Origins and History of One World Week
One World Week (OWW) was founded in 1978 by the NGO which was then called the World Development Movement (renamed Global Justice Now in 2015) out of a desire that, for one week in every year, the churches should draw the attention of their communities to the fact that the world consists of one human family which shares one planet in which all may enjoy fullness of life.
Growth and Development
Over the years OWW has broadened its approach to include people from all backgrounds. In a series of projects funded by the European Union (Voices from the South) and the UK Department for International Development (Reaching Out and Reaching South, ‘ROARS’), OWW focused on incorporating the perspectives of people from developing countries though providing mentors (from the diasporas) to local OWW organising committees and involving people from varied ethnic and religious backgrounds in planning and writing resources.
OWW has become known throughout the UK, has represented the UK in the European Global Education Week Network and developed an international reputation for bringing people together to learn about global issues, and to take action locally on things which have an impact on the whole world. One World Week now involves people of many nationalities and has events all the year round, but there is still one week in October (the week containing United Nations Day, 24 October) when the excitement is greater than at any other time.
Thousands of local organisations and schools use OWW as a focus for a range of activities, events and celebrations to raise awareness and take action on issues of global justice. Each year resources (including resources for schools) have been produced, by a small central staff, around a particular theme chosen, by a central management committee in consultation with local organisers, to inspire and assist the local activists. (From 2007, resources including links to those of other organisations, have been available only on the website). OWW is constantly reaching out to new groups from different faiths and cultural backgrounds in the UK and beyond. We now estimate that almost half a million people each year will take some part in One World Week.
OWW became an independent Charitable Company at the beginning of 2006. It is a development education charity; it is non-political and non-sectarian. OWW's Vision, Mission and Aims emphasise the importance of working inclusively with everyone to address global and local challenges to achieve justice, peace and sustainability for all.
Recent Projects were designed to respond to Britain's richly diverse cultural landscape in which most of the major cities in particular had organisations addressing inter faith issues and racial equality networks. Some local One World Week events already embraced the opportunities this offered for mutual understanding and developing shared values to address the challenges facing us all.
In 2007-8 an interfaith training project, Building Bridges,funded by the government's Faith Communities Capacity Building Fund produced some useful models. These can be seen in the Case Studies pages here
In 2011 OWW completed a 3-year project funded by the UK Government's Department for International Development, entitled ‘Ubuntu’ (the ancient Bantu (Zulu) word meaning 'active togetherness'). OWW worked initially with Islamic Relief and Muslim Aid to encourage the second largest faith group in the UK, the Muslim community, to become more involved in OWW activities, with the intention of involving more faith communities in the later stages of the project. The handbook "Piecing together One World" was the outcome.
In 2010 OWW launched its strategy for the five years up to 2015. A key vision was that by 2015 people would be working together to build a just, peaceful and sustainable world. This remains the target for 2019 in an updated strategy for 2016-19
OWW has taken a proactive role in building relationships with other NGOs involved with funding projects overseas, education, campaigning, environmental and human rights issues. This work continues with an intensified focus on developing relationships with more organisations involved in the area of refugees and building an inclusive society.
Recently Added Resources
New Funding Opportunity - The Common Good Fund - Application Deadline 27 Feb. 2017 see more here
Organisers' Evaluation form for 2016 events Download from here
Wordsearches for Including You events - download them from here
Press release template for 'Including You' events download here
Quotations about building an inclusive peaceful society - Download from here a 5 page booklet as a word.doc or pdf
Pledges to build an inclusive society - find them here
"Who is a Migrant?" - anactivity/game to get people talking to each other at your events. Download the instructions here
School Assemblies from Christian Aid- link to and download a PowerPoint and notes
Looking for a speaker for your event? Download here a list (pdf) from the Discussion page (posted 12 Sept 2016)
Faith resources relating to "Including You".Download pdf here links to materials offered by OWW's partners and supporters: worship, discussion, films ...plus Prayers for OWW(updated 7 Sept '16)
Presentation "A OWW approach to Migration" Download this PDF version of a 12 slides (15 -20 minutes) powerpoint
Need funding for your event? Apply to Big Lottery Celebrate Fund! NOW or you'll be too late for OWW more here and other suggestions
Poster/ flyer design kit - download from here
2016 Leaflets "Including You" download PDF versions here
Migrant crisis or poverty crisis? - A briefing paper from Global Justice NOW Download as a PDF here
2016 - "Including You" - Booklet of ideas, links and resources for interpreting the theme. Dowload a PDF here (updated July 2016)
Learning resource/activity for young people about peace - from Fly Kites not Drones; suitable for activites in or out of school. find links here: schools ; activities (added Nov. 2015 but still relevant for this years events)
Organisers' Evaluation Form for event organisers to complete and send to OWW - down load the word.doc from here