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Faith over Fear 3
Start date: Feb 1, 2015, End date: Jul 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Faith Over Fear 3 was a 9 day training course that aimed to raise awareness of the negative stereotypes faced by members of religious minorities and to challenge these misconceptions for the benefit of wider social cohesion. We used interactive workshops as a tool to engage and educate other youth and community workers from around Europe. The activity was organised and delivered by OpportUNITY. We have delivered this project once before and received very good feedback and requests from other partners to offer this opportunity again. This has also given us the opportunity to make some small adjustments to the programme after taking into account feedback from the original participants. The participants felt that there was not enough time to fully absorb all the information and suggested we spaced out parts of the programme, so now we have increased the programme by one day and also diversified the visits to the religious centres so that we can include more faiths. We used a variety of methods to engage the participants, including a residential activity weekend, PowerPoint presentations, group discussions, debates and visits to places of worship, such as mosques and temples, to receive talks. The main activity – a 9 day training course – will took place in the Newcastle upon Tyne, in the above period. Youth leaders, who work with or represent disadvantaged groups in their country, were brought together to benefit from this course. There were 4 participants from each country, with the following countries involved: UK, Turkey, Italy, Spain, Cyprus, Czech Republic and Macedonia. The aim was to raise awareness of the negative stereotypes faced by religious minorities and challenge these misconceptions for the benefit of wider social cohesion, with a particular emphasis on the current European social issues surrounding Islamophobia. Objectivess were to remove the barriers faced by religious minorities living in Western Europe and the communities in which they live. The objective was also to remove barriers that youth workers themselves may perceive in attempting to reach these communities. This enabled the participants to improve their knowledge and apply their learning to the communities where they work and in their home countries. Project activities included workshops, multicultural evenings (in which participants share their own cultures and traditions), team building activities (to help participants to familiarise themselves with each other and therefore work more effectively as a team), visits to places of worship of minority groups and theatrical shows, to compose and perform dramatic examples of religious issues. There was Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Christian and Jewish speakers, as well as community cohesion facilitators, leading group discussions and we had presentations to share their knowledge and experiences.
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