It has been an interesting week.
On Monday 3rd March I was asked to attend a workshop at the House of Lords, re: ideas for projects to help youth appreciate and respect each other, i.e: our religious differences. The Trust was established to promote the education of children and young people about the religions of the world and funds projects that bring together young people of different faiths to improve collaboration and understanding.
On Tuesday 4th March I was back to Westminster to attend a meeting to see if selective Members of parliament and a minister would support the development of a sports arena in West London, again for youth.
With regard to the Inter faith meeting it was great to see so many people come together in a hope that projects could be developed to help form a foundation of respect. I suggested more multimedia.
In terms of the sports facility that may take time but the intentions are good – an aim to bring people together in an area that has seen issues such as crime, drugs and underinvestment.
The concept of unifying oneself towards a common aim is a good one. Not only for moral support and increased understanding but in a hope that a positive outcome can result.
Interestingly, on Friday of the same week (7th March) the BBC commenced their series entitled, ‘White season’. The commissioning of this potentially dangerous line of thought (you only have to see the advert to spot the alarm and complaints already lodged) could be described as being negative.
There currently seems to be a debate to define the differences between multi-culturalism, ethnic origins and religion.
The French have clearly become confused with their disrespect, hidden inside their thoughts on Secularism.
Back to the Interfaith meeting…
What I found was encouraging was the way that all the faith representatives who attended suggesting lots of projects and potential ways of countering concerns. For example:
- Meeting people from different faiths and backgrounds can strengthen your own beliefs
- The need for co-ordination between different groups
- Encouraging dialogue between youth from different UK regions and religions
- Developing interfaith projects driven by the youth
With regard to the latter, there was an excellent Sikh speaker from Scotland. She spoken about how each year people from different faiths would meet, camp, share ideas and develop a booklet on common themes – For example, the environment. She gave hope to us all that the youth had the power to lead us to better understanding and as adults we also had a part to play.
The annual Birmingham to London Cycle ride is another charity that attempts to bring communities together – raising funds for children’s charities. In July 2008 it will be held between 19th-20th July – More information and a new website coming soon at http://www.charitybikeride.com
A few weeks back I wrote an article on the need for more positive media. Developing projects that celebrate what people from different backgrounds can do is certainly good news to communicate.