Adults and young representatives of different religious organizations in Spain gathered in Salamanca from 31 August to 2 September to test the toolkit on Ethics Education, developed by the Interfaith Council on Ethics Education for Children. The workshop in Salamanca was part of a series of workshops carried out around the world to bring local and regional inputs into the toolkit.
The workshop in Salamanca brought together eight young participants and 11 adults hailing from different parts of Spain, representing Christianity, the Baha’I community and the Bramah Kumaris Organization. For two days the participants discussed ways to promote mutual understanding and respect in their country and how to enhance the GNRC in Spain.
Mrs. Marta Palma, Coordinator of the GNRC in Europe opened the workshop welcoming the participants to work together and to learn from each others’ beliefs and ideas. Mrs. Palma introduced the Arigatou Foundation, the GNRC and the Interfaith Council to the participants and brought into a local perspective the need for religious cooperation in Spain.
Maria Lucia Uribe, from the Arigatou Foundation in Geneva explained to the adult participants the initiative undertaken by the Interfaith Council to develop a toolkit on ethics education. The kit serves as a tool to enhance values in children and to help them to continue developing their spirituality. Maria Lucia also invited the participants to give inputs and facilitate resources from their own religious communities to be incorporated into the development process of the toolkit.
The group of adults was facilitated by Mrs. Mahal Da Costa from the Arigatou Foundation in Geneva and the group of young people by Maria Lucia Uribe and Mrs. Silvia Holgado, from the Baha’i Community.
During the workshop participants discussed their local reality, the situation with immigrants in Spain and the need for respect in a country which has become more pluralistic and diverse during the last years. Different activities, games and discussions made possible an interactive dialogue among the participants and created an environment to reencounter with themselves while discovering the other.
The youths organized a cultural evening full of activities, dances, stories and role plays, which helped enhancing the synergy among the participants and fostering an environment of mutual understanding and respect.
Young participants proposed the creation of two inter-religious youth groups in Madrid and Barcelona to share experiences, carry out debates about current issues and develop activities for peace and unity in the world.
A first inter-religious meeting in December was proposed by Mr. Rafael Arencón from the Anglican Church and the representatives from Bramah Kumaris invited the youths to interact with other young people in their Organization. Mrs. Gema Neff from the Baha’i Community expressed her gratitude to the organizers and her commitment to share with her colleagues what was discussed during the workshop.
The workshop concluded with an inter-religious prayer and very fruitful spirit of cooperation. The sadness of saying good bye to new friends was overcome by the happiness of having shared together for two days the same dream of transforming the world.