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The Tony Blair Faith Foundation’s: 2011-2012 Faiths Act Fellowship

Photography credit to the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.

The 2011-2012 Faith Acts Fellows

from The Tony Blair Faith Foundation

Those who seek to cause religious conflict are small in number but highly motivated, organized and funded. While there are billions of people who are engaged in their own faith tradition, many have not yet learned how to live or work together well with those of different traditions.

The Tony Blair Faith Foundation decided to tackle this challenge through organising a year-long Fellowship that brought together young people of different faiths to work toward better interfaith action. The Foundation selected 33 outstanding future leaders, who between July 2011 and June 2012, worked in interfaith pairs around the world.  They built understanding between different religious communities by mobilising them around the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), in particular around malaria prevention.

The Fellows represented a diverse cross section of the faith traditions: 11 were Christian, 10 Muslim, 5 Jewish, 3 Hindu, 2 Buddhist, 1 Baha’i, 1 Sikh and 1 Quaker. Thirty of the Fellows were placed in multi-faith pairs in Canada, India, the United Kingdom and the USA.

Click here to read full article 

World Malaria Day is April 25th

Rachel Finn and Nina Pine, Faiths Act Fellows for the Tony Blair Faith Foundation

by Nina Pine and Rachel Finn, Faiths Act Fellows for the Tony Blair Faith Foundation

While the two of us have been planning the San Francisco CROP Hunger Walk as our World Malaria Day Event, often we are asked the question, “Why are you supporting malaria prevention efforts at a hunger walk?  Isn’t that a conflict of interest?”

The fact of the matter is, however, that malaria and hunger are incredibly intertwined.  Just check out this video [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GElrSm2hF2g] from one of our volunteers, who explains her own experience with malaria and why it’s such an important cause in the fight against extreme poverty as a whole.

Delivering food to a community in need is a noble act.  It is a life-saving act.  And yet unfortunately, it is not a sustainable act.  Extreme hunger worldwide is not caused by a lack of food, but rather, systemic social corruption and flawed distribution.  To change the narrative on hunger, we must change the systems of power and the societal structures in which communities live.  To do so is a daunting task, and incredibly complex.

Yet, one effective step we can tangibly make is on the issue of malaria.  Malaria is a disease of poverty – it has been eradicated in parts of the world with access to needed finances, such as here in California.  Malaria is both treatable and preventable.  And yet, a child still dies every 60 seconds from this deadly disease.  It is less a problem of complexity than a lack of resources.

Malaria prevention, elimination, and hopefully one day, eradication, are excellent goals in and of themselves. And yet, the ripple effect from treating it has far larger reaches.  It improves education, because children do not miss days of school due to severe illness.  It improves maternal health by significantly decreasing the number of deaths in pregnant women.  Perhaps most importantly, malaria elimination would drastically improve the situation of extreme hunger around the globe.  Individuals will not have to miss days of harvesting crops due to illness.  Families will not have to decide whether to spend their money on medicine for a sick child, or food for the rest.  Men, women, and children will have the strength they need to fight against the societal blockades keeping them impoverished.

We hope you’ll support us this World Malaria Day in taking a holistic approach to tackling extreme poverty, by recognizing the interconnectedness of problems around the world.  Please visit cropwalksf.org to learn more about our Walk and how to be a supporter.

Will you walk with us?

Tony Blair on “Faiths that Act”

Tony Blair describes how his faith inspired a unique vision to bring people from different faith backgrounds together to prevent deaths from malaria.

Does your faith inspire you to look after the environment? Has it inspired you to take action in your local community?

The Tony Blair Faith Foundation is running a global film competition for filmmakers under the age of 25.

If you’re under 25 and have something to say about faith, please consider entering the Tony Blair Faith Foundation’s global film competition to bring your personal stories to a global audience.

The Judges: The film competition will be judged by a panel of global personalities including Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan, Tony Blair, Jonathan Caplan, Hugh Jackman, Anil Kapoor, Amr Khaled, Jet Li, Kishore Lulla, Wendi Murdoch, Natalie Portman, Nik Powell, Rabbi David Rosen, June Sarpong, the Tony Blair Faith Foundation’s Faiths Act Fellows and, Deepak Verma. Click here to read more about the judges.

The Prize: Winners will be flown to London to see their films premiered at BAFTA in front of representatives from the film, television and faith world.

The Tony Blair Faith Foundation is working with Pukkanasha Films on this project.

Visit the Tony Blair Faith Foundation website to learn more