Friday, November 20, 2015

Feel Good Friday - Active Change Foundation

The recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut make it hard to imagine there's anything to feel good about, but crisis situations often bring out the best in people. Today's Feel Good Friday looks at the group behind the Twitter trend #NotInMyName, the Active Change Foundation.

First things, first. There is a website, Not In My Name created to show that "ISIS does not represent Islam" and it's now a trending hashtag on Twitter. Muslims who condemn the attacks by ISIS can let the world know that ISIS doesn't speak for them. You can follow this group @NOT_INMYNAME and read or contribute tweets using #NotInMyName.

This is just one project of the Active Change Foundation, a youth leadership organization created in 2003 by Hanif Qadir as a response to the violent street crime he saw in his east London neighborhood.

The flagship project of the ACF is the Young Leaders Programme (we are in London after all). As the website explains, the program "enables young people to spend seven months exploring a cause that they feel passionate about through workshops, community events and a residential course. Its aim is to turn young people into community leaders by teaching leadership skills, crisis management and critical thinking within a problem solving environment."

The skills they learn in the program "help them combat street, drug and gang crime, domestic violence and bullying, as well as being given the tools to assist them in preventing radicalisation (sic) and violent extremism."

Other projects run by ACF include a youth center offering a range of activities for 12- 24 year olds, an outreach program that educates young people and their parents about radicalization and gang crime, outdoor activities that connect youth with authority figures, a program that focuses on women affected by extremism and violent crime and a website, See it, report it where people can report extremists posts they see online.

You can read more details on their project page, stay current by liking their Facebook page and following the founder on Twitter @HanifQadir. No matter how terrible the situation, there are always people doing something to make it better. #FeelGoodFriday

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