The Unity of Faiths Foundation (TUFF) – A LIVING BUDDHA joins Project Unity- the Global schools unity program
Great Master Chin Kung, a Chinese Buddhist monk many million followers worldwide, was the Guest of Honour at a special educational conference which took place in the Kensington Royal Chambers. He was warmly welcomed by the new Mayor of the Royal Borough, Cllr Robert Freeman. The event was also addressed by the Deputy Mayor of London for Crime and Policing, Stephen Greenhalgh, who spoke of the pressing need for multi-cultural youth activities such as football to divert young people from gang membership and religious extremism.
The conference, which was facilitated by The Unity of Faiths Foundation (TUFF), looked at how different faith groups educate their young people to show respect and tolerance for people of different backgrounds. 120 attended, including community and religious leaders from 11 different faith groups and the Ambassadors of Tunisia, South Korea, Lithuania, Nepal and Israel. The event included a minute’s silence for the victims of the Nepal earthquakes, after which Great Master Chin kung and The Unity of Faiths Foundation donated of £10,000 to the earthquake appeal.
Groups of school children from different schools presented their art, sport and citizenship projects, all as part of Project Unity, a London-wide programme of youth inter-cultural activities being driven forward by TUFF to mark the First World War centenary. Iqra, a 16 year old schoolgirl from London who plays for the TUFF FC girls’ football team dressed in a hijab, said, “All my life I have been criticised by people, including many in my own community, who say girls shouldn’t play football. With TUFF FC I have found respect and made many new friends of different faiths who come together to play the game we love.” Nitin Palan of the Golden Tours Foundation a local Kensington business presented the project with a donation to enable them to buy new kit.
Among the speakers were Great Master Chin, who said, “We live in troubled times, but those who would do harm in the name of misinterpreted or twisted religion are greatly outnumbered by people for whom religion is a source not of hatred and violence but of peace, comfort and good acts. We people of goodwill must ensure that our voice is the louder one, and that our young people choose the correct path.”
Archbishop Kevin McDonald, Roman Catholic Archbishop Emeritus of Southwark, said this is such a historic moment and such events are very important for our young British society.
Speaking later, Rabbi Edwin Shukar, Vice President of the European Jewish Council, said “I appreciated being in the presence of so many men of faith and leaders of communities. The atmosphere and energy in the hall was amazing. I believe everyone left richer than when they walked in.” Referring to TUFF he added, “It is miraculous how an enterprise that was started by a few people can grow into an organisation that one day will make our world a better place to live in.”
Anna Prior and Dr Shamender Talwar, founders of The Unity of Faiths Foundation (TUFF), said “We are delighted that the event went off so well. We were so honoured to hear from Great Master Chin Kung and there was a real energy in the room. Our charity exists to promote unity within diversity and the conference has planted the seeds for much important new work.”