In both 2009 and 2010 I was honored to be elected Chair of the Interfaith Youth Trust (IFYT). The Trust is registered with the Charity Commission. The working name is the Inter Faith Youth Trust.
The Trust (Alma Royalton-Kisch Trust) is the only UK charitable trust solely to fund inter faith projects for young people. Alma Royalton-Kisch kindly left us funds to establish and promote the education of children and young people about the religions of the world.
These funded projects bring together young people of different faiths to improve collaboration and understanding.
Since it first started, some of the funded projects have included:
- A Youth Project for workshops involving young people of Christian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu and other faiths.
- Moroccan Women’s Project for exploring identities of Muslims and Christians.
- An arts festival in London for different faiths.
- A youth journal for publishing articles by young people about their faiths.
- A youth club to produce a mural showing “spirituality in the city”.
- A drama group for multi-faith after school activities.
- A residential for Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and Christian young women.
- A cemetery clearing project for Christians and Jews.
- An Eid-Christmas workshop.
- A youth inter-faith action guide involving young people from the Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh and Zoroastrian faiths.
2010 has been a significant year for IFYT as the trust have:
- Changed focus to maximise our energies around Interfaith week.
- Continued with developing our links with the Department for Communities- especially as the current financial climate brings us challenging times!
- Worked together, bringing out our individual strengths
- Reviewed the way we work and are grateful for the administrative support now available
- Maintained our web presence
- Continued to award funds for many organisations through the Interfaith week
It is great to see people trustees from different religions and humanists working together to help understand each other.
I remember when I was a child at infant school and how at that age there appeared to be no issues about who we were in our own diverseness. Unfortunately, as we get older the media influences us in terms of our views. I hope that working a youth level is a good place to start to retain common good.