June 29, 2017

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Youth volunteers build bonds between religious faiths

Youth volunteers from different religious backgrounds implement interfaith youth services project at Bago Shwe Maw Daw Pagoda. Photo: Smile Education and Development Foundation
Youth volunteers from different religious backgrounds implement interfaith youth services project at Bago Shwe Maw Daw Pagoda. Photo: Smile Education and Development Foundation

Yangon, 5 Aug — With the aim of building relationships between youths from different religious communities, the non-governmental Smile Education and Development Foundation is inviting young people to join hands in an interfaith services project, its coordinator Khin Thinza said Wednesday.
The programme includes garbage collection and sanitation services in religious buildings of different faiths, as well as helping during religious festivals and holy days, she told The Global New Light of Myanmar.
In addition, participating youths can explain the interfaith concept to children pursuing their education at those buildings, she added.
Khin Thinza said the project was aimed at promoting mutual understandings and trust among youths from different religious backgrounds, which play a crucial role in creating a harmonious society.
“Youths involved in the programme will have an opportunity to meet with religious leaders to discuss community issues,” she said.
She expressed the view that “youths hardly have contacts with religious leaders.”
“We faced some challenges at the beginning of this programme but it is heartening to see the active participation of youths,” she said.
According to the project coordinator, the foundation together with around 25 young people will visit Wailuwon Monastic Education School in Bago Region on 8 August, with plans to conduct tree planting there.
“We are planning to perform the programme at more than 20 religious buildings in Yangon, Mandalay and Bago every Saturday of the year,” Khin Thinza said.
“The next activity will take place at a Christian home for the elderly in Mingala Taungnyunt Township in Yangon on 15 August.” The foundation began its interfaith activities in late 2013, and aims to improve the lives of young people and women through a wide range of development programmes.
Youths between 18 and 25 wishing to take part in the programme may contact the foundation through [email protected]

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