Photo: IHOW staff and facilitators meet online for a training in January.
Forty YES and YES Abroad alumni are in the middle of a month of interfaith training. These young people from 24 countries were selected to take part in the Interfaith Harmony Online Workshop (IHOW), which includes two small group sessions and a panel.
The first session coincided with the beginning of World Interfaith Harmony Week on February 1, 2017. The IHOW participants had already completed their pre-workshop assignments, and they excitedly gathered in special spaces online with a diverse small group to learn about the foundational skills for interfaith dialogue. These sessions were expertly led by four alumni facilitators who had taken part in the Interfaith Harmony Workshop in Morocco in 2016. After weeks of training, the facilitators finally met face to face - virtually, at least - to share their knowledge of deep listening and other skills. The session encouraged participants to reflect and grow in their own faith or spirituality, while learning about about other groups and working towards a more peaceful world community.
By the second session on February 8th, the IHOW was ready to learn from the experts. Three faith leaders and interfaith workers came together in Washington, DC and took part in a live online panel discussion with the IHOW participants. These experts responded to questions from the IHOW and helped the participants grow in their interfaith skills to the point where they can start preparing their own projects.
Would you like to learn more about interfaith community building? You can watch the full IHOW panel discussion in the video below!
And that will be the focus of the final IHOW session tomorrow! On February 15th, these hard working alumni will meet once again in their small groups to debrief on what they've learned so far, and to prepare proposals for projects they will conduct in their home communities.
If the IHW was any indicator, we are up for some great stories about post-workshop projects in the next year!
Check out some of the recent interfaith projects that YES alumni have been conducting around the world:
There are many more stories about interfaith activities by YES students and alumni! Keep checking back at yesprograms.org/stories.