Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges: Face to Faith Program

Have you ever imagined of letting your students meet another group of students from a different country, culture and religion without spending much time – and  money in travelling?

On June 1-2, 2011, Xavier School hosted the launch of the Face to Faith Program of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation here in the Philippines. The launch included a series of lively, informative, innovative and mind-opening  workshops by no less than Ms. Simmi Kher and Fr. Johnny Go, SJ,  India and Philippines Consultants to the Face to Faith Program respectively. This event was attended by Catholic schools – La Salle Santiago-Zobel High School, Ateneo de Davao High School, Ateneo de Zamboanga High School and Xavier School, by private vocational school – ERDA Vocational and Secondary School, by public schools – Ramon Magsaysay High School and Jolo National High School (Sulu) and also by international school – Mohatma Gandhi International School.

The event focused on the beauty and necessity of talking about religion in the secular world. However, this talks on religion need not be in the form of debate and persuasion, arguing which faith is better or worse. Face to Faith comes in this part since it is rooted on the principles of RESPECT and of DIALOGUE. It advocates an inter-faith understanding and appreciation.

Another beauty of this program is that it caters to young people – our students, therefore, opening their minds and hearts to the reality of human and cultural diversity. Using technology as our tool in doing this program, students are also encouraged to be fully aware of the need to become global citizens, understanding other’s faith and at the same time reflecting and more so, strengthening their personal convictions on their own faith.

Face to Faith program is a great instrument of our longing for peace in this world. With this we can create a world of understanding and appreciation of our diversity, but at the same time forming our own individual identity. This program breaks barriers that history has painfully created and at the same time building bridges that could mend the fractured world.

To read more about Face to Faith Program, visit their website: http://www.facetofaithonline.org

 Credit: Face to Faith Program, Tony Blair Faith Foundation; Joel Sulit for Photo.

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