The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), gave us the opportunity to attend the consultative meeting on the development of their Coalition Building Manual in Vienna. I was joined by my fellow alumni committee members, Lara Kaplan and Hashim Bhatti, where we were able to contribute our advice and feedback to finalise the manual within a process that was part of a multi-year, German-funded project “Turning Words into Action to address anti-Semitism, Intolerance and Discrimination”. Other representatives at the Summit included: ENAR (The European Network Against Racism,) the European Union of Jewish Students, MJC (The Muslim Jewish Conference,) alongside various other grassroots campaigners, activists and NGO’s.
I was able to discuss my thoughts on coalition-building through my experiences organising the Interfaith Summit with the support of fifty different faith, belief and campaigning organisations. And the work 3FF does every year through the ParliaMentors programme. All the young leaders from across the 57 OSCE nations had different experiences with coalition building and were able to bring the challenges specific to their nation to the fore. This significantly helped us to build a manual applicable to all contexts, giving tools to organisations and individuals across Europe, to organise, to lobby and to make a difference. I am grateful for this fantastic opportunity to work with such prestigious organisations and meet like-minded individuals all striving for the same objective. I want to be able to bring back all the learning from this event and implement the coalition-building skills in our work in the Alumni Committee and in organising our Interfaith Summit this year (16th November 2017) and contribute to creating positive change in society through turning dialogue into action.