Blair Foundation unites with World Jewish Relief

March 19, 2009

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair will make a rare appearance at a Jewish community event this month in a collaboration between his own Faith Foundation and World Jewish Relief.

Mr Blair, currently the Middle East envoy for the Quartet - America, Russia, Europe and the UN - will be the guest speaker at a communal breakfast in central London, where he will speak about the work of his foundation and its connection with WJR.

Half the money raised from the event will go towards WJR’s street kids programme in Rwanda, which was visited by the chief executive of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, Ruth Turner, last week. The project seeks to provide homes, educational and vocational assistance and emotional support for former and current street-living and working children, vulnerable girls and single mothers.

Established last year, the TBFF aims to promote respect and understanding about the world’s major religions and to show that faith can be a powerful force for good in the modern world, by encouraging interfaith initiatives to tackle global poverty and conflict.

The other half of the proceeds will raise money for the TBFF’s Faith Act Fellowship, which will facilitate a 10-month interfaith programme for 30 young people, aged between 18-25, from the UK, US and Canada. The participants, some British Jews, will begin their programme in Africa and focus on interfaith activity in their home countries to raise awareness and funds against deaths from malaria.

Paul Anticoni, WJR’s chief executive, said: "This is an unprecedented opportunity for WJR, the TBFF and UK Jewry - Mr Blair is a renowned speaker and a friend of the Jewish community. As the major Jewish UK humanitarian organisation supporting development work outside Israel, we have been working with his foundation for a while now and have enormous respect for its work.

"Like the TBFF, our programmes are trying - and succeeding - to change lives. Our beneficiary from the event, WJR’s street kids project in Rwanda, is a prime example. It is a remarkable programme that gives both a voice and a helping hand to children who have been neglected and ignored."

Last updated: 5:13pm, March 26 2009