International Development

Click on the links below to listen to young people discussing the possible motivations behind international aid and the role religion might play in charitable giving.

'...it's not specifically religion, it's humanity...'

'...it shouldn't matter what religion a person is...'

A transcript of these extracts is also available as a pdf. This requires Adobe Acrobat Reader which can be downloaded for free from the Adobe website.

Classroom Activity

Either ask your students research quotations from sacred texts such as the Qur'an, the Torah, the Christian Bible, Hindu Vedas, Buddhist Sutras and Sikh scriptures that advocate charitable work, or collate some yourself. Ask the students to analyse what the quotes mean and consider why it is important in scripture. Discuss with the students how the quotes and charitable work relate to the idiom 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions'.

Often these quotations from scripture become manifest in faith-based charities. Ask your students to search for some of them. What issues are they involved with? Do these vary between organisations or are they similar? Are your students passionate about any of these issues? Why and why not?

Listen to the audio files. Many of these students did not feel that religion was the main motivation to help others and that everyone is morally obliged to help others. What can we do help? How can we motivate the school and individual students to help others in their local communities and abroad? Break into groups and introduce an issue. After researching it online, students can be asked to create an awareness poster and display them around the school. Will they decide to include the quotations from religious book or not.