Number of participants involved: Hundreds in various towns around UK.
Target Group: Young people aged between 14-19 across UK.
Project Description: Diversity and Dialogue was conceived at a meeting of Christian, Jewish, Muslim and secular NGOs in July 2002. They thought about their potential to help counter current inter-religious tensions and their conclusion was a commitment to run an interfaith education project in partnership – Diversity and Dialogue. Diversity and Dialogue began work in 2004 and aims to build understanding and friendship between young people from different faiths and backgrounds in the UK. It develops new models of intercultural dialogue and co-operation. Diversity and Dialogue works with 14–19 year olds across the UK to build trust, address discrimination and foster more cohesive communities.The successful first phase of the project was completed in 2006 and a second phase of work has begun.
Some of their future work includes:
Diversity and Dialogue Spaces - The experiences of the first phase of the project suggest that young people with different faiths, views and backgrounds often lack a safe and neutral space in which to discuss issues that have the potential to be divisive and inflammatory. The Spaces project aims to facilitate such spaces and will initially set up several pilot groups. These 'dialogue spaces' will also provide a structure for young people to work together constructively for change in their local communities, encouraging participants to address common concerns through campaigns or social action projects.
Urban-rural exchange - Diversity and Dialogue is hoping to pilot an urban-rural exchange programme, as a model for other schools to follow. This will involve pupils discussing issues of faith and identity over email and then developing a programme of joint activities.
Cohesive schools - Save the Children are taking forward a project involving students in developing effective policy and practice to promote cohesive schools. Work has begun in Trafford, where students from two schools are investigating their schools' race relations policies.
Successes and Challenges: Diversity and Dialogue’s projects have been successful in encouraging young people to look outwards, beyond their immediate communities, and to start thinking about the huge challenges facing the planet. Through working together for global change participants have built local links and friendships which contribute to better community relations in their local areas.
What evaluation (if any) was conducted: Diversity and Dialogue is heavily reliant on participant input as well as feedback from young people in evaluating and redesigning their program. With this in mind, it has prepared a report on the opportunities and challenges of youth interfaith work in consultation with 124 young people living in multi- faith cities in England.
Target Group: 13-19 year olds as well as some young adults from various religious backgrounds.
Project Description: Part of the 'Together for Peace' festival (www.togetherforpeace.co.uk), the aim of FaithAction! was to bring young people of different faiths together for a day to help clear up litter from an estate in south Leeds. The idea was that the young people would have in common the shared value of looking after the environment, and through this they would come together, have fun and make a real difference to a small area in south Leeds.
The day was organised by Diversity and Dialogue in partnership with Groundwork, Leeds Faith in Schools, Middleton Methodist Church and Sinai Synagogue. The event was attended by 30 people: Christians and Jews from Leeds as well as some Israeli students. The event was aimed at 13-19 year olds and about half of the group was made up of this age group, but there were also some keen adults. Prior to the event representatives from the different faith based groups came together, along with Diversity and Dialogue staff, to organise the event and establish the shared values
Successes and Challenges: The litter clear up was extremely successful, filling a whole van with litter and making a visible improvement to areas of the estate. Arguably more important than this though was the young people making a really good impression with the residents on the estate and getting to know each other. Because there were only a small number of participants each made a real effort to get to know someone new and relationships were formed. It is particularly encouraging that youth leaders from the Synagogue and one of the churches have since got together and discussed common issues. This resulted in a joint activity for the young people collecting for World AIDS Day and more joint activities are planned for the future.
What evaluation (if any) was conducted: No formal evaluation was conducted except for direct verbal feedback from participants which indicated a positive response.
Initiative Title: Fairtrade Football (UK - Bradford)
Organised by: Save the Children, Christian Aid, Islamic Relief, Active Faith Communities
Contact Details: PO Box 57330 London E1 2WJ United Kingdom,
Ph: 084526 26786
Funded by: United Co-operatives Ltd.
Time Period of Initiative: One-off event in March 2005.
Project Description: During Fairtrade Fortnight 2005 Save the Children, Christian Aid, Islamic Relief, Active Faith Communities and United Co-operatives organised a Fairtrade Football Tournament for young people across Bradford. This event brought young people from different faiths and backgrounds together to play football, learn about Fairtrade and meet each other. It involved around 80 young people between the ages of 12 and 16 from different parts of Bradford.
Process: Because the different agencies involved target different groups of young people, we were ideally placed for an event to bring people together. We recruited teams of players from different ethnic groups and parts of Bradford in three age groups: under 12, under 14 and under 16. Prior to the event we sent each team an information pack about the tournament (including a timetable and rules), and information about the agencies involved and why they are promoting Fairtrade). On the day with each age group we facilitated a brief introduction to Fairtrade, played a mini tournament and held a presentation ceremony, awarding certificates, medals and Fairtrade footballs to participants.
Successes and Challenges: As a model of bringing people from different backgrounds together for a day's activities the event was very successful; the young people had a great deal of fun and all enjoyed participating. Moreover the planning and executing of the event brought together different agencies. All involved have built good working relationships and have since worked together on other activities which sends out a really positive message about how people from different faiths can work together. Through working together on this event, sustainable relationships have been made between different faith and development agencies.