Italian Civil Service Volunteers Greta and Giorgia telling their experience with IRD Commission in Kwale parish
Yesterday, Sunday 19 May 2019, we went with IRD Commission to Kwale Catholic parish for the training of Young Catholic Adults (YCA) on interreligious dialogue.
It was a very good opportunity for us to spend a day with the parish youth, interact with them, share a meal and more importantly ideas. It was very interesting to share and compare different views about the Catholic faith and Islam.
IRD Commission organized the workshop on Islamic religion and they invited Sheikh Ali Mwinyi to facilitate the workshop. Sheikh Ali has worked with Coast Interfaith Council of Clerics (CICC) in the past and is still working with them whenever there is a need of his expertise. Therefore he is very competent in matters of interreligious dialogue as well as his own faith.
This was a very good meeting for us and a learning experience as we were able to know more about Islamic religion through the sessions given by Sheikh Ali. Some of the important points we got to learn were the prejudices and stereotypes of Islam and how they can be overcome. For us it was the very first time to encounter a Sheikh and have the change to closely talk to him one on one. This was a memorable experience!
Some of the areas of the training were the five pillars of Islam, the declaration of faith, obligatory prayer, alms giving, obligatory fasting in the month of Ramadan, pilgrimage to Mecca. The Sheikh was quite flexible and was able to join the group and dance with them as part of energizer.
Part of the training was “Deep well activity” which gave the participants the opportunity to place different cards with a statement. The statements were either true and greatly valued, stereotypes/prejudice or beliefs about Islam and the participants placed them at different levels of the well, top, middle and bottom depending on the message. This was a helpful activity testing Islamic knowledge of the participants.
At the end of the activity Sheikh Ali helped us to find the right position of the statements on the deep well in addition to answering to a lot of questions from the participants.
As Italian Civil Service volunteers working in Mombasa, the day was amazing. Coast region is full of diverse religions such as Hindu, African Traditional Religion, Buddhism and Islam among many others, we were pleased to have met and shared a platform with Sheikh Ali, an occasion which increased our knowledge on Islam.
We are grateful to IRD Commission and we thank Sheikh Ali for this experience.
Greta and Giorgia