an annual enrichment day.
Faiths Together Uganda CC is located in Seeta-Mukono, Uganda. They primarily engage youth from Muslim, Pentecostal, Anglican, SDA, African Spiritual, & Orthodox communities. Faiths Together Uganda is actively working to heal fragile communal relations in the face of recent ethnic/religious violence and polarization that swept their country and region. They use song and dance to bring members of different cultures and religions together, and to pass on the message of religious tolerance. Their main programs include interfaith-intercultural clubs on school campuses and organizing an intercultural performance troupe. Faiths Together Uganda has helped many of their youth participants forge strong relationships across cultural and religious lines through collaborative action and dialogue.
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We plan to start an interfaith project regarding the Five Elements in order to promote sustainable lifestyle. The first couple of years of the project we will deal with the element of water. This part of the project is called “Holy Drop!”. Faiths Without Borders is a part of the Interfaith Dialogue Network in Finland that each year gives the Golden Rule Award. We published a book called “Flikat maailman Turuilta” in cooperation with the Daisy Ladies. The book presents twenty interviews with women from different cultures who answer questions about things learned within families, from older generations, and about how things they have learned helped them through life. The book is a part of the project called Learning all the time. It is a part of the working group of environmental NGOs that has a task to create a national Zero Draft for Rio +20.
The purpose of Family Health and Development Foundation is to create awareness and engage families in the communities to bring about sustainable development. This implies a change the mindset of families in the community. This is carried out by community outreach programs, communication for behavioral change and capacity building. One of their most memorable activities was a community outreach carried out in September 2013 at the Ahala II where they had 124 children come out for the medical outreach with the health team in action.
We have celebrated the International Family Day in collaboration with Interfaith Peace Building Initiative; scholars, government bodies, students and represenatives of different associations attended the program.
Our purpose is to work for national peace and religious harmony.
Students and teachers at Fathima Public School study religions and attend religious festivals in order to understand the core beliefs and customs of different faiths. The school management believes that students will broaden their horizons and grow to be global citizens by learning about the work of URI. In addition to studying different faiths, our students and staff also attend leadership trainings, visit religious centres, and participate in interreligious dialogues. On one occasion, the entire school participated in Diwali, the annual Hindu Festival of Lights. For many Muslim students, this was their first opportunity to learn about Hinduism.
Offering free medical services and counseling is another aspect of our work.
Our activities include encounters with religious,spiritual and indigenous traditions to reflect about the expression of the feminine in each institution, hoisting of the Flag of Peace and Culture with religious, spiritual and indigenous traditions. In the future, we hope to publish a Prayer and Meditations book about the feminine and encounters to heal the feminine.