As part of the European Union-funded project “Southeast Asia: Advancing Inter-Religious Dialogue and Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB)”, The Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers is seeking peace action-orientated Interfaith Fellows to advance a growing body of interfaith peacebuilding work in South and Southeast Asia. The project is being implemented in consortium with Finn Church Aid, Sathirakoses Nagapradipa Foundation (International Network of Engaged Buddhists – INEB), World Faiths Development Dialogue, Islamic Relief Worldwide and World Conference of Religions for Peace.
The Interfaith Fellowship Program will build the capacity and skills of local changemakers to challenge discrimination and oppression within both minority and majority religions in their own communities and implement projects contributing to inclusive societies. Fellows will operate in their countries and communities of residence, with occasional travel for Fellowship workshops. Selected Interfaith Fellows will include religious clergy, traditional community leaders, women, youth, and minority changemakers/influencers from strategic countries: Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand and broader Southeast and South Asia.
The Fellowship Program will take place in four phases in 18 months and selected applicants are expected to participate in it throughout the process. First, Fellows will engage in a country to regional mapping and analysis skills workshop to improve their contextual country to regional understanding while developing advanced mapping and analysis skills. Fellows will then return to their home bases to use the skills and knowledge developed during Phase 1 in order to implement Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) and social cohesion actions. Following the implementation phase, Fellows will reconvene at a workshop to present their analysis findings and refine their actions according to lessons learned. Fellows will again return home for the fourth phase to implement their refined actions with continued mentoring and coaching. The phased Fellowship Program will be implemented in two cohorts with 30 participants each.
Participating Fellows can expect to receive the following benefits:
- Continued mentorship from senior Network staff
- Advanced technical skills in regional analysis, mapping, monitoring and evaluation
- Enhanced connections to religious leaders and influencers in their home communities
- Induction into an informal network of like-minded individuals from different communities, countries and religions who are all working to advance freedom of religious beliefs and social cohesion
- Possibility of grant support to expand activities
- Increased capacity to enhance current projects and/or initiate localized projects
- Possible participation in social and mainstream media communication and advocacy campaigns
Interested candidates should send their maximum 2-page CV, a 1- to 2-page letter detailing their interest in the Fellowship Program in response to the program description and below selection criteria, and two letters of recommendation.
Please submit completed applications and questions to Mr. Philip Gassert, Project Manager, email@example.com
The application deadline has been extended to 23 June 2019.
Selection Criteria for the Interfaith Fellows
The selection of the Interfaith Fellows will ensure at least 35% of each gender and adequate geographical and religious diversity. In addition, it is to be ensured that selected Fellows are as participative and inclusive as possible – engaging secular and religious actors from across Buddhist, Christian, Hindu and Muslim communities – whilst also ensuring gender, youth, minority groups and a broader demographic balance.
In the overall selection process it will be also paid attention to that the selected Interfaith Fellows reflect a balanced group in terms of religious tradition and geographical origins.
Participant qualifications include, but not limited to, the following:
- A clear potential to engage with and influence duty bearers and other rights holders’ attitudes, and work on larger human rights issues
- At least one practical example of promoting religious dialogue or rights-based action or development initiatives across religious denominations/communities
- Influencers keen to work on inclusivity, social cohesion and interfaith dialogue
- At least one practical example of engaging with local, state and/or region-level actors capable of influencing broader socio-political change
- Understanding of the needs and constraints in proposed community, region and country of work
- Demonstrated ability in at least one past action to conduct stakeholder analysis, including identifying rights holders and duty bearers and identify gaps in their capacities and awareness
- Demonstrated familiarity with the Do No Harm principle and assessing possible negative impacts of any proposed plan of action
- Past experience in at last one action in gender and vulnerability analysis in order to increase equality and benefit the most vulnerable
- Keen interest to deepen religious literacy, knowledge and skills in FoRB, social cohesion and related human rights analysis, and methods to effectively improve FoRB and social cohesion within own contexts
- Previous experience implementing lessons learned in at least one action
- A demonstrated commitment to utilizing their enhanced capacities and network to improve FoRB and social cohesion/peace building within their communities, countries and across the regions
- At least one previous experience that demonstrates the innovativeness, potentiality to create best practice guidelines possible to be duplicated or adapted in other contexts, while maintaining feasibility, cost-effectiveness and sustainability of the proposed action
- At least one past action that included identifying the root cause of conflict and developing a relevant plan of action
The Interfaith Fellows have the potential to apply for a limited number of small grants where selected eligible activities can include: mechanisms for information sharing and to oppose potential inter-communal violence and promote harmony; intra-faith capacity building, including workshops on intra-faith dialogue or skills for social cohesion; cross-faith exposure visits; initiatives for communities’ awareness and recognition of other groups’ rights; integration of context sensitive and relevant peace education (intercommunal harmony) into teachings, and in general activities having added value in the local promotion of FoRB and inter-faith harmony. Later, some of the Interfaith Fellows might be also in a position to apply for small grants for setting up or strengthening Interfaith Councils or other community organizations to form sustainable and locally owned mechanisms/structures to support FoRB and social cohesion actions.
21 May 2019