Following on from the student and chaplain-led interfaith partnership project in 2019 that I worked on, I finished that project wanting more. The Parliamentor programme provided me with the next opportunity to further my involvement and further signified the value and importance of interfaith centred projects.
This programme has given myself and my team a deep insight into the real work that goes on in the realm of social action and a valuable insight, like no other, to plan and develop our own social action project, alongside many inspiring mentors at the centre of British politics and industry.
At the heart of our Liverpool team’s project is our vision to bring purpose and meaning to Liverpool’s homeless community, by integrating the student and local community in awareness and unity. Over the course of the upcoming months we hope to hold various interactive and creative sessions. Through this we can work towards changing the stigma around homelessness and support individuals facing struggle, helping to show them their value and purpose in everyday life. There are some amazing charities working hard to tackle the practical needs of homelessness in the city, achieving great things, which is why we focused our energy toward a different approach. Our team hopes to culminate our project by showcasing community and individual identity, their strength, their struggle and their story.
Over the course of planning our project and our experiences on the programme we also wanted to involve a wide variety of people of different faiths and identities, which only reflects the incredible diversity of our city. The differences we all have are not barriers to change but ought to be recognised as strengths, as a group we feel each week that we are learning more about our own identities and each other, discovering so many similarities and empowering each other with our commitment to our religious and personal values, inspiring us to work harder with our project. A trip to Parliament last year with all the teams gave us the opportunity to hear from a variety of truly inspirational politicians from across the political spectrum, showcasing how they use their platform alongside their faith values to drive their work and commitment to their constituents.
I really recommend the Parliamentor programme to any Jewish student who has an interest in wanting to learn more about our political system from an on the ground perspective and desires to be directly involved in social action projects. This programme gives you an opportunity to meet and network with truly inspiring people, forming lasting friendships, alongside strengthening interfaith relationships for yourself and for your local community. This opportunity truly encompasses a commitment to the importance Jewish value of ‘Olam Chesed Yibaneh’, a world built on kindness.
So far this programme has taught me perseverance and most importantly signified that a core strength is my Jewish identity. It is a driving force of my endeavours and will only strengthen my ability to take a front seat when it comes to making change I want to see.
From our awesome team of five, we wish the best of luck to this year’s ParliaMentors, with your projects and all future endeavours and of course anyone hoping to apply to ParliaMentors 2020!