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A KAICIID Fellow's Journey Sheds Light on the Impact of Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue for Peace and Understanding

30 March 2023

The International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID) hosted a captivating event in its new host city Lisbon on Tuesday 28 March, with the premiere of “Justine: A KAICIID Fellow's Journey”. The documentary highlights the inspiring story of a KAICIID Fellow, highlighting the transformative power of interreligious and intercultural dialogue in fostering peace and understanding. The recording of the event can be watched here.

The film follows the journey of 2022 Ugandan KAICIID Fellow Justine Auma, recorded across three countries: Nepal, Portugal, and Uganda. It documents her participation in trainings, site visits, dialogue sessions, and the organization and implementation of her Fellow's initiative in Mbele, Uganda. Auma's story is a testament to the impact that dialogue can have on individuals and their communities.

The event, the first of its kind, was attended by around 50 participants, including KAICIID Secretary General H.E Dr. Zuhair Alharthi, Deputy Secretary General H.E Ambassador António de Almeida-Ribeiro, Vice Ambassador of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the Portuguese Republic Mr Saud Alhazmi, Executive Director of Arigatou International Maria Lucia Uribe, President of the European Council of Religious Leaders (ECRL) – Religions for Peace Rev. Dr. Thomas Wipf, President of the General Assembly of the Islamic Community in Lisbon Dr. Mussá Omar, Casa do Brasil de Lisboa Ana Paula Costa, Director at the Department of Ecumenical Relations and Interreligious Dialogue and representative of the Patriarchate in Lisbon Father Peter Stilwell, and other KAICIID Fellows.

 Nuno Patricio / KAICIID)


Following the screening, a Q&A session took place, featuring Fellow Justine Auma, documentary producer Yves Briceño, and KAICIID Fellows Senior Programme Manager Dr. Kyfork Aghobjian.

In her remarks, Auma expressed her gratitude, stating she’s “very humbled and honored to share my story with a global audience. Despite the troubles we see in society, there is a large force of people out there yearning for, and willing to promote peace. We only need to find these people and organize them to be able to have a dialogue."

“Justine: A KAICIID Fellow's Journey” is not only a testament to the power of interreligious and intercultural dialogue but also a call to action for all those who wish to contribute to a more just and equitable world. The event successfully brought together like-minded individuals passionate about peacebuilding and provided a platform for inspiring stories like Auma's to be shared with a global audience.


“KAICIID’s Fellows Programme is a transformative experience not only for those who attend the trainings and graduate – but also for their communities, as exemplified in this film. By creating this film, we hope to share the story – and power of – dialogue in action through one women’s interfaith journey,” said KAICIID Secretary General Dr Zuhair Alharthi.


Fellow attendees, 2023 KAICIID Fellow Joao Magalhaes and 2016 KAICIID Fellow Stephen Shashoua, also shared their thoughts on the importance of the KAICIID Fellowship Programme. Magalhaes emphasized the program's impact on personal growth and societal improvement, while Shashoua highlighted the insights gained from experiencing diverse religious practices and the opportunities for challenging preconceptions.

 Nuno Patricio / KAICIID)

In a compelling interview conducted by KAICIID, Justine Auma delved into the profound personal, professional, and communal development that arises from participating in the Fellows Programme. Emphasizing the essential role that interfaith dialogue holds in tackling local issues and nurturing comprehension, her insights offer an invaluable perspective on the transformative power of the programme.

Since its launch in 2015, KAICIID's Fellows Programme has empowered more than 500 Fellows from 86 countries with dialogue skills to address real-world challenges, such as hate speech. The program offers both international and regional cohorts in the Arab Region, Africa, Europe, South and Southeast Asia, and Latin America.

The International Dialogue Centre is now accepting applications for its 2024 Fellows Programme. The Programme is an ongoing capacity development and networking programme that starts with one year of hybrid training.  The one-year fellowship is designed to provide religious leaders, educators for future religious leaders, and interreligious dialogue (IRD) practitioners with training in dialogue facilitation and intercultural communication.

In 2024, an International and Latin American cohort is being launched. The Latin American cohort is being implemented in partnership with Religions for Peace – Latin America and the Caribbean.

The deadline for applications for the 2024 KAICIID Fellows Programme is 21 May 2023. Interested individuals can review the requirements and criteria here and submit their applications here.


“The 2024 KAICIID Fellows Programme marks a decade of supporting individuals from diverse religious and cultural backgrounds. We invite applications from around the world to join us in our commitment to promoting peaceful coexistence through interreligious and intercultural dialogue,” said KAICIID Fellows Senior Programme Manager Aghobjian.