For three-years running, The Naz Legacy Foundation in partnership with The Randeree Charitable Foundation and Pears Foundation, have presented an annual Interfaith event, centred around an Iftar. Over one hundred young Londoners from different faiths, or none, come together to discuss their faith and how to bring different communities in London together within a spirit of community, unity and public service. Each year this is held in a different religious location across London.
Summative evaluation was undertaken at these events. This provided immediate feedback on the impact and reception of the event. These evaluations demonstrated that the events were successful in enthusing and inspiring young people to want to pursue further social action and/or interfaith activity immediately following the Iftar event (on average 93% agreed or strongly agreed that they would like to take part in more social action projects).
This evaluation was undertaken two years, one year or six months after attending the Iftar depending on the year they attended. Some of the highlights from the report are:
-59% of the young people established new friendships or networks as a result of the Interfaith Iftar and stayed in contact with people that they had met at the event
-73% of the young people were able to transmit knowledge that they had learned at the Interfaith Iftar to others.
-64% of the young people were instrumental in encouraging other people to attend another Interfaith events.
-47% of the young people actively sought out ways to engage people from other faiths in further action or networks following the event.
-Developed new friends between Muslims and Jews – Muslim female attendee, 2017 said: “I made my first Jewish friend at the iftar!”
-Muslim female attendee, 2018 said: “It broadened by perspective. I could see how much I have in common with those of other faiths. I have shared my experiences with other friends of my faith tradition which has helped to change their perceptions too I think”
-Jewish Female attendee, 2018 said: “the group I was in at the Iftar event created a social media group where we could all speak and invite one another to religious based community events and also just allows us to ask each other questions we may have about each other’s religions”
-Atheist Male attendee, 2017: “I met some very interesting people from all sorts of backgrounds which I have since stayed in touch with. Learning more or other people’s religion has given me more courage to stand up to those who share hateful messages due to ignorance lack of education in a correct non-confrontational way.”
-Male, no religion stated, attendee 2018: “In the long-term, the Interfaith Iftar has shown me the power of bringing communities together and by doing so how issues can be addressed”
The long-term impact of attending the Naz legacy Interfaith Iftar are attitudinal change, knowledge development and dissemination and demonstrable uptake of social action. The full report can be read here: Naz Legacy – Longitudinal Evaluation