How Education can Contribute to Healing and Well-Being: The Voices and Perspectives of Global Adolescents

The 2021 IF20 theme is “A Time to Heal”, a call for a collective reflection on the global challenges  confronting humanity during COVID-19 pandemic, not only in terms of losing human lives to the virus,  but also revealing the myriad social malaises suffered by peoples and communities, not least the  structural violence and systemic dehumanisation, and their symptoms such as poverty (material and  spiritual), discrimination, divisiveness, violent antagonism, and the violation of ecological integrity.  

Hence the IF20 Forum’s focus on healing aims to unite global communities and forge a robust “WE” by  “connecting souls”, and recognising the dignity in our common humanity, located within the planetary  cosmos, a greater wholeness. This moral reimagination of collective WE-ness is a key to healing the  broken world, including making whole, on a personal level, our bodies, hearts, minds, and spirits, as well  as on a collective level, our human and systemic interactions, and where need be, reconciling former  enmities and restoring all beings divine and sacred in nature.  

A Time to Heal calls for all to take responsibility for our collective future. For the IF20 Education  Working Group (IF20 Edu WG), it is important that at such time we engage with global adolescents  (aged 14 – 18), listen to their voices, and integrate their perspectives in re-imagining post-COVID  educational transformation. To this end, we propose a series of regional listening / dialogue /  consultation meetings where our partners and worldwide collaborators will intentionally create safe and  caring spaces to engage adolescents through online and/or face-to-face conversations and discussions 

to explore broadly the following questions adaptable to the specific local contexts: 

During the COVID-19 pandemic: 

▪ How has your education, learning and life been impacted? 

▪ What has helped you (when schools have been closed and learning has moved mainly online) to stay motivated, safe and connected with others? 

▪ How has your education (teachers, classes, activities, etc. …) helped you and others (who may feel distress, anxious, sad and/or disconnected, and/or have suffered violence, exclusion or poverty)? 

▪ What support have you received from your communities (e.g. faith, religious, village, family…) as you and others struggle with difficulties and challenges due to the disruption of education? 

Education Post-COVID:  

▪ What would you like education to focus on?  

▪ What kinds of change would you like to see in your school and in the way education is provided?

▪ What support would you like your communities (e.g. faith, religious, village, family…) to provide to  nurture your learning and well-being? 

Between March and May 2021, each participating partner/collaborator will organise workshop(s) with  adolescents to explore these questions in dialogue with educators and interfaith community leaders,  and where possible and relevant, host a regional webinar, featuring adolescents’ voices and  perspectives.  

To capture the diverse perspectives shared, the GHFP Research Institute’s team will help collect adolescents’ voices and perspectives, analyse them in the light of literature on healing, well-being, and  spirituality in education. These insights will be summarised into policy recommendations to be  integrated in our existing Policy Brief on inclusive and caring education.  

The finalised 2021 IF20 Edu WG Policy Brief on educational transformation towards healing and well being will be presented to G20 Leaders Summit in Rome to be held on 30-31 October 2021.

Working Group Areas

  1. Education
  2. Religious Literacy

Policy statements on Education

Read the last policy brief on education and religious literacy.

Working Group

Scherto Gill | Chair

Senior Fellow, GHFP Research Institute

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Patrice Brodeur | Chair 

Associate professor, Institut d`études religieuses at the Université de Montréal 

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Katherine Marshall | Advisory Council Liaison

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Maria Lucia Uribe Torres | Member

Executive Director , Executive Director of Arigatou International Geneva

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Stephen Shashoua  |  Member

Co-Director, Caravanserai Collective

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Dr. Fadi Daou | Member

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Vishal Talreja | Member

Co-founder, Dream a Dream

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María Paz Jurado | Member

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Xiaoan Li | Member

Senior Program Officer, Fetzer Institute

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Alice Wei Wang (王薇)  | Member

Director, HuaDao Eco-Community Learning and Development Center

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Viewpoints Blog

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Inviting Faith to the Table: A Tribute to James D. Wolfensohn

By Katherine Marshall, G20 Interfaith Association Vice President, World Faiths Development Dialogue (WFDD), Berkley Center.View Page

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