Radical for Peace is a pilot inter-faith mentoring project based within the Unity Initiative, a successful deradicalisation programme. Some of the Unity Initiative’s clients may have been convicted of terrorism offences, others may be referred because of concerns felt by their communities, or themselves self refer.
The Unity Initiative was founded by Usman and Dr Angela Misra, and has operated successfully for over six years. Its interventions are individually tailored to each person, using a bespoke Islamic Behavioural Therapy approach which includes dialogue about the true meaning of Islam, self-reflection and self-knowledge and the development of pro-social attitudes. Their definition of a successful intervention is that the client is motivated to be active in their community to spread the word about the importance of peaceful coexistence, rooted in Islam.
Usman and Angela believe that the programme would be enhanced if, towards the end of the client’s journey, they formed a relationship with some-one from the ‘mainstream community’ ie non-Muslim. This will reinforce the learning about the value of co-existence, and help them to develop a positive view of the mainstream community.
Specification for volunteers for Radical for Peace
The role of the volunteer mentor will be challenging. After a period of training, you will meet your client at least once a month for up to a year, for 3-4 hours. You will be briefed and debriefed by the Unity Initiative team each time. You will need to be prepared for confrontational conversations about the role of religion in daily life, attitudes in the West towards Islam and Muslims, and perceived war crimes, while finding ways to build a genuinely warm and personal relationship.
The Unity Initiative are looking for volunteers of any age and both sexes with a peacebuilding background, a sense of curiosity and a disposition towards spiritual belief, outside Islam. Backgrounds could involve service with the Ecumenical Accompaniers programme, community mediation or a qualification in conflict management or peacebuilding. The project will be based in the East End of London. Familiarity with the area and its culture would be useful but is not essential. Volunteers need to be based in London or near by.
At the end of the mentoring period, we hope that volunteers will have enhanced their skills to promote social harmony. Some may continue to do this work with their partner mentee.
For more information please contact Carolyn Hayman by emailing: quakerbaker1951[at]googlemail[dot]com
Peace Direct is promoting this opportunity on behalf of The Unity Initiative. Peace Direct is not affiliated with this project in any way and bears no responsibility for any further communication or interaction with them.