Face to Faith Students
Face to Faith connects students from every continent, across a number of religious and national divides. It is the young people who really make this programme.
What has become obvious to us over the past couple of years since we launched is the willingness of young people to come together in a spirit of openness to learn from and with one another in discussions about one another’s faiths and beliefs and on issues such as malaria, human trafficking, women’s rights, the environment and wealth and poverty, just to name a few.
Our young people often have creative approaches to alleviating some of these problems and they agree that there is a need to collaborate to share ideas and work practically to really make a difference.
The Face to Faith online community is a vital part of the experience for students, enabling them to carry on with their discussions, celebrating their cultures and building relationships with one another, outside the VC.
This is a secure monitored community where students can chat and communicate safely. Each student has their own customisable homepage, and can participate in discussion fora, competitions, hot-seat debates, and most importantly, making new friends.
In their own words:
‘I don’t have a faith even though I was brought up as a Christian. But what Face to Faith has shown me is that I am missing something. After studying the environment in class and listening to the Indian students talking about the importance of meditation in their lives, I really want to find a way I can be spiritual without being religious.’
Student, 14, from Bolton, UK
‘I have learnt that my way of life is not the right and only way to live. To see another’s life helped me to appreciate mine. Face to Faith is an important program because it helps me see another’s way of life.’
Student, 14, Melbourne, Australia
‘After the video conference, I realized that regardless of the diversity of our world’s cultures and religions, most if not all, have an utmost respect towards other religion. Another observation that caught my attention is that it seems that both schools share the same desire for freedom. As a student of X School that practices the Catholic faith, I do certainly wish to be able to grasp more knowledge concerning the faith of other individuals. I’m definitely looking forward to our next video conference.‘
Student, 16, The Philippines
‘My class had a video conference with people in Lebanon today and I think it went really well. The kids at the Saint Joseph School were so nice! They were really supportive of our religion and didn't judge us at all. They really supported of our beliefs and how our religion works.’
Student, 17, Utah, USA
‘This video conference really helped to breakdown the stereotypes that we have had and we have created bridges over the cultures.’
Student, India, [speaking in a video conference].
Faith in Action
For World Malaria Day 2011, the Tony Blair Faith Foundation encouraged supporters around the world to organise creative multi-faith action to raise funds and awareness to halt deaths from malaria. This year, the Foundation mailed out hundreds of ready-to-act packs and Faiths Act Ribbons to organisers from around the world.
Almost 40 schools entered our schools challenge competition, with students performing skits on malaria, giving presentations, making quizzes and passing on their knowledge to their local communities. The response we received was overwhelming and the work that all the Face to Faith Schools put into their events was truly inspirational.
For every 10 people we had photos of wearing the Faiths Act Ribbon, Sumitomo Chemical said they would donate a life saving bed net to Malaria No More UK. We received over 1800 photos, displaying over 19 000 people who took multi-faith action on malaria, which meant Sumitomo Chemical donated over 1900 nets in your honour. This number far exceeded our original target of 500 nets, so well done!
As far as we can tell, this campaign constituted one of the largest hand-on grassroots mobilisations in the world for World Malaria Day.