Vienna, 6 December 2013 – “This training is an exemplary initiative that highlights and promotes the importance of cultural and religious diversity. The premise behind this project is the promotion of intra-community and intra-social dialogue and the participation process linked to it”, Ambassador Martin Eichtinger, Head of the Cultural Policy Department of the Austrian Foreign Ministry, said at the graduation ceremony where the participants of this year's dialogue training received their diplomas.
In the framework of the project “Dialogue and Integration Training for Imams, Pastoral Care Workers and Mosque Associations”, co-funded by the Austrian and European Integration Fund, training modules were held to prepare women’s representatives and dialogue facilitators of the Islamic community in Vienna.
The training events lasted a week each and touched upon Austria-specific issues, such as the country's educational, training, political and legal systems. Participants were offered the opportunity to attend training modules for deepening their skills in areas such as intercultural conflict management, communication and mediation as well as project development through practice-related approaches
The training of women's representatives focused on the specific importance that female members of the congregation play in providing support, advice and assistance to other women within their community and thus highlighted the huge potential for multiplying effects that the participants harbour.
The main item on the agenda of the course for dialogue facilitators was dedicated to members of the congregation working in the educational sector, strengthening their vital bridging function between the congregation and Austrian society at large.
At the diploma ceremony, Ambassador Eichtinger emphasised the importance of this and similar initiatives and thanked both the participants for their commitment and motivation and the partner organisations for their continued constructive cooperation. The continuation of the dialogue training courses is planned for next year.
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