THE MARLENE SILBERT YOUTH INTER-FAITH, INTER-CULTURAL PROGRAMME (MSYIIP)
Each year, the Cape Town Interfaith Initiative selects grade 10 learners from 9 culturally different schools in Cape Town to engage in a yearlong programme of an interfaith and inter-cultural nature.
This project offers the learners an exciting and refreshing opportunity to examine their schools as a community within South Africa and what this means in a country of such cultural diversity and difference. The follow up programme involves learners tutoring primary school kids from Mimosa Primary School in Bonteheuwel, which is run in partnership with the Amy Biehl Foundation.
The programme is currently run in partnership with the GOAL Trust (Giving Opportunity to Aspiring Leaders), which is also a Cooperation Circle of URI.
The aims and objectives of the programme are:
- To forge relationships on the basis of humanity, equality, and social justice
- To create a greater understanding of self and others, enhance self-esteem and self-development and empower young people to work actively towards transformation
- To respect people from different religions, faiths, cultures, and backgrounds and develop an appreciation of the value of diversity.
- To promote empathy, responsibility peace, social cohesion, conciliation and social activism
- To promote respect for human rights and human dignity
- To strive to combat all forms of prejudice and injustice
Schools Represented in 2020
Rylands High, Herzlia High, Spine Road High, Oude Molen Academy, Gardens Commercial, Sea Point High, Springfield Convent, Just Grace.
Following the model on the right, we begin with the centre of the circle, giving the learners a strong sense of self, grounded them in who they are and beginning to unpack they way they view the world. This is done through a 4 day camp, where the learners eat, work and play together, challenging each others minds and growing together. From this process relationships start to form, recognising commonalities across our perceived differences. This work is taken forward into the monthly meetings, where we continue the learning and engagement through interactive activities and dialogue sessions.
As part of the year programme, the learners also participate in 2 days of educational tours, visiting the Holocaust Museum, the Slave Lodge and Robben Island. Finally the learners also go on an Interfaith tour, visiting different houses of worship. All of this is part of the experience of learning together and building bonds across social divides. Through understanding our history, where we come from, and how we see the world differently, we can begin to heal the wounds of our past and work towards communities of peace.
Therefore these first two rings of the circle, allow for a strong foundation for the learners of interfaith peacebuilding, from which to then continue developing their leadership skills and moving towards action. For the Grade 11 year of the programme, learners initiate a community service project, tutoring to younger grades, or working within their communities. Many schools have also set up Peace Clubs in their school, which the Grade 10s lead, taking their learning from this programme directly back to their school.
For more information contact Sarah Oliver: firstname.lastname@example.org