One World Week announces inter-faith initiative

By staff writers
June 27, 2008

One World Week (OWW), the development education charity, is broadening the scope of its traditional development education work with church communities to other faiths with a new three-year DfID-funded project, "Exploring Ubuntu – One World Week Across Faiths".

This England-wide project aims to focus initially on Muslim communities and black and minority ethnic groups, drawing on shared concerns of many religions that relate to believers' responsibilities to poor people and for the environment.

OWW will support people with new ways of planning together "international development awareness-raising activities" (called "OWW Ubuntu events"), within their own faith community and beyond.

The word "Ubuntu" is an old African word which acknowledges the oneness of humanity. It has been chosen by One World Week to convey the value of people working together co-operatively, with mutual respect, across barriers of creed and culture, to explore the relevance of global issues and interdependence in their everyday lives.

The Department for International Development (DFID) is funding the project, which, by highlighting areas of commonality between Christians and Muslims in the first instance, will concur with DFID's strategy to “explore the scope for joint activities with other faiths…" and "…ensure our work is inclusive and that ethnic and minority groups are fully involved”.

Milind Kolhatkar, One World Week Chair, said: "In a world where it's easy to see how religion divides us it is worth remembering that faith can be one of humanity's great unifiers - encouraging love for one another, teaching a duty to care for the beautiful, diverse earth we share with others, and showing us ways to live in peace with our neighbours.

"Organisers of One World Week activities have proven this over the decades. Now we look forward to involving people of different faiths in our shared journey towards global justice, building confidence and self-reliance along the way, so that in three years' time people's lived experiences of One World Week, of how it relates to personal and communal faiths, and of the active spirit of Ubuntu will be real and documented, an exemplar to other faith groups."

New staff are currently being recruited.

For more info visit One World Week

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