More than 100 school pupils came together for a special ‘Interfaith Week’ conference at Tower Hamlets Town Hall yesterday (November, 13) to offer their ideas on tackling climate change.
Organised by Global Learning London, the ‘Communities of Hope Conference’ - which was held at the start of Interfaith Week - aimed to show how faith can play an important role in bringing about social change and challenging injustices.
The pupils, who came from five different secondary schools in the borough including Mulberry School for Girls, Canary Wharf College, George Green’s School, Stepney All Saints and Oaklands School, were joined by a panel of guest speakers of different faiths.
The panel, included a Muslim beekeeper, a Buddhist playwright and a former Philosophy lecturer from the Quaker faith, encouraged the pupils to think about how they can contribute to social change and use their unique skills to make an impact.
Lutfur Rahman, Executive Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said:
“Tackling the climate emergency is not just a global issue – it is a local one too. The fight against climate change begins right here at home, on our streets and in our buildings.
“We have declared a climate and nature emergency and are committed to becoming a carbon neutral council by 2025.”
Cllr Maium Talukdar, Deputy Mayor of Tower Hamlets officially opened the conference. He said:
“Addressing climate change is a huge problem and only working together can we bring about sustainable change.
“I hope our young people will be inspired to go forward and create a greener and safer world.”
At the conference, the young people created a piece of artwork under the guidance of East London based Iraqi artist Alaa Alsaraji.
The artwork will form a mobile exhibition which will tour local faith and community spaces and schools.
Neda Haid from Mulberry School for Girls who was motivated by the speakers said:
“If you look at communities across the world and see how they are suffering from floods and famine due to climate change it is very depressing.
“They need our help, and we need to stop destroying the planet and look after our natural resources. I am 100 per cent ready to bring about real change to save our environment.”
Abigail Webster from George Green’s School added:
“It is great to be here with so many young people that have the same goal and I look forward to working with my peers to think globally and act locally! Together we can make a difference.”
Arts and social change charity Coney based in Commercial Street wrapped up the day with interactive games to spark change through the power of play.
Posted on Tuesday 14th November 2023