Putting Our Faith in Youth
||by ICCS Team
||Monday, 12 December 2022
A key segment of ICCS 2022 was the Young Leaders Programme (YLP), which ran alongside the Main Conference. The YLP served as a platform for young leaders in interfaith engagement from across various regions and backgrounds to network with like-minded delegates, and to present their case studies and novel approaches to fostering social cohesion in their respective communities.
One of the key highlights of this year’s YLP was a special Fireside Chat featuring three content creators: Father Fiel Pareja, a Catholic priest from the Philippines; Reverend Chris Lee, an Anglican priest from the United Kingdom as well as Yasmin Jay, a Muslim-Australian lifestyle and fashion content creator. With a keen eye on the role of technology in empowering social cohesion, the three panellists shared about their journey in harnessing the power of social media to share a message of peace, inclusivity and faith.
Father Fiel Pareja, Reverend Chris Lee and Yasmin Jay inspiring the youth delegates with their sharings in a fireside chat facilitated by Krish Raval OBE.
The YLP also featured a showcase for innovations by young interfaith leaders to encourage social cohesion. An example was Don Basil Kannangara and his social enterprise, Being Bridges, which rolls out virtual reality (VR) goggles that are programmed to “bring” users on a virtual tour of various houses of worship in Singapore. Created as an educational resource during the pandemic, these VR goggles allow users to better understand a new faith community within the comforts of their own homes.
The VR goggles by Being Bridges featured at ICCS 2022 and gave users the opportunity to explore various houses of worship virtually.
Additionally, the YLP also featured a series of city tours for the youth delegates, presenting them with a front-seat view on Singapore’s journey in inspiring social cohesion and how some of these approaches can be replicated elsewhere. Part of the YLP programme also featured The Pitch, a stage for teams of YLP delegates to share their vision of change and realise them with funding support from the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY). We had winning pitches devoted to enhancing social cohesion through diverse avenues, such as sustainability, food and culture, as well as technology.
ICCS 2022 closed off with the YLP delegates pitching their social cohesion projects.
Ultimately, the YLP provided a conducive platform for robust youth leaders who seek to promote social harmony through a series of curated experiences and exercises.