Human Force 2022


The Human Force camp impacted me in all aspects of my life (Spiritually, physically, mentally) to care for all the little things that are around me and also to love myself more every day. It just made me grow and appreciate everything, and increased my inner peace! — a 19-year old participant from Europe


Human Force is an international programme for young volunteers. It bridges the gap between grassroots initiatives and everyday people who want to make a difference to the welfare of our planet and its people. With over a decade of experience, Human Force offers short-term Learning Service Programmes at Susila Dharma International Association (SDIA) projects worldwide, in the areas of health, education and sustainable livelihoods. Learning Service is a progressive approach to the traditional role of international volunteering. Human Force combines volunteering with learning objectives in global development education in order to provide a pragmatic and culturally sensitive experience whilst still meeting project needs. 


In 2022, in partnership with the GHFP, Human Force’s international volunteers supported the community in Amanecer, la Tebaida, Colombia. The programme involved six kinds of activity:

  1. Contributing to Phase 1 Environmental Plan and involving the construction of a walkway for a group of endangered nocturnal monkeys, planting of over 100 native trees to create a biological corridor and photographic mapping of the area to use for future phases of the project, in conjunction with the University of Quindio
  2. English teaching classes over two days in conjunction with El Pedacito Del Cielo in the
    local town La Tebaida
  3. Mural painting and gardening around the kiosko with Fundacion Amanecer, which was
    built prior to the camp commencement for the local children to have a safe place to
    play and develop
  4. Installation of several signs for Amanecer International Centre and gardening work to
    further assist food security for the Centre
  5. Global Awareness Program involving several talks and workshops about the social,
    economic and environmental issues pertinent to the region
  6. Cultural and reflective activities to enrich the contextualisation of the project and bolster
    the human learning experience

This programme also featured region specific development learning related to ecology and the environment, guided personal reflection activities on talent and exploration of the unique landscape and culture of Colombia!

Sharing with good people, carrying out the different tasks together and despite the limitations in the language, everything has turned out in the best possible way. I’m so happy! — a 18-year old participant from Asia


GHFP Senior Fellow Scherto Gill at 2020 G20 Interfaith Forum

Dr Scherto Gill at the 2020 G20 Interfaith Forum
On 15th October, GHFP’s Senior Fellow, Dr Scherto Gill, presented an Education Policy Brief at the G20 Interfaith Forum. She highlights the importance of exploring interfaith perspectives and interfaith organisations contribution to the global agendas, such as UN SDGs, the UN Convention on Climate Change, and so forth. Below is the transcript of her presentation.

Greetings to all. It is such a privilege for me to take part in this distinguished panel, and my sincere gratitude goes to the organisers for creating such an important spacue at the G20 Interfaith Forum for a most timely dialogue about education.

Let me begin by recalling the two aspirations that have brought us together:

One is this year’s G20 Presidency Agenda, which calls on G20 leaders to “empower people, pave the way for a better future for all.” Hence, the theme: Realizing Opportunities of the 21st Century for All.

The other is the raison-d’etre of the G20 Interfaith Forum. As already highlighted during the Opening Plenary, the Forum offers a platform where rich ideas, and values-based actions of the world’s religious, faith and interfaith communities contributing to the global agendas are heard and understood.

Indeed, under these aspirations, and in partnership with the Guerrand-Hermès Foundation for Peace, the G20 Interfaith Forum launched an Education Task Force, consisting of experts from major global organisations, such as the Aga Khan Global Network, Arigatou International, Dream a Dream India, Open Society Foundations, Global Centre for Pluralism, and Plan C: Culture and Cohesion.

I had the honour of facilitating the Task Force research that explored precisely the intersection between interfaith organisations and communities’ educational initiatives and the relevant UN SDGs especially 3, 4 and 5, namely promoting health and wellbeing, quality and equality of education.

The research brought to light that during the COVID-19 pandemic, interfaith organisations in many settings have been empowering local communities to close the gaps resulted from school closures, lack of public services due to lockdown, and isolation. They also provided practical support to address the acute social, emotional and spiritual needs of children and young people at this difficult time.

What else have the Task Force learned from the research in terms of the priorities in education policy that encourage inclusion and diversity? I will briefly mention three points which I believe are particularly innovative and pertinent to this panel’s dialogue:

First, from an interfaith perspective, educational inclusion is more than ensuring access to schooling. Many interfaith educational programmes conceive inclusion as, above all, the nurturing of the whole child, and supporting every child’s well-being in all dimensions of their development, physical, social-emotional, intellectual, moral, cultural, and spiritual.

Second, an interfaith perspective, especially through the lenses of love, compassion, respect, and humility, tends to advocate the view that human diversity is to be celebrated, and that the presence of difference in the educational environments can serve to enrich our pedagogical practices, and encourage educators to be more sensitive to the evolving well-being and learning needs of all students.

Third, an interfaith approach demonstrates that embracing inclusion and diversity must be an integral endeavour. That is to say that these must not be treated as isolated gestures, or add-ons. Instead, inclusion and diversity must be a whole system process where the empowerment of educators is a key.

Based on these insights, the G20 Interfaith Forum Education Task Force were able to develop an education Policy Brief for the consideration of G20 leaders, highlighting three policy priorities:

  1. Advancing the Wellbeing of Every Child as the Core Aim of Education
  2. Ensuring Active Participation of All in Inclusive Learning Environments
  3. Aligning Teachers’ Professional Learning with a Wellbeing and Inclusion Focus  

Illustrative practices within these policy priorities include, for instance, interfaith curriculum, interreligious literacy, relational pedagogy, democratic participation, actively engaging students at the margin, empowerment of girls, dialogic and collaborative learning, and connecting teaching and learning to students’ lived realities,

To conclude:

These interfaith perspectives also prompt us to realise that education already holds the ‘cure’ of the widespread social malaise. Hence it is not an exaggeration to propose that the ‘vaccine’ to end the hidden pandemic, i.e. the prevailing social inequality and injustice, that has plagued humanity for so long, is precisely to be found in our education system only if it is inclusive, human-centred, and caring, and only if it aims to nurture the well-being of all, and realise opportunities for all.

As John Dewey cautioned, unless we do so, we will rob our children of their tomorrow.

Inclusive & Caring Education: G20 Interfaith Forum Education Task Force

As part of the G20 Interfaith (G20i) Education-Task-Force, the GHFP launched a research into Inclusive and Caring Education from a Faith Perspective. The research consisted in two parts: (1) a Desk Review to understand better how religion/faith and spirituality tend to define inclusive and caring education; (2) a Questionnaire Survey to seek examples and case studies of faith-inspired approaches to inclusive and caring education.

Three priority areas have emerged from our inquiries, which deserve further attention:

  1. Teachers’ professional development, especially towards enabling teachers to be more skilled at facilitating dialogic and collaborative learning in classrooms of rich diversity;
  2. Innovative approaches and practices of inclusive and caring education, notably in engaging girls, and other vulnerable students;
  3. Safe, caring and inclusive learning spaces, including through digital platforms.

The G20i Education Task Force is now inviting high-level experts in the fields of education, faith and policy for an online consultation with the aim to review thematic proposals and make policy recommendations.

We welcome faith-inspired educational projects and programmes that have a focus on inclusion and diversity to continue to share their practice HERE.