Salaam Shalom and Ammerdown’s creative dialogue residential took a group of young people out of the city, into rural Somerset for four days in March 2013. Young people were provided with the opportunity to participate in a creative programme of activities, that encouraged and provided safe spaces for open and honest dialogue amongst young people from diverse faith and cultural backgrounds.
Salaam Shalom’s approach to intercultural and interfaith dialogue, particularly its work with young people, has always been holistic and creative. The emphasis is to explore individual identity and how faith, culture and community influences and challenges their understanding of others. Young people were encouraged to have dialogue around a range of topics that informed a broader understanding of identity.
Click here to read the responses of three young people to their experiences.
‘The feedback was extraordinary. The four days clearly touched everyone in a profound way. They agreed they were leaving as ‘better people’, who had benefited from feeling listened to, but also from learning themselves how to listen ‘truly’ to others and respect different opinions and perspectives… such experiences are rare in our world today: how often do we have the time and opportunity of genuinely, unhurriedly, engaging with people whom we do not usually mix with? Of listening ‘deeply’ to what they wish to tell us, and of being listened ‘deeply’ in return? Of being gifted the chance of seeing the world through different eyes? Of becoming better people through the gentle touch of others?’
Bénédicte Scholefield, Director of The Ammerdown Centre
‘When we were thinking about setting up what became Salaam Shalom in 2006, we said that one significant focus of activities had to be young people, amongst other intercultural aims learning media skills in order to express themselves in new and artistically creative ways. It’s great that much of our current work programme achieves precisely that.’
Martin Vegoda, Director & Trustee Salaam Shalom