Religious Youth Service

Religious Youth Service Trainer Teaches Australian Youth about Peacebuilding

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Perth, Australia – On February 8, 2008, Fazida Razak, a member of the Religious Youth Service Global Management Team was invited to give a talk to 900 students between the ages of 12 and 17 at St John XXIII in Perth, western Australia about her work at Religious Youth Service and the Interreligious Peace Sports Festival. About 100 teachers were also present for the talk.

In her half-hour talk, Fazida acknowledged that more and more schools in Australia are inviting her to give talks about her work simply because schools want to take a more proactive approach in peace building and want to look for newer methodology that might appeal to their students. Students are also ready to contribute to this initiative and go beyond raising funds.

In sharing her experience with service learning, Fazida said that her work is sometimes deemed important only in conflict areas. She added that peace work is also urgent in time of peace in countries such as Australia because peace cannot be taken for granted. She said that maintaining peace is a shared responsibility. With more than 200 nationalities, cultures and races, Australia's diversity is a blessing and a challenge.

At the end of her talk, the school director, Mr. Mark Antulov, arranged for her to meet a small group of student captains, teachers, and administrators to explore possibilities of what their school can do for 2008. They are now considering preparing a world religion exhibition at a Sports For Peace Carnival in March in Perth and also an interfaith program that uses arts to promote understanding.

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