Interreligious training for youth

     Methods developeted by 3FF and adapted for a Swedish context by TFS

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Goal

To launch a one-year training programme for young people who are members of a religious community or tradition. 

  • Provide chosen leaders among the youth with training in interreligious methods. This will enable them to guide and lead other youths and also help them become cornerstones in the development of an interreligious network for young people.
  • Show young people from different religious traditions how they can use their faith in working towards development, involvement and a deeper understanding of our Human Rights.
  • Provide young people with the tools to develop an interreligious network at regional, national and international levels.
  • Produce training material for young people that can be used within training in multi-religious environments.
  • Provide opportunities for young people from different countries to meet and share their knowledge and experiences from different European contexts.

Training in a multi-religious environment

The project will develop its methods as it proceeds. The foundation for the project is the UN Declaration of Human Rights. Entry points will be different articles in the declaration which will allow the participants to contribute with their own stories and experiences from their different religious traditions. These stories will be used to explore and illustrate our shared rights and responsibilities. This way of working will help build an understanding among the youth of their own traditions, as well as for the traditions of others. It will also help them create a vision for what a democratic society could look like.
The project is partly based on the inspiration and methods from the French organisation CIEUX (Le Comité Interreligieux pour une Ethique Universelle et contre la Xénophobie). CIEUX, which is one of two international collaborating partners in the project, has for many years gathered local members of religious and secular communities in order to promote co-existence according to the principles of citizenship.

Further inspiration and methods come from the British organisation St Philips Centre in Leicester, which is the other international partner in this project. Both of these organisations have been founded from a need to meet across borders of faith and religion. Their successful work, development and good results have been an important background for the planning, methods and objectives of the Swedish project Tillsammans för Sverige (Together for Sweden).

Working with young people on interreligious issues is relatively new in Sweden. Therefore the project would like to develop methods and material which can be used in connection with training of youth in a multi-religious environment. The participants will receive a diploma after the training which will show that they are qualified to become leaders and facilitators of groups that discuss these issues, as well as the qualification to be trainers of other youth.

Target group

Youth leaders from respective tradition will be selected by the responsible partners within the different organisations and communities. The training team will consist of sixteen young people from five religious traditions. Four Christians (responsible: Tobias Nellvik/Nacka församling and Maria Kjellsdotter Rydinger/minister at Fryshuset), four Muslims (responsible Othman Al Tawalbeh/imam at Fryshuset), four Jewish (responsible Jonna Wolff/The Jewish congregation), two Buddhists (responsible Trudy Fredriksson, chairperson for the Samfundet för Tibetansk Buddhism) and two with hindu-zoroastrian backgrounds (responsible Sudhagar Raghupathy/Sveriges unga Dharmis och Asharvaner).

All in all, the group will consist of 16 participants in the ages between 18 – 24 years, who all come from the larger Stockholm area. A profile has been developed in order to make sure that the participants will be compatible with each other and that there will be equal representation of the sexes.

The youth must meet the following criteria: 

  • Be between 18-24 years
  • Be willing to participate in, and improve, interreligious work and dialogue
  • Have an open mind towards “the other”.
  • Be interested in developing the work and become a future resource for further interreligious youth work.

Reporting and Evaluation 

A written report and evaluation will be done at the end of the training year. We furthermore anticipate that we will publish articles and stories about the project during the year. A larger evaluation will be done in collaboration with the collaborating partners CIEUX and St Philips Centre.

During 2013 we plan, in collaboration with the study organisations Sensus and Ibn Rushd, to develop a training material that builds upon the experiences from the project.

Summary 

The idea is that young people, who are firmly grounded in their own religious tradition, shall be given the opportunity to develop as human beings and leaders through contacts and meetings with other young people who are willing to share their own experiences from other traditions. To create opportunities to meet across religious borders will provide young people with a possibility to develop not only their own religious identity, but also a citizens and community members. It will also give an opportunity for the responsible adult leaders to create a foundation and develop methods for how we can raise young leaders within inter-religious work and dialogue.