Tech2Gether Project: Learning new skills in Moss Side

Jul 6, 2017


Tech2gether Project Identity Card

Project Name: Tech2gether

Project Duration

Church Urban FundProject Funded by the Church Urban Fund

Project Description

Strengthening Faith Institutions is currently supporting Tech2Gether, an exciting new training programme for young Christian and Muslim people living in Manchester’s Moss Side district. The programme is being hosted by GIFT, a Christian-ethos educational charity, and facilitated by specialist consultancy Faith in Society with funding from the Church Urban Fund through its Common Good programme. The Salaam Community Mosque is another partner and key to the success of the project.

Learning New Sills in Moss Side, Manchester UK

Having faced many challenges of deprivation, unemployment and racial tension in the past (the 1981 riots being the most notable example), Moss Side today is a safer and increasingly self-confident area. However, it still experiences poor social cohesion: although some 70% of the people living in the project’s catchment area are of Black African and Caribbean background, this includes a significant Muslim population which has traditionally not engaged in any meaningful way with the Black Pentecostal Christian majority. As one young participant noted,

We have some Muslim friends at school but outside school we never mix with them.

The Tech2gether programme content

The programme delivers free, high quality training in two areas: Information Communications Technology and Film-making. The ICT training is jointly led by a Muslim and a Christian trainer (Anas Bah of Evo-soft and Manuella Essaka of 3E Web Media Training), and the Film-making by Kerry King, a freelance video journalist/ cameraman for the BBC. The ITC course covers basic coding, app writing and website design; the Film-making course is enabling two teams of participants to research, write, film and present short, topical films of broadcast quality on subjects of their choice, as well as learning video blogging. Later in the programme guest trainers will cover the additional subjects of Beauty and CV writing and there will also be football and basketball coaching sessions and a tournament. 

End of Tech2gether Project

GIFT Director Henry Ngawoofah Faith in Society Warwick Hawkins and Trainers Anas Bah and Manuella Essaka

Tech2Gether came to a close on the first of July after a day of discussions, critical thinking and applying newly learnt skills. The workshops was created to promote community cohesion by bringing young people of different faiths together and equipping them with skills for the ICT and Media Sector . They were provided with the opportunity to learn basic coding, app creation, developing websites, filming, editing and script writing. The youth involved aged between 10 to 16 years old displayed excellent teamwork,decision making and commitment as they tackled issues that are relevant among their peers such as image, popularity and bullying. Once the ICT and Media was complete there was the option to participate in a skincare beauty workshop which highlighted self-acceptance or fitness activities which promoted physical well-being.

Building friendships across faiths

Traditional inter-faith dialogue projects have often failed to attract participation by young people. The whole rationale of Tech2Gether is that by learning useful subjects side-by-side, Christian and Muslim young people will build friendships across faith barriers, and grow in respect and understanding of a faith other than their own. They will also gain valuable new skills to help them in the job market, grow their social skills and develop a sense of pride in their local area. 

Tech2gether Programme sessions

The Tech2gether programme is taking place over three sessions, on 1st April, 6th May and 1st July, with a discussion and Celebration Event in the presence of VIPs to follow. The first session attracted 22 youngsters aged between 12 and 18, from both faith communities. Initially shy, by the end of the day most of them were making new friends, listening closely to the trainers and looking forward with excitement to the next session. 

MorayoTech2gether participants: Morayo

Morayo (15) is planning to study medicine at university, but this thoughtful young woman also wants to develop another string to her bow. Her dream is to have her own Youtube channel, and she sees the Film-making course as giving her vital skills and experience. Morayo appreciates the value of young people from Christian and Muslim backgrounds studying alongside each other. As she says,

This programme will really help with integration in this area. We all want to learn new skills and we have so many other things in common. There is really no need for conflict between us.

One of her new Muslim friends added,

I’m here because my mum told me to come. But I’m really glad I did!

Morayo with some of her new friends

Tech2gether Testimonials

“I understand how to code in JavaScript.”

I learnt how to be gentle with my skin when using product and colour matching techniques.”

I have learnt how to increase my heart rate.”

This programme will really help with integration in this area. We all want to learn new skills and we have so many other things in common. There is really no need for conflict between us.

Tech2gether Project: Computer Programmers and Filmmakers of the future - Tech2gether

Tech2gether project funding bodies and partners

The project was funded by Near Neighbours and was delivered in collaboration with G.I.F.T, Salaam Community Association, Strengthening Faith Institutions and The SALAM Project and took place on 1st April 2017, 6th May, and 1st July 2017.  The sessions were attended by up to 22 young people mainly from Christian and Muslim faiths.

Grace Incorporation Faith Trust (GIFT) Academy - logo - GIFT Academy - GIFT Academy ProjectsFaith In SocietyNear-Neighbours-Logo-2Strengthening Faith InstitutionsSalaam Community AssociationThe SALAM Project

View more GIFT Acaddemy Projects here


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