Awareness Foundation is a Christian, ecumenical, educational charity which was founded by The Revd Nadim Nassar in London in 2003 to empower Christians everywhere to be a counter force of love and peace to the intolerance and mistrust that now prevail in so many communities, and to build understanding between the faiths.
Currently, the foundation is active in the UK, North America (USA and Canada), the Middle East (Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine), and in Hong Kong.
The Awareness Foundation has provided support and services to over 2,000 children aged 6 to 12, across Syria, and has taught over 700 young people to be leaders in the Middle East, showing them how to handle conflict, how to transform and empower their communities, and how to build bridges with other faiths to promote peace and understanding.
Outside the Middle East, the foundation helps Christians live their faiths fully and faithfully in this diverse, globalised world through education and through the work with Christian denominations that help them to prepare local responses to fundamentalism and fanaticism.
The Revd Nadim Nassar is the founder and executive director of the Awareness Foundation. The Syrian-born Anglican priest travels the globe to encourage and inspire enlightened dialogue among people from different faiths. His studies in Beirut at the Near East School of Theology between 1981 and 1988 during the Lebanese Civil War often put his life at risk and had a profound effect on him. He was ordained in 2004.
The main programmes of Awareness Foundation are:
Ambassadors for Peace
Ambassadors for Peace is an ecumenical educational programme for young Middle Eastern men and women, enabling them to build bridges of mutual respect and understanding in their diverse communities. The Foundation has already taught over 700 young people to be leaders. An essential element of this work is to introduce advocacy and to enable the Ambassadors for Peace to develop their own peace-building projects.
Little Heroes is designed to help Christian children, aged 6 to 12, across Syria. So far, it has helped over 2,000 children, thanks to the generosity of many supporters around the world. The main goal of this programme is to give displaced – and local – Christian children in Syria a new hope, and a new energy to live their life without fear so that they can build new bridges of respect and understanding with each other, and with children of other faiths that they meet in their new homes and schools.
Sunday School Teacher Training Programme
This programme was designed to retrain and motivate young people who find themselves running Sunday School classes at their local church. Many of the experienced teachers have left, and the collapse of much of Syria’s infrastructure means that those who remain have little or no access to training and equipment.
Outside the Middle East, the main goal is to help Christians live their faiths fully and faithfully in our diverse, globalised world. Through education, Awareness Foundation enables Christians to live out an authentic and confident faith and to create relationships of respect and understanding with people from other faiths.
PAX is a growing online collection of short but challenging faith-based videos. PAX means ‘peace’ in Latin. The videos aim to encourage Christians to live out their faith practically and confidently, and to provide a counter-narrative of peace and understanding to hateful and extremist ideologies online.
One of the key educational tools in the West is the Awareness Forum. The Awareness Forum is the Awareness Foundation’s outreach programme. Through the Forum, the foundation hosts special events to bring together opinion leaders for conferences, roundtables and lectures.
A community-based initiative to promote peace and understanding across barriers of faith & culture by bringing together faith leaders to identify the challenges they face and work together to write a mutually-agreed action plan for the future.
Speakers include Bishop Angaelos and Canon David Porter, the Director for Reconciliation at Lambeth Palace.