An audience of over 250 people, last night celebrated the achievements of 70 young people of all different faith backgrounds, united together after a JLGB led Interfaith National Citizens programme. The young people spent 3 weeks together this summer, starting with a week of adventure team building, social cohesion seminars exploring each other’s faiths and identities. During the second week they learnt specific skills from leading industry experts such as journalism, film making and digital skills. The final week culminated in each team using their new talents to make a tremendous impact and a positive contribution through creating and delivering their own social action projects supporting local charities and communities. The 70 graduates each received a certificate signed by Prime Minister David Cameron who wants all 16- 17 year olds to take part in this ‘rite of passage’.
Mrs Hur, parent of 16 year old participant said “the whole three weeks have been absolutely incredible for my daughter, she has not only made some incredible new friends from all different faiths and learnt such valuable insights into other cultures she has also done AMAZING activities that she could never have imagined doing and has gained self-confidence and pride in herself . I am delighted that she has also been doing proper hands on social action projects because I think it is vital that she experiences how other people live because I want her to appreciate how fortunate she is and that she interacts with varied people of other faiths and lifestyles so that she is a decent and understanding person when she goes out into the world.”
JLGB’s Chief Executive, Neil Martin, has spent the last three years campaigning to government and the youth sector, to ensure the dream of a fully faith sensitive provision of NCS could become a reality and be accessible to all. Thanks to the support of the NCS Trust,
The JLGB was a awarded 2 national charity awards in 2012 for it’s fully faith friendly NCS programme, which enabled young people of all faiths and none to take part. As experienced experts in overseeing large scale residential programmes, managing the logistics of running several multi-faith kitchens simultaneously to meet the needs of everybody’s specific dietary needs, offering single gender groups, providing space to pray and finishing the residential part of the programme in time for all participants to be at home with their families for Shabbat and Muslim Friday prayers was of utmost importance. In today’s current climate, it is essential that young people, our future leaders, have the opportunity to make friends with and work together with people from other faiths.
“I was so impressed by the young people, during their social cohesion session I saw a level of open-mindedness and maturity beyond anything I would have expected. They were respectful of each other and of the issues under discussion, and easily grasped complexities around concepts of identity and image. I heard the young people expressing sentiments that really highlighted why we do NCS at all: young people from closed religious communities who were surprised to find that they could relate to those from other faith backgrounds; young people who had never encountered alternative points of view who were eager to learn from everyone they met; young people who were having their preconceptions challenged and embracing it. For me the whole experience was inspiring, and I feel very lucky to have been welcomed to see these personal journeys first hand.” Charlotte Roberts, The Cabinet Office
For more information about Interfaith NCS and to apply for our 2016 programme visit INTERFAITHNCS.ORG or contact us on 020 8989 5743 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org