11 Sept 2022
NEEDCSI Launches Freedom of Religion or Belief Project in Jos, Nigeria
New Era Educational and Charitable Support Foundation, with seed funding from PaRD through GIZ, is implementing a FoRB Project titled “Building Bridges across Faiths: InterCommunity Dialogue for Peace in Nigeria” specifically targeting two of the seventeen SDGs, in ensuring that by 2030, all the people of the earth enjoy peace and prosperity. The two SDGs targeted include Goal 16- Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions and Goal 17- Partnerships for the Goals. As Goal 16 says, there cannot be sustainable development anywhere on earth, without peace, stability, human rights and effective governance. For Goal 17, the SDGs can only be realized with strong partnerships and cooperation, whether local or global. This project supports PaRD’s first strategic objective of fostering safe space for dialogue, by creating the platform for increased citizens’ participation, networking and knowledge, while also seeking to explore how the different religions, faiths and spiritual traditions and groups, working together in an atmosphere of cooperative creativity, can contribute to peace and development.
In December 2021 the FoRB framework was approved by Steering Group. This was followed by the first constitutive meeting in February 2022. This initiative is supported by the PaRD Secretariat through funding of member projects addressing Freedom of Religion or Belief issues in local communities on the ground through interfaith dialogue, workshops, and capacity building. Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) is a fundamental and universal human right articulated in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and other international human rights treaties. FoRB cuts across all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The FoRB Initiative of the International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development (PaRD) took shape during the General Assembly of Members 2021 in South Africa. It operates within PaRD’s mandate on the positive role of religion and belief in sustainable development and humanitarian assistance.