(Professor Fokhrul Islam Foundation)
An Organization in Special Consultative Status with
Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, since 2012
Interfaith Dialogue for Peace
PFI Foundation extensively works for peace-building agenda and follows a participatory approach to introduce interfaith dialogue through a joint consultative process among various faith-based educational institutions. Interfaith dialogue brought in the issue of ‘learning to live together’ as a new dimension in bring up the younger generations into a new world of inter-religious understanding and peace. In 2007, the foundation organised a group of 71 Madrassa leaders in the capital city of Guwahati in the Northeastern state of Assam and introduced the interfaith dialogue both as a means and end to achieve peace and modernization of Madrassa. India is a most religiously diverse country in the world and Madrassa students can be seen as future interfaith leaders committed to shifting the discourse from conflict to dialogue. The Foundation is trying to mainstream IRD within the traditional faith-based institutions like Madrassas. It desires to highlight the importance of interfaith literacy and interfaith cooperation within religious education system. In the process, it increases interfaith literacy by exploring theologies of interfaith cooperation in various faiths.
India is one of the most religiously diverse country in the world and its religious diversity can either be an opportunity for cooperation and peace-building or a source of conflict. With the remarkable successes of Right to Education Act, 2010 enrolment rate in India the number of children out of school has dropped by almost half. There has also been a dramatic increase in literacy rates, and many more girls are in school than ever before. To achieve inclusive and quality education for all reaffirms the belief that education is one of the most powerful and proven vehicles for sustainable development.
Interfaith Dialogue and Education
A major aspect of improving ‘quality in education’ will be to include religious literacy to motivate our students for national integration and global citizenship, contributing to the common good and strengthening social cohesion. Our campuses provide fertile ground for students to envisage their roles in issues of religious diversity and make a lasting impact beyond the sphere of classrooms in the broader social contexts. PFI Foundation organised an international webinar on 10 Dec 2021 in collaboration with WebPlatform4Dialogue with support from KAICIID Dialogue Centre, Vienna.
TOOLKIT ON INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE AND SDG
PFI Foundation is collaborating with Indian Fellows Network of KAICIID to publish a book on Interreligious Dialogue and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The volume will draw inputs from Indian Fellows, seminars, and other IRD specialists and it will be published as a comprehensive guide to support any Interreligious Dialogue (IRD) programme. It will provide a general overview of the nature and scope of IRD that can be used for informational, self-learning, training, and educational purposes.
Editors: Prof K M Baharul Islam, Rev. Jose Nandhikkara, and Dr Swati Chakraborty.
DEVELOPMENT OF A FOUNDATION COURSE ON INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE FOR MADRASSAS IN INDIA
This project, funded by KAICIID Dialogue Centre, Vienna under Fellows' Small Grant initiative, aims to develop a basic training course on interreligious dialogue (IRD) for the Madrassas in India through a joint consultative process among various faith-based educational institutions. Through a participatory action research process involving different faith based schools a model IRD curriculum is prepared and piloted in a few Madrassas. A model IRD Foundation Course has been developed for adoption by two Madrassas in India leading to the training of 100 Madrassa students. During the curriculum development process, through a series of consultative meetings among the stakeholders – leaders of different faiths, Madrassa teachers and Government department officials and community leaders – a strong support network has been created to further scale up the exercise. In the long run, the project envisages adoption of the IRD Foundation Course by the state government and Directorate of Madrassa Education for implementation among the 600+ state funded Madrassas in Assam (India).