Italian Government to Further Develop Face to Faith
27 Nov 2014
Helping young people in Italy understand and respect cultural and religious differences.
This week our Patron and Founder Tony Blair was in Rome to announce the latest steps in our work with the Italian Government on developing our global schools programme, Face to Faith, within Italian schools.
Following a meeting with the Italian Education Minister, Professor Stefani Giannini, Mr Blair signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Italian Government on behalf of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.
"Today, more than ever, we must work together to promote open-minded and stable societies."
Working together with the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research we are supporting the sustainable implementation of Face to Faith in Italian public schools. The third MoU between the Italian Government and the Faith Foundation will ensure the Face to Faith programme continues to develop in Italy and further embeds the values of respect and understanding of cultural and religious differences into the education system.
Face to Faith has reached over 100 000 young people in 30 countries. Every day it is helping provide young people with the knowledge and skills to understand other religious and cultural perspectives and to resist extremist voices.
We work with governments and international institutions to incorporate the values of the programme into their education systems. We provide evidence-based advice and guidance to the Philippines, Indonesia and the Palestinian Authority, who are all including Face to Faith in national curricula and schools nationwide.
The latest MoU will build on the work of the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research and the 35 schools who have established the Rete Dialogues (The Dialogue Network) since the first MoU was signed in 2010. It will provide opportunities for Italian teachers to learn how to use dialogical pedagogies, increase schools access to the global Face to Faith programme and enhance the work and reach of the Dialogue Network.
At the signing, Mr. Blair commended the efforts of the Italian Government to promote religious and cultural dialogue.
"Today, more than ever, we must work together to promote open-minded and stable societies in order to counter religious prejudice, conflict and extremism.
Our challenge is to show the young people vulnerable to the appeals of terrorists that there is a better path. That the way of having your voice heard should never be through violence or the killing of innocent people. And that the only future that works is one in which people are respected as equals, whatever their faith or their culture.
This is why my Faith Foundation has pioneered schools programmes for 12 to 17 year olds in 30 countries. These countries are different in so many ways. We have children from schools in the Philippines, in Jordan and the US. People with different faiths, diverse beliefs and distinct cultures.
But the students in each of these countries are bound by a common desire: to understand others.
They take part in lessons that encourage this understanding and the responsibilities of global citizenship. By taking part in video-conferences and online dialogue with other schools in a global network they explore and articulate their values with each other.
And it is why I am delighted to sign this Memorandum of Understanding with the Italian Ministry of Education on behalf of the Faith Foundation.Our goal for the global schools programme has been to develop it in a way that makes it simple for it to be embraced by countries around the world.
It has been designed to suit a wide range of educational systems and cultures, and can be adapted into existing courses and curricula. The creation of the Italian Dialogues Network has enabled the Italian Government to develop a uniquely Italian approach to the programme. I congratulate them on making this a priority, and I would urge other governments to follow their lead.
It is up to all of us to help young people be better prepared for a world where technological change and globalisation mean we all require a better understanding of cultural and religious differences. I look forward to seeing the Italian Dialogue Network grow and reach more students."