Hindu Aid, a British charity, has won a grant from the Department for International Development (DFID) to teach schoolchildren, young people and community groups about the lives of people in Africa and Asia.
Pupils will learn about challenges to reduce poverty in the developing world and will be encouraged to see how their actions as consumers can reduce global poverty, according to a DFID release.
The grant, from DFID'sDevelopment Awareness Fund, aims to raise awareness and understanding of development issues among people in the UK.
Hindu Aid has been awarded ?137,532 to work with the Hindu community in temples, schools and Asian businesses and at Hindu festivals to raise awareness of global development. The project will raise awareness about global poverty, the Millennium Development Goals and increasing global interdependence.
Arjan Vekaria, Chair of Hindu Aid said: ?We have already opened an office and have started discussions with our partners including the Development Education Association and umbrella organisations like the Hindu Forum of Britain and regional bodies. We expect to roll out the first training programmes on Development Education to Hindu organisations by October 2006.?
Ramesh Kallidai, Vice Chair of Hindu Aid said: ?The DFID grant to Hindu Aid will allow British Hindus, many of whom are already engaged in aid and poverty alleviation programmes, to organise their international development activities in a more structured manner. Hindu Aid will focus on information sharing, use of good practices and an increased awareness of development education, which will increase the effect and outreach of poverty alleviation and international development programmes originating in Britain.?
DFID has awarded similar grants focussing on ethnic minorities to the Muslim Council of Britain and Minorities in Europe.
Gareth Thomas, International Development Minister, congratulated the projects and welcomed their work: ?The elimination of extreme poverty is one of the greatest challenges the world faces – a challenge that the children of today will be taking forward in the future. In an increasingly interconnected world, it is essential that all young people are given the opportunity to learn about the global community of which they are a part. The problems of the developing world become ours, as our problems become theirs – people desperately seeking refuge because of conflict, farmers trapped in crippling poverty because of subsidies in the West, the global problems of climate change and terrorism.
The Department for International Development is pleased to give funding to these projects. Through them young people and other communities will gain a global perspective and will understand how their actions can make a difference.?
Through the Development Awareness Fund (DAF), DFID has awarded ?5 million to development awareness projects in the UK starting in 2006 and lasting 2-3 years. The DAF is a UK-wide competitive funding scheme.
The total cost of the Hindu Aid project is ?178,362. Hindu Aid is a British organisation focussing on Development Education for the Hindu community in the UK. It also has a Disaster Task Force that brings 50 Hindu aid agencies in Britain and runs an Aid Coordination Programme to share information and good practise amongst Hindu organisations.
DFID is the part of the UK government that manages the UK'said to developing countries, working to get rid of extreme poverty.
(The writer is a UK-based journalist)