Disadvantaged young people have few opportunities to forge meaningful links with one another across their different communities, faiths, cultures and beliefs. This programme throws young people from diverse backgrounds together, supports them to undertake challenging activities and to explore the issues which divides young people in Britain, and builds a strong network of advocates for peace. They are supported to become active in society through volunteering and project building.
There were 44,480 hate crimes in the UK in 2013/14. Of these, 37,484 (84%) were race hate crimes and 2,273 (5%) religious hate crimes. Together, racially and religiously motivated hate crime accounted for around three quarters of the increase in overall hate crime. Certain racial and religious groups have been particularly affected such as Muslims and Jews. Marginalised communities can often fall in to traps of isolation and negativity, which at worst can lead to vulnerability to radicalisation.
By bringing young people aged 16-23 together from diverse cultures, religions and communities, we can break down barriers that create fear and mistrust. Each of our programmes takes place at youth and activity centres across England, and features facilitated workshops and activities aimed at challenging stereotype, identity and conflict. After the initial workshops young people are encouraged to benefit from follow up training and mentoring. All of which encourages participation in society.
64 young people will take part in four programmes over 12 months. These young people are then encouraged to share what they have learnt back in their own communities. Through meeting others and gaining confidence and facilitation skills they become leaders, able to develop their own interfaith and inter-community activities. All of these create a ripple effect of tolerance and understanding way beyond the initial programmes.