AUSTRALIA SUPPORTS EFFORTS TO PROMOTE INTERFAITH HARMONY AND UNDERSTANDING
Ambassador Tony Hely (right) addresses the members of civil society organisations involved in peace and interfaith activities (left) during a workshop on the Australian Embassy's Strengthening Grassroots Interfaith Dialogue and Understanding (SGIDU) Program, held at the Marco Polo Hotel in Davao City last 21-22 June 2007. The workshop, attended by 13 organisations from Metro Manila and Mindanao, reviewed current projects being implemented under the auspices of the Australian Embassy’s SGIDU Program.
The SGIDU program offers targeted financial assistance to organisations for stand-alone interfaith or intra-faith projects that contribute to strengthening understanding and acceptance between Christian, Muslim and Lumad communities at the grassroots level and to promote peace-building and anti-violence messages. Launched in October 2006, the SGIDU program has already provided nearly Php 8 million in grants to 19 projects benefiting more than 11,000 people throughout the Philippines. Activities include youth camps, inter-religious seminars, teacher training, women's empowerment and leadership courses.
Ambassador Hely cited the importance of peace and security to sustaining the economic growth of the Philippines. For more information on the SGIDU program, call the SGIDU Secretariat at 02 757 8256.