The Tony Blair Faith Foundation, working in partnership with the Interfaith Youth Core, is delighted to announce the ten exceptional young people who have been selected in the UK to take part in the young leadership programme which has been established to bring people of different faiths together to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, and in particular, the scourge of malaria.
Among those selected are Amherst college student Rebecca Oyen, 22, from Amshurst, Harvard Student Miranda Rosenberg, 21, Brandeis University student Benjamin Bechtolsheim, 21 and student Maya Smith, 21 all from Boston.
The process of selection was a long one and the Faith Acts Fellows will spend the next 10 months in training and then will be sent our in pairs to work in the African region although at this time the actual assignments have not been announced.
Candidates must have the potential to become accomplished leaders, and be able to demonstrate a firm commitment to work for justice in their own faith community. They will need to be able to commit a year of their life to this work as MDG ambassador, ten months of which will be hard work, travel, workshops, speaking engagements, presentations in a well-planned project devised by them in conjunction with the IFYC. They will receive a basic stipend, insurance cover and health care provision.
Candidates selected will work in interfaith pairs in their own faith communities based in host organisations in their countries. Inspired by their different religious traditions, they will motivate and equip young people in congregations, schools and university religious student groups to lead their faith communities in spreading awareness of the MDG challenge, raising life-saving funds for the fight against deaths from malaria and promoting a new inter-religious dialogue of life and action.
Malaria kills a child in Africa every thirty seconds. Yet it is entirely preventable. Places of worship are present in every village in every part of Africa, forming effective networks in practical ways to reach people in need everywhere. The Faiths Act Fellows will galvanise faith communities in the developed world to support those in Africa, and demonstrate that if faiths work together, they can do even more than what has been achieved apart.
The work of the Blair Foundation is in part of a response to the Millennium Development Goals.