“Our responsibility should be to help raising the voices of young people, for their narrative to become the one that changes the world today” said Mrs. María Lucía Uribe, Director of Arigatou International Geneva, while reflecting on the intergenerational dialogue that brought together 20 youth from Tamil Nadu, India with members of the Interfaith Council on Ethics Education for Children.
The dialogue, organized by Shanti Ashram, was held on 13 August in Coimbatore and aimed to create a space for youth and adults to exchange ideas on the topic of global citizenship. The young participants had been working together to activate youth leadership in the region. Meanwhile, the members of the Interfaith Council, composed of religious leaders, practitioners, and experts on ethics and education, where in India at the time to take part in their annual meeting.
The intergenerational dialogue was an opportunity to reflect together, and to share what it means to be a global citizen in a world that has become increasingly more interdependent and yet a place where exclusion, racism, segregation, and extremism are rising. The topic was approached from many perspectives, including gender, economy, technology, religion, and politics.
During the conversations, young participants shared their views on what global citizenship means for them and how they can respond to the challenges it poses. In the same way, members of the Interfaith Council agreed that young people need spaces where they can help shaping the world and creating new narratives of mutual understanding and respect. They emphasized that adults, especially religious leaders and government representatives, have an ethical obligation to make youth voices heard and to create a favorable environment for them to become the voices of inclusion, empathy, and solidarity.
This was the first of a series of intergenerational dialogues on global citizenship which are being organized by Arigatou International Geneva together with partners around the world. This cycle aims to empower the voices of young people to help transform the local reality by breaking enterotypes and challenging the norm while raising awareness among religious and governmental leaders on the value of exchanging ideas and experiences with youth, and open opportunities for dialogue and collaboration.
We thank Shanti Ashram for making this possible by organizing and hosting this event, and to the Interfaith Council and young people from Tamil Nadu for their involvement and participation.
In the following link, you can see an interview made by Coiva Post to Mrs. Maria Lucia Uribe about the youth dialogue.