National Interfaith Youth Advisory Board
The Scottish Government and YouthLink Scotland funded Interfaith Scotland to form an advisory board of young people(age 18+), of all faiths and beliefs. We received applications from youth across Scotland and have formed a board comprising 12 young people from Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Baha’i, and Buddhist backgrounds.
Under Article 12 of the UNCRC, every child has the right to be heard in matters affecting them and to participate in the life of their family, community and society. The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 embeds this child’s right in primary legislation, and places requirements on Scottish Ministers in relation to policy and service development and services planning, including grant-funded work. The Ministerial duty is supplemented by a Scottish Government’s expectation that, where children and young people’s views are not known on a matter that is likely to have an impact on them, steps should be taken to obtain their views.
With this Act in mind, Interfaith Scotland decided to form an advisory board of young people of all faiths and beliefs so that they can have a platform for their voices to be heard.
The board meets regularly to discuss projects and events that they would like to have an impact on. It is also an opportunity to have input on legislation and policies that can impact young people. They attend training sessions on equality and diversity, facilitation skills etc to help promote interfaith work.
Interfaith Resources for Youth and Schools
We have created resources for primary and secondary schools including videos and activities for the classroom. View youth and school resources.
Interfaith School Workshops
We also have volunteers from different faiths whom we have trained to come and speak to pupils about their faith and beliefs, either in class or as part of an ‘interfaith day’ in the school.
Our interfaith workshops receive very positive feedback in the way that they are able to challenge negative stereotypes that young people may have about ‘religious’ people, through personal encounters with our friendly and approachable volunteers. To request a visit to your school please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Interfaith Scotland has run several national and local youth conferences with help and support from its volunteers. The volunteers have been fully involved in choosing a theme for each conference, assisting in creating a programme and in the delivery of the event. Previous themes they have chosen include ‘Service above Self’ and ‘From Conflict to Co-operation’.
Our volunteers have been involved in lots of different projects, including planning and running youth conferences and taking part in our schools programme.
Residentials and Away Days
Interfaith Scotland organises youth residentials and away days. Previous visits include an interfaith week on Iona staying with the Iona Community and a weekend to Holy Isle by Arran at the Centre for World Peace and Health.
The following vision statement was created by our youth volunteers in regards to their activities:
- That young people would have the opportunity to meet people from different communities.
- That we would create a safe space to talk with one another, learn about our faith communities and share together in order to understand our differences and overcome barriers and prejudice.
- That friendships would be built across faiths, providing opportunities to join in with events across the faith communities and in civil society.
- That we come to a recognition of our common humanity and the values that we share across faith communities and grow together through mutual understanding and acceptance.