NEW YORK, Sept. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today Face to Faith, the Tony Blair Faith Foundation US's global schools program, became part of the "Partners for a New Beginning" commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative joining 8 others: Cisco, Coca-Cola, Intel, ExxonMobil, Brown University, Interfaith Youth Core, Care and ImagineNations.
Just over a year ago in Cairo, Egypt, President Obama set out a vision for a new beginning between the United States and the Muslim World. Partners for a New Beginning are putting this vision into practice.
The Tony Blair Faith Foundation commits to expanding its global schools program, Face to Faith, into the US and build strong links between young people in the USA and in a number of Muslim-majority countries including Pakistan, Jordan, the Palestinian Territories, Lebanon and Indonesia.
Face to Faith will be introduced into US public and private schools at the start of term in several states across the country including Utah, California, New York, Washington and Georgia. The program is accredited by the International Baccalaureate used in over 140 countries and by international examining body Cambridge Assessment.
The Face to Faith global program brings secondary school students together using digital technology to learn about each other, and about the attitude of those of different religions, cultures and beliefs to global issues such as the environment, health, art, poverty and wealth. Using a secure website, video-conferencing, teacher training, bespoke curriculum materials and expert facilitation, the program operates in 15 countries.
Tony Blair, founder and patron of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation US, said:
"In an era of globalization people of different races, colors and creeds are thrown together as never before. At times, relations have been fraught; in the future we need to understand each other and find ways to live and work together. I am delighted that my Foundation's Face to Faith global schools program is part of the 'Partners for a New Beginning' commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative.
"Inspired by President Obama's call for a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world my Faith Foundation US will commit to increase its focus on building strong links between young people in the U.S. and a number of Muslim majority countries. Our schools program is currently active in 15 countries across the world and has just launched in the US.
"As the new term starts, schools in five different states will introduce the program for the first time. Face to Faith provides students with the opportunity to learn directly from and about young people of different cultures, religions and beliefs across the world.
"For example a young Christian in California can see and hear what it is like to be a Muslim in Pakistan. There is often misrepresentation and wrong thinking about what Islam means and about America and Americans in the media. Our Face to Faith education program will provide the chance to correct some of these misapprehensions and misunderstandings and build bridges across national and cultural divides."
Jon A. Yasin, Clara Muhammad Schools, US said:
"Children around the world dialoguing with each other on controversial issues will help them to understand and empathize with others and work toward permanent solutions to these issues for the common good of all of humankind."
Jodi Ide - Social Studies Teacher - Brighton High School - Canyons School District – Utah, said:
"I believe that Face to Faith has the ability and potential to not only help students understand and recognize the value of different cultures and religious backgrounds globally, but to also foster a deeper clarity and appreciation of their own."
Danish Jatoi, Face to Faith Country Coordinator, Pakistan, said:
"Face to Faith is improving the religious understanding of 21st century students. It's really great to involve students from different religions on one platform.
"Schools in Pakistan will greatly benefit from this global education program. Partnering with USA schools is a real positive as it will help to break down the association some people make between Islam and terrorism. Pakistani students wish to share their religious wisdom with students in USA and other countries. They want to spread the message that Islam is a religion of peace."
Notes to the Editor
About the Tony Blair Faith Foundation US
In an increasingly globalized world, religion is at the very core of life for billions of people, and it cannot be ignored. The Tony Blair Faith Foundation US aims to promote respect and understanding between the major religions. We empower, support and train young people to take multi-faith action against extreme poverty in over 100 countries, providing them with a positive alternative to those who try to use faith as a means to divide. We provide emerging and current leaders with the education and analysis to understand the role of religion in the modern world and we break down barriers between young people of all faiths and none by using new technology to connect them.
About Face to Faith
Over the next two years, the Tony Blair Faith Foundation US will increase its work:
- In the USA, from 40 schools to 120 schools
- In Jordan from 25 schools to 85 schools
- In the Lebanon from 30 schools to 45 schools
- In Indonesia, from 15 schools to 45 schools
- In India from 60 to 140 schools
- In Egypt, training the first 15 schools in December, moving to 75 schools
- In Pakistan, from 35 schools to 95 schools and to work with the Ministry of Education to introduce the program into government schools
- In the Palestinian Territories from 30 schools to 85 schools and to fund three resource centers to provide computers and internet access for schools without the infrastructure.
The Tony Blair Faith Foundation US commits to working in 15 countries, training 790 teachers, involving 395 schools, and working with a range of Governments to move towards mainstreaming interactive education about different religions into national curricula. Using video-conferencing to connect classrooms, a secure website, teacher training, and classroom resources, the "Face to Faith" program builds understanding, tolerance and increases student literacy about religions and beliefs through dialogue and collaborative learning.
Face to Faith is currently active in 15 countries across the world: India, Pakistan, Canada, US, UK, Egypt, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Palestinian Territories, UAE, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore and Australia. Almost 2000 students are registered. Over 250 schools registered. 500 teachers trained. By 2012 we aim to be working with over 1000 schools.
About Faiths Act
The Faiths Act program trains young people to take multi-faith action against extreme poverty in support of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) providing them with a positive alternative to those who try to use faith as a means to divide.
- Supporters in over 100 countries including Nicaragua, Pakistan and Nigeria.
- Inaugural Faiths Act Fellows 2009-2010 finished up this summer. The Fellowship brings together 30 outstanding young leaders to build partnerships between people of different faiths and mobilize them to support the Millennium Development Goals.
- We have just opened applications for the next set of 30 Fellows, and this time, young people from India can apply, as well as the UK, USA and Canada. Click here to apply
About The Faith and Globalization Initiative
The Faith and Globalization Initiative builds partnerships with leading universities on every continent to develop a deeper understanding of the inter-relationship between faith and globalization.
Faith and Globalization Initiative currently has 7 universities on board:
- Yale University
- National University of Singapore
- McGill University in Canada
- Durham, University in the UK
- Monterrey Tech, University in Mexico
- The University of Western Australia
- Peking University in China
Partner for a New Beginning Overview
"Nearly one year ago at Cairo University, President Obama called for a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world — a new beginning based on mutual interests and mutual respect, shared values, and shared responsibility. And since then, we have worked to put that vision into practice through our policies and our partnerships — not only with governments, but with the private sector, civil society, citizens worldwide."
Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State, Announcement of Partners for a New Beginning, Washington, DC, April 27, 2010
Partners for a New Beginning (PNB) is a group of American leaders who are committed to the common goal of building public-private partnerships in Muslim communities around the world to advance economic opportunity, advances in science & technology, education, and exchange to help advance President Obama's Cairo vision.
Partners for a New Beginning (PNB) is committed to broadening and deepening engagement between the United States and international Muslim communities by building public-private partnerships that advance economic opportunity, science and technology, education, and exchange. These partnerships will increase access to financing, boost business capacity and development services, improve educational opportunities for students and teachers, foster physical and virtual exchange programs, and enhance science and technology solutions that will positively impact up to 500,000 people across PNB targeted countries over the next five years.
Economic Opportunity: PNB is committed to raise employment, increase access to financing, and build business capacity and development services in an effort to improve economic opportunities, develop markets, promote entrepreneurship, and enhance livelihoods in Muslim-majority countries around the world.
Education: In an effort to harness the human potential of Muslim communities, PNB is committed to improving educational opportunities by building partnerships that will broaden access to education and enhance the quality of facilities and equipment within PNB's target countries
Exchange: In an effort to enhance human connectedness, foster mutual understanding, and build people-to-people ties between the United States and Muslim-majority communities, PNB is committed to fostering physical and/or virtual exchange programs in the fields of education, business, interfaith and research.
Science and Technology: In an effort to support sustainability-driven innovation and economic growth throughout the Muslim world, PNB is committed to foster partnerships that will improve infrastructure, address natural resource challenges (e.g. water), upgrade skills and research capabilities, and fund cutting-edge innovation across these communities.
SOURCE Tony Blair Faith Foundation US