In addition, Blair announced that the university will be the host post-secondary institution for the fellowship program.
"The Tony Blair Faith Foundation program is an exciting exploration of how faith communities can contribute to the common good in civil society," said Richard Chambers, director of the university's Multi-Faith Centre. "The choice of three University of Toronto students in the inaugural selection of fellows is a reflection of the university's wider commitment to developing life long scholars contributing to ethical decision-making in a multi-faith global society."
The Tony Blair Faith Foundation aims to increase understanding between faith communities throughout the world through inter-faith encounter and action. The Foundation has launched Faiths Act as an opportunity for people around the world of all faiths to work together in pursuit of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), one of which is the battle against malaria.
Faiths Act and the Faiths Act Fellowship in Canada were unveiled by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation alongside the Belinda Stronach Foundation in December 2008. The Faiths Act Fellows leadership program will support 30 exceptional young people, aged 18-25, from Canada, the United States and Britain as they begin a journey as ambassadors for interfaith service and the Millennium Development Goals. They will reach up to 30,000 people of faith through outreach activity, informing them about the devastating impact of malaria and the opportunities open to faith communities to work together to save millions of lives.
The fellowships for the three UofT students involve a 10-month internship to explore the role of faith communities contributing to the common good in civil society. Specifically, the fellows will be charged with raising awareness about the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and the eradication of malaria. They get training with Blair in London, a month-long exposure trip to Africa, a $25,000 stipend, a laptop and a cellphone and follow-up placement for eight months with a host organization in Canada.
"What a wonderful opportunity to have UofT students' contributions to community acknowledged by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation in such a significant award," said Lisa Chambers, director of the Centre for Community Partnerships. "The fellowships will afford them the opportunity to expand upon the foundation created at UofT in their own learning and development through service that will hopefully lead them to a life that fosters global citizenship through socially conscious practice."
Areeba Jawaid is a 22 years old, Muslim, and is completing her Bachelor of Arts in human biology and geography at the University of Toronto. She is fluent in English and Urdu. She has a passion and demonstrated track record for community service. She has served as the director of volunteers and campus relations with Meal Exchange at the University of Toronto where she has also served on the governance committee and community serve subcommittees of the Multi-Faith Centre. She has extensive experience with Centre for Community Partnerships while at university, volunteering and organizing a host of events to assist students in making a difference in the wider community.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced April 24 that the Tony Blair Faith Foundation has awarded three fellowships to students at the University of Toronto including St Mike's student Areeba Jawaid. | By Laurie Stephens UofT The Bulletin. | Former British prime minister Tony Blair (right) shakes hands with Chancellor David Peterson as he arrives for a visit to U of T's Multi-Faith Centre. | Photo courtesy UofT.