The Faiths Act Fellowship was an international programme, launched in 2009, that brought together exceptional future leaders inspired by faith to serve as interfaith ambassadors for the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Fellows from across the globe worked to build partnerships across faith lines in their local communities to show the world how faith can be a positive global force in the 21st century. With examples of faith as a source of division, conflict, and violence, the Faith Act Fellowship was a practical testimony that faith can work in positive ways.
As part of the yearlong programme, Fellows were placed in pairs within faith and development based host organisations in their home countries. The host organisations provided the Fellows with the infrastructure and networks that enable them to build grassroots multi-faith action on malaria and the MDGs.
In 2011-2012, 33 Fellows from the US, Canada, India, the UK and Sierra Leone representing Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Quaker traditions built on this success, helping build partnerships across faith lines in their local communities to show the world how faith can be a positive global force in today’s world. Their work saw:
• 1009 faith communities engaged of which 389 are new to interfaith action
• 28,103 individuals engaged - over half of which were new to interfaith action
• 17,580 hours of interfaith action
• Almost 100,000 GBP raised for malaria, and maternal and child health-related issues
The 30 Fellows of the 2009-2010 Fellowship achieved astounding success in advancing the fight against malaria and promoting multi-faith action:
- Together, they raised over £100,000 which was personally matched by Tony Blair (total funds over £200,000). This was enough to provide 35,000 families with a long-lasting, insecticide-treated bed net and the education required to use it.
- Fellows directly reached over 40,000 people about the importance and urgency of multi-faith action to end malaria deaths, and hosted 250 events attended by over 14,000 people.
- Over 250 faith and community leaders committed to taking the Faiths Act movement forward.
- A survey of volunteers showed that 60% had little or no experience with multi-faith initiatives before the being inspired by the Fellows. Yet 93% said it was now very or most likely that they would continue working to promote multi-faith action.
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