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First Workshop Planned to Test Ethics Education Resource Kit in Sweden

The Ethics Education for Children resource kit is scheduled to be tested in Sweden in November 2005

The Ethics Education for Children resource kit is scheduled to be tested in Sweden from 18th to 20th November 2005. GNRC Europe will be the first of the six GNRC world regions in which the global-scale ethics education for children initiative will be tested. The workshop will be held at Utbildningscentrum Lidingo near Stockholm under the aegis of GNRC Europe and the Interfaith Council on Ethics Education for Children secretariat in Geneva. The workshop in the Nordic countries is organised in collaboration with the Ecumenical Institute for the Nordic Region.

Objectives of the Sweden workshop are three-pronged: to
offer a space for people from different faiths, especially youth, to come together and enhance their religious belief and practices through an experience of mutual learning, to introduce and test the draft toolkit on ethics education for children and to explore the possibilities to continue working with the GNRC Europe. The methodology which will be used in the workshop will include sharing of information about the GNRC, the use and testing of the resource kit and discussions about the future work of the GNRC in the Nordic Countries.

Participants from different faith communities, educators, parliamentarians, youth and adolescents from various religious committees and the GNRC Coordinators have been invited to Sweden to attend the workshop. The organizing committee of the workshop includes Ms. Gunnel Borgegård, Ecumenical Secretary, Ecumenical Institute for the Nordic Region who will be the local host, Ms. Marta Palma, GNRC Coordinator for Europe, Ms Agneta Ucko, Director of the Arigatou Foundation in Geneva, Ms. Patricia Bruschweiler, Programme Assistant GNRC Europe, and Ms. Kezevino Aram, Facilitator.

The Ethics Education resource kit whose preparation is coordinated by the secretariat of the Interfaith Council on Ethics Education for Children in Geneva, is prepared by a group of scholars, pedagogues and educators from different religious traditions as well as from secular traditions in different cultures. The faith traditions represented include Buddhism, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, and Hindu. Others who do not belong to any of the faith traditions, but believe that children are a source of hope, joined hands in the preparation of the resource kit.

During his address to the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Children held in May 2002, Rev. Takeyasu Miyamoto, Leader of the Myochikai, President of the Arigatou Foundation and the Inaugurator of the Global Network of Religions for Children called on the international community to come together and address issues on ethics and children. He then proposed the formation of a ‘Council on Global Ethics Education for children’. Since then, the Interfaith Council on Ethics Education for Children has been formed with a vision building a ‘world in which all children are empowered to develop their spirituality – embracing ethical values, learning to live in solidarity with people of different religions and civilizations, and building faith in the divine presence’.