Learning to Live Together is an interfaith and intercultural program for ethics education which contributes to nurturing ethical values in children and young people, age 12 to 18. It comes with a free manual you can download, developed by the Interfaith Council on Ethics Education for Children in close collaboration with UNESCO and UNICEF.
The program’s goal: to contribute to the realization of the Right of the Child to full and healthy physical, mental, spiritual, moral, and social development, and to education as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), in article 26.1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), in the World Declaration on Education for all, and in the Millennium Development Goals.
The objectives of the Learning to Live Together program are:
- To strengthen the capacity of children and young people to make well-grounded ethical decisions based on values that promote respect for other cultures and beliefs.
- To empower children and young people to engage in dialogue – to listen and to talk – as a means of developing greater sensitivity to differences and an understanding of others.
- To nurture children’s and young people’s ability to respond to the needs of their societies with an attitude of reconciliation and respect for diversity and to contribute, in this manner, to a culture of peace.
- To allow children and young people to appreciate and nurture their spirituality.
- To affirm human dignity as expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the CRC and in the teachings of all religious traditions.
- To affirm the possibility of living together, respecting one another in a world of different religious, ethnic and cultural traditions.
- To provide tools for educators to work with intercultural and interfaith learning in different regions and in diverse settings.
- To develop and promote successful practices for living together with people of different cultures, ethnicities, beliefs and religions.
The manual is free. Here is the English version. (At 244 pages, it takes a while to download.) The first 20 pages introduce the subject of children, ethics, and religious pluralism, followed by a chapter for teachers. Then comes the curriculum and a library of appropriate studies, exercises, poems, prayers, stories, and reflections, many by children. The manual is also available in Arabic, French, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, and it will soon be available in Swahili.
Learning to Live Together is an outcome of a worldwide initiative of Arigatou International, an international faith-based NGO, headquartered in Tokyo and committed to building a better world for children. An initiator and sustainer of partnership-based initiatives to secure child rights and foster children's well-being, Arigatou International seeks to maximize the potential of interfaith cooperation, and always strives to empower and involve children and youth. The Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC), another arm of Arigatou, uses the manual in activities for young people all over the world.