Faith Matters has also overseen two international ‘micro-finance’ projects which support the development of small businesses in Jerusalem, Israel and the West Bank in Palestine.
The Jerusalem Interest Free Fund: The fund provides small business and study loans to. The fund offers the loans for small business start-ups and educational courses for both communities – Arabs within East Jerusalem and the Orthodox Jewish community – on an interest free basis.
The Future Visions Charity: The charity supports entrepreneurs in the West Bank through micro and small business loans and to people in outlying villages in Palestine. Faith Matters provided strategic advice to the charity and helped to develop its structure, it direction and the systems it needed to develop in order to be effective.
Faith Matters Pakistan: Our work involves using new technologies in reaching out to new communities on a global basis. This work involves the use of SMS and social media, as well as Muslim and Christian interfaith dialogue work in Pakistan. Faith Matters is also undertaking its first capital build project in Jajuki, Pakistan and we are proud to have the opportunity to serve 100,000 Pakistani villagers in this area through the community centre that we are developing. Further work on Faith Matters Pakistan can be found on www.faith-matters.pk.
Faith Matters India: Our work in India involves work with young Hindus and Muslims and the promotion of dialogue between the two faith groups. This is being conducted in Delhi and involves young people discussing their identities and what it means to be Indian. Faith Matters India can be found on www.faith-matters.in.
Faith Matters Jerusalem: Our work in Jerusalem involves conflict resolution between Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jewish communities. We believe the meeting and engagement of young Arabs and young Jews is a fundamental step to exposing both communities to the ‘other’ and in ensuring that the ‘other’ changes from being faceless and voiceless, to being a real person with a history and social narratives. This is the only way that stereo-typing and hate can be reduced and this work is facilitated by Faith Matters in Jerusalem.
Student Exchange Programmes: Faith Matters has undertaken numerous student exchange based programmes and we recently brought over students from the Lebanon, Egypt, Palestine and Jordan to the UK for a week long intercultural trip. The groups met young people in schools and further education colleges and they had the chance to experience the diverse communities in the UK. We are looking to bring over further groups in 2012.