When Shukuru Mohammed, a Muslim religious leader from Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, was asked to coordinate Al Amana Centre’s Peer-to-Peer program, he hesitated at first. However, recognizing the unique opportunity to facilitate change, he embraced the experience wholeheartedly.
Peer-to-Peer Program Empowers Women in Religious Communities
The program, with the support of Al Amana Centre, covered various essential topics, such as women, self-care, gender expectations, violence against women, healing, God and suffering, and empowering women in communities. It brought together religious leaders actively working towards gender equality.
“For many religious leaders, the program was a powerful wake-up call. They felt compelled to take action, coordinating efforts and becoming champions of change in their communities. It wasn’t enough to hear stories of abuse without action; they needed to walk the talk,” Shukuru shared.
In Tanzania, religious tolerance has been woven into the fabric of communities, where people from various faiths coexist, respecting each other’s beliefs and working together for the common good. “They differ in how they believe and pray but share everything in life. It is normal to sit together and work together for the benefit of the community,” Shukuru observed.
Powerful Perspective Shifts
Throughout the sessions, Shukuru witnessed the profound impact of topics such as self-care practices and psychological support. “This is something deeply rooted in African culture – it’s easier taking care of others than yourself. You may be dying and you’re still willing to help others,” he reflected.
One of the most significant takeaways from the training was the realization that empowering others begins with self-empowerment. “Before you start helping others, start helping yourself. Al Amana has given us tools to help ourselves,” Shukuru emphasized.
Advocating for Equality
The program’s global reach offered valuable insights into case studies and shared struggles from different corners of the world. “We have a common enemy, and we need common weapons to fight,” Shukuru said, referring to the need for collaborative efforts in addressing gender equality issues.
“Al Amana has everything to teach people to find ways to bring gender equality as advocated by the UN SDGs. It will take time, commitment, and sacrifice,” Shukuru concluded, highlighting the organization’s role in empowering leaders like himself to drive positive change.
In our pursuit of creating a more compassionate world, we strive to empower individuals like Shukuru, equipping them with the tools and knowledge to make a difference, one step at a time. Together, we celebrate the transformative impact of interfaith connections in nurturing a harmonious global community.
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