Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Turquoise Harmony Institute

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Turquoise Harmony Institute (IT 11269/06) was originally established in 2006 as Interfaith Foundation of South Africa (IFSA) in order to foster relations among different faith and cultural traditions to contribute to the well being of humanity. We encourage and facilitate exchange of views and experiences between different parts of the society and engage in activities that are aimed at stimulating critical thinking and analysis of affairs affecting the lives all people.

We engaged in many activities in our short history such as conferences, seminars, iftaar dinners, intercultural trips, dialogue awards, etc. The aim of these activities is to promote dialogue, tolerance and understanding among peoples of South Africa and the world by contributing to the universal values such as love, tolerance, democracy, human rights and justice.

In the past, these activities mainly focused on interfaith dialogue and with the new structure (THI) we hope to engage in activities of wider spectra so that greater contribution may be made to spread dialogue and understanding in all communities.

Every new day is proving even more strongly that one of the most needed qualities in today’s world is tolerance and understanding of the other as despite the developments in technology and social life the distance between people seems to be growing. With growing distance among people understanding among people is slipping away and labelling is becoming a norm. There is a great tendency in superficial appearances and shallow understanding that comes with lack of knowledge of the ‘other’. It is of great importance that everybody should be allowed to exist as themselves and be accepted as he/she is. It must be noted that our diversity and differences are God-given and our richness and strength. The unity in diversity will give us the power to overcome the challenges of our time.

THI operates mainly through its volunteer members who organize the events and functions. We have now established cultural centres in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town where we hold various activities. These venues are designed to serve their communities where people may comfortably visit and spend their time in productive engagements.

THI’s funding comes from business people who live in South Africa and do not receive any state funding from any other government. These individuals are mainly of Turkish origin and have been living in South Africa.