What We Do
EIFA aims to promote religious (and cultural) harmony and diversity in Edinburgh by bringing peoples of all faiths together. All of our events, projects and efforts seek to advance mutual understanding, trust, respect, co-operation and peace between the communities of Edinburgh. Our efforts are not solely limited to faith groups: many of our initiatives aim to advance the general level of awareness on interfaith and multicultural issues among the wider population.
EIFA organises numerous public events that educate, inform and provide a platform for engagement and understanding on the diversity within religious and spiritual traditions and associated multi-cultural beliefs. For example: we annually develop an extensive programme for Interfaith Week, including formal and informal dialogues, film screenings and public talks on topics such as “Religion in the Media”
We also organise and promote numerous public talks, formal and informal dialogues, panel events, film screenings, exhibitions, conferences on subjects such as Islamophobia and ‘Science and Religion’.
EIFA has played a lead - or supporting & co-ordinating role - in the visits to Scotland by eminent religious and spiritual leaders such as the Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh, Chief Rabbi David Rosen, Sir Joan Chittister, Archbishop Abuna Elias Chacour, and other distinguished persons such as Arun Gandhi, Prof Tariq Ramadan, Karen Armstrong, Nobel Prize winner Mairead Corrigan Maguire and many others. We have often organised, or assisted in organising, the surrounding educational events to these eminent visits.
If you would like to see more about our past events please take a look at our news page.
Consultancy & Training
We provide consultancy and advice services to a range of local and national, public, private and voluntary bodies. For over 20 years we have provided consultancy, training and coaching in diversity and equalities, to organisation such as public sector staff, various private employers, Police Scotland, and the NHS. We consistently offer informed advice on issues relating to faith and belief in Edinburgh, to Edinburgh Council, Lothian and Borders Police and voluntary organisations such as Faith in Older People.
We develop and jointly co-ordinate education engagement with local schools. Our work supports the curriculum through religious and cultural activities and panels as well as citizenship and peace education. For over 20 years we have been regularly visiting local schools, often accompanied by representatives of religious or faith communities in Edinburgh, to offer talks on particular faiths or provide multi-faith panel discussions on moral, or spiritual/religious issues.
If you would like to organise a school visit, or would like to find out more, please get in touch.
We also develop and publish educational media. For example, in 2014, we released the documentary film ‘Faith and I’ which followed the lives of three young women of faith. The film documented the positive influence which faith had on their lives within the Sikh, Muslim and Jewish Traditions. This film was produced in response to the rise of anti-Islamic and anti-Semitic offences in 2012. Following the first screening of the film, one viewer said in response “Different religions but amazing how much they had in common in the way they thought about life”. ‘Faith and I’ has been used in schools and universities in Edinburgh and the surrounding area as an educational resource on religion and interfaith. If you would like to watch the film please take a look at our YouTube Channel.