GYCE5 Jury Member Sarah Oliver

GYCE5 Jury Member Sarah Oliver

Sarah Oliver is Associate Director of Global Programmes for the United Religions Initiative (URI). The purpose of URI is to promote enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence and to create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings. In activating URI’s commitment to young people, Sarah works to support, connect, resource and inspire young people across the network, with an intention of building the capacity of young people to lead and create peace in their own communities and around the world. 

Sarah has worked in the interfaith sector for the last 10 years, running youth camps, workshops and skills-trainings, both locally and globally. Within these programs, Sarah strives to create spaces of trust, dialogue, and learning across religious and cultural divides. As an experienced facilitator, she is passionate about connecting issues of interfaith dialogue, youth leadership and social justice. 

She joined URI in 2016, where in her role with the Southern African region, Sarah supported the development of the Girls Not Brides Campaign in Malawi. This has been a project of URI Cooperation Circles in Malawi, striving to end early-child marriage and support girls with their education. 

Prior to URI, Sarah worked at the Global Citizenship Programme, at the University of Cape Town. Here she designed and facilitated extra-curricular courses for students, on themes of community engagement, dialogue and active citizenship. 

Sarah’s quest is to see the interfaith, peace-building world take seriously the call for global social justice. She believes that by bringing together the ancient wisdom of our traditions and religions with the fire of social activism, we can create a more socially-just and peaceful world. 

In Cape Town, she is also involved with the GOAL Trust – a youth development organisation, the African Climate Alliance – a youth led climate justice movement, and serves on the Advisory Council of the Cape Town Interfaith Initiative (CTII). Sarah holds an Honours Degree in Social Anthropology from the University of Cape Town.

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