A group of youths at a faith gathering have explored ways to mobilise their communities around shared values rather than perceived differences through dialogue and common action.
Twenty-eight young Bangladeshi leaders met to share their vision for building peace and to learn key skills, at the third ‘Faith in the Commonwealth Youth Training of Trainers’ workshop, The Commonwealth said in a media release on Tuesday.
It pointed out that discussions on faith, culture, identity and gender encouraged participants to test outdated assumptions, and open up to new possibilities for productive and mutually respectful coexistence.
“Through this Training of Trainers, we will be able to multiply the spark of youth movements in Bangladesh which definitely contribute to bringing positive changes in communities,” Saraban Tahura Zaman, co-ordinator of the Commonwealth Youth Peace Ambassadors Network in Asia, was quoted to have observed.
Nasir Kazmi, education adviser at the Commonwealth Secretariat, said, “Faith in the Commonwealth training provides more than just practical facilitation skills.”
“It builds networks between young people, many of whom are already community leaders, and connects them with each other, with their host government, and with opportunities for personal and professional development.”
The workshop - opened by state minister for youth and sports Biren Sikder - led participants through a practical programme on peace facilitation and project management, based on the values of global citizenship, mutual respect, and youth empowerment.
Sikder said: “As we live in an increasingly interconnected and complex world, it is more important than ever that young people learn the values, attitudes and communication skills that equip them to navigate their way in the world.”
Bivuti Bhuson Mahato, a participant, said Faith in the Commonwealth Youth Training of Trainers Workshop was a great opportunity to connect with creative and potential youth leaders from Bangladesh.
“Faith in the Commonwealth: promoting global citizenship and religious literacy” is a partnership between the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Khalili Foundation.
Funded as a pilot in 2017-18, the project is actively seeking support and resources to extend its reach beyond the three test countries - Bangladesh, Kenya and Trinidad and Tobago.