“Faith on the Fast Track: Eliminating Stigma and Discrimination Through Love and Dialogue”
More than 120 religious and spiritual leaders, health workers and young people met to focus on strengthening the fight against stigma in the HIV response in Kenya. Representatives from the Kenyan government, civil society organizations, networks of people living with HIV, and development partners for an event in Nairobi also joined.
The meetingaimed to assess the impact of the Framework for Dialogue methodology which has been implemented in several countries since 2013.The event was organized by the International Network of Religious Leaders Living with or Personally Affected by HIV Kenya (INERELA+ Kenya) and the World Council of Churches – Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (WCC-EAA), with the support of United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), among others.
The report forms part of a suite of resources that Tearfund produced to help demonstrate the impact of their Church and Community Mobilisation (CCM) advocacy work, which can be found on Tearfund’s International Learning Zone (TILZ) page.
The JLI Mobilisation of Local Faith Communities Hub met at Trinity College Dublin for a meeting on 8-9th December 2016. Hosted by the Irish School of Ecumenics and the Loyola Institute at the Trinity Long Room Hub, the meeting was held to review prior work around the Theory of Change, share current evidence for the mobilisation of local faith communities from organisations, and discuss future learning objectives for the Hub. All the resources from the meeting, including presentations from case studies and the meeting summary, can be found here.
Over the course of the two days, meeting attendees heard from the Salvation Army, International Care Ministries (ICM), the Organization of African Instituted Churches, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Anglican Alliance, Mother’s Union, Tearfund, the University of Bath, Sarvodaya, and World Vision. The breadth of case studies presented helped participants understand the evidence already available on local faith community mobilisation, as well as the research gaps that still exist.
On the evening before the meeting (7th December), Prof. Alastair Ager, Director of the Institute for Global Health and Development, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, gave a public lecture on “Faith, Secularism, and Humanitarian Engagement.” Attendees also took part in a guided tour around Trinity’s famous old library and exhibition on the Book of Kells.
In Varanasi on the sacred day of the full moon of the month of Kartik, on probably the biggest annual holiday there, GIWA organized a massive event with over 200,000 people. They brought together some of India’s most famous musicians, the interfaith GIWA leaders as well as a delegation of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) that was with us, led by Rabbi Rosen. They decorated with “Swachhta Kranti” (Clean Revolution) flags (the logo of which is an Indian style toilet!!). Pujya Swamiji led all the faith leaders, musicians and the whole audience in a massive pledge for WASH, extracting 200,000 promises against open defecation, pollution of ground, air, water etc. This massive annual religious holiday became an opportunity to catalyze awareness and hopefully change in attitude and behavior.
“The sheer beautiful irony of flags with toilets on them being waved while people prayed and sang on the banks of Ganga was amazing.”
-Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati
In Rishikesh, GIWA hosted an interfaith event with the AJC, International Buddhist Confederation, International Islamic Sufi Foundation, many of India’s renowned religious leaders and many others again on the theme of WASH and general environmental protection/preservation, particularly of our water bodies. For more information click here-
East Meets West at Major Interfaith Gathering at Parmarth
The day before Mumbai’s first global citizen festival, GIWA hosted a Roundtable on Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) for All, organised with the technical support of UNICEF India with interfaith leaders, media leaders and corporate leaders. For further notes on the meeting please see their facebook page.
Additionally on November 13, 2016, Pujya Chidanand Saraswatiji – Muniji joined a beautiful display of interfaith harmony at the famous Ajmer Sharif Shrine- Dargah Shariff of Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Chisty during the 33rd General Session of the Jamiat Ulama I Hindi. Some 2 lakh people from Muslim Communities across India and around the world gathered together to hear messages of universal peace and love for all humanity with more than 100,000 in attendance. Click here for more information
The Mobilization of Local Faith Communities (LFCs), formerly Capacity Building, Learning Hub will hold an in-person meeting to reenergize the Hubs work on capturing evidence for activity and outcome of capacity building for LFCs on December 8 and 9th at Trinity College Dublin.
Updates from JLI’s Annual Board and Advisory Group Meeting
At the October 25/26 meeting, JLI’s overall goals were reaffirmed and we were encouraged to prioritize focus on localization, and mechanisms and methods for scalable engagement of local faith networks. Next steps will include updating the operating plan and developing a new communications plan.
Goal 1: Gather knowledge about the activities, contributions and challenges of faith groups and synthesise into useful outputs through learning hubs
Goal 2: Connect policy makers, practitioners and academics with the knowledge, resources and expertise, with particular responsiveness to their wants and needs, to understand the activity and contribution of faith communities
Goal 3: Support broader global initiatives to catalyse the understanding of the contribution and activity of faith groups
Outcomes from the meeting will be posted to our website shortly.
300 religious leaders and heads of FBOs gathered to explore activity and contributions to peace and prosperity. A resolution unanimously adopted by the assembly called for interreligious collaboration to end extreme poverty and to address the underlying causes of violent extremism.
JLI moderated a session on humanitarian response, with a short presentation including the 5 Evidence briefs on religious and faith based response. Religious leaders from across the continent offered specific examples of religious and faith-based response to local humanitarian challenges.
The Sultan of Sokoto together with IIPC, led by Imam Magid and Imrana A. Umar and UNDP, hosted by top Uluma from seven West African countries for a two day working discussion on how to ramp up religious leadership to counter violent extremism. The Sultan chaired the intense discussions which resulted in the Declaration.
The Network of Religious and Traditional Leaders and IIPC briefed inter religious leaders on the Marrakesh Declaration. The Declaration was a revelation to most of the participants. Muslim and Christian speakers from the floor noted the reciprocal benefits of the Declaration with regard to protection for all religious minorities. The Declaration was warmly received, with calls from Christian leaders to develop an analogous document drawing on Holy Scripture for protection of the rights of minority religions. A USIP fellow announced that he had translated the document from the original Arabic into Hausa.
JLI is honored to be admitted as one of the first partners of the International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development (PaRD). PaRD is a network on religion and development to enhance cooperation in achieving the 2030 Agenda together.
The Moral Imperative convened to discuss next steps to end extreme poverty by 2030. Previously, the group met to sign the Faith-Based Action Framework, including partners from faith-based organizations and religious groups, World Bank and UN representatives. The three working groups (evidence, advocacy and collaboration) gave updates on work over the past year. The intention of the Working Groups is to foster collaboration among key faith-based leaders and organizations, World Bank and UN agencies to discern the best way to implement the Faith-based Action Framework to End Poverty and Advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
JLI Coordinator, Jean Duff, co-moderates the Evidence Working Group along with Dean Pallant from the Salvation Army. The Evidence Group is comprised of over 20 faith-based organizations and is currently piloting their collaborative Guide.
The morning ended with breakout groups and large group discussion on implications for next steps in meeting the SDGs. Additionally, the afternoon session focused on faith and refugees and forced migration.
For a more comprehensive summary go to World Council of Churches: