Interfaith collaboration has enormous potential to mobilise community resources and foster a shared sense of humanity and respect. Working with communities is vital to address issues of poverty, and faith is often an important but overlooked component. Children and young people should be front and centre to the initiatives that improve families’ lives.
These are some of the messages from the conversation featured in this episode. Together with representatives of three faith-based organisations, we explore the role of interfaith collaboration and community-based work to tackle child poverty. We discuss how working with and across faith-based organisations can help to create shared understandings and foster empathy.
Fred Nyabera is Director of Arigatou International in Nairobi in Kenya. Arigatou is a nonprofit organisation that works at community-level right up to international level, all with the aim to end child poverty. Vijay Gopal is the Head of the Youth and Leadership Programme in Shanti Ashram in Coimbatore in India. Shanti Ashram is a Gandhian organisation that has supported vulnerable children and their families since 1986. Saydoon Nisa Sayed is coordinator of the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC). This is the grassroots network established by Arigatou International that includes many faith-based organisations around the world, including Shanti Ashram. Saydoon is based in Durban in South Africa.
We learn about the power and resources available within communities, the often overlooked potential of interfaith cooperation and the contributions that children can bring. At the same time, community-based work is not for the faint-hearted and children’s inclusion should be meaningful rather than tokenistic. Enjoy listening to this episode!
Photo credit: Akela Photography