The Global Exchange on Religion in Society (GERIS) is a two-year project of networking, societal capacity building and social media engagement. The project aims to contribute to social inclusion and societal resilience by setting up a global community-based exchange initiative.
Through this action, the European Union has set up a network of civil society actors, whether secular or faith based, to connect their experiences of coexistence among people of different faiths, and none, in societies across the globe.
Marika Djolai (PhD, University of Sussex) is the Key Expert on “Global Exchange on Religion in Society”, European Commission project.
The objective of GERIS is to build an exchange platform to contribute to the global conversation on diversity, coexistence, and social inclusion in society, on civic engagement and a more active, participatory, and shared sense of citizenship across boundaries of belief and worldviews.
Under the auspices of the European Union External Action Service and Global Exchange on Religion in Society (GERIS), the Special Needs Initiative for Growth in collaboration with the Blog4SDGs (who are are both awardees and participants of GERIS) are piloting on a multi-cultural dialogue program to engage 50 to 100 African youths (inclusive of youths with disabilities), African youths in Diaspora and youths in other parts of the world to engage in critical discussions on civil society issues affecting them.
The objective is to conduct a virtual platform for youths and policy stakeholders to connect, collaborate, and support each other through mutual ideas that promote dissemination of positive experiences and coexistence among youths of different faiths and none. The program is tagged “Intercultural Civil Convention”. The program will focus on three thematic areas such as “Inter-faith issues, Youth with Disability Issues and Education Issues”.
The convention is planned to serve as a communication platform to amplify religious and civil society issues affecting youths globally. Additionally, the ICC intends to send a call to action from policy stakeholders in regional and multilateral ways in mainstreaming responsive efforts in civil society and religious sectors that affect Youths.
The ICC gathered 53 participants this Thursday 30 of June from Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, USA, Bosnia, Benin, Cameroon, Uganda, … this was a great opportunity to share real life experiences on issues pertaining to people with disabilities, faith in society and education.
A communique is being prepared and will be used as a policy communication product which will be shared to key policy stakeholders in the Africa Union and European Union Levels during high level consultative meetings or events. For inclusivity, we shall be having two sign language interpreters to sign on behalf of the deaf community who would be present.