Christian, Jewish and Muslim people discussed the civil cooperation
On October 30 the inter-faith and international practical seminar on “Ways of social service for Christian, Muslim and Jewish youth communities in the field of support provided to people with reduced health capabilities” was held at “Tochka Kipeniya” platform of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives. The Foundation of St. Andrew the First-Called was the initiator and organizer of the inter-faith practical seminar.
Vladimir Yakunin, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation of St. Andrew the First-Called, said during his speech: “There are common goals in the civil cooperation. It is the dialogue of civilizations when leaders of youth initiatives from different religions try to help people together”.
Archpriest Mikhail Potokin, Chairman of the Committee of Church Social Service of Moscow, remembered “Chevengur”, the novel by Andrey Platonov. The piece had a situation when all the “bad” people were taken out of the town and the remained “good” people were sitting and waiting for the time communism would start and everybody would be happy. “I still see this type of thinking today. We still have homes for the disabled, homes for elderly people”.
Alessandro Salakone, the representative of the Saint Egidius Community in Russia, shared the experience of catholic organizations: “We help people who the modern society treats like garbage. We believe it is of primary importance for a Christian person to help a person in need. We pay attention to suffering Muslim people, the unbelievers, who suffer right here right now. We help Muslim people who suffer in the Middle East. Currently some irritation is getting stronger towards the people who “bother”; and this might include elderly people, migrants and entire nations. There is a trend to distant from others and enjoy personal well-being. We should remember that it is the way to lose love. Christianity proves by its actions that Christianity is love in action. Our help is not anonymous. Every person has a name and that’s what matters for us. There is a restaurant in Rome where only mentally deranged people work. It is the situation when a charity project has become a trendy, fashionable and high-profile place”.
Hadass Stanger, Director of Guidance and Training at Krembo Wings, the youth organization from Israel, told how they were organizing joint leisure activities for teenagers. Usual teenagers along with their contemporaries with reduced health capabilities organize festive events, workshops and a lot more. The organizers believe it is very important for children of this age to communicate with others, to grow together as at this age they are inclined to solitude. In Israel they believe that children who face “the otherness” while they are young do not grow into insensitive people. This direction has become the official policy for the Ministry of Education.
Rasul Fatkullov, the representative of “Sadaka-Zakyat” Foundation (Ulyanovsk), told about a children playground the Foundation built in the park in the centre of Ulyanovsk. “We were trying to raise funds, applied for grants. But as a result the Muslim community helped and the project was successfully implemented” – he said.
It is the playground where children with reduced health capabilities can play by themselves and together with other children. The equipment on the playground is suitable for children in wheel-chairs. Such a playground is important for everybody as the inclusive environment is created there. According to him, there are very few playgrounds like that in Russia. In the Ulyanovsk region the playground built by the Foundation is the only one.
The practical seminar includes a joint performance presented by its participants for people with reduced health capabilities. The performance will be held in “Sunduk”, the workshop of social and creative inclusivity, on October 31st.
The organizers hope that the meeting will result not only in meetings of participants, getting new contacts with colleagues from other organizations and other confessions, but also in joint projects in the future. Besides, the Foundation plans to hold such international meetings on a regular basis.