Qatar Charity UK provided support to develop a course for school children, which helps challenge intolerance and build awareness of integration and cohesion across all communities and reduces individual isolation.
Teachers also learnt how to deal with such issues safely. This project, developed by Heartstone, was piloted in Liverpool with support from the Mayor, the MP, the Police, the Education Commissioner as well as the Cathedral and the local Mosque. The Heartstone Odyssey’ is a children’s fantasy story centered on a female heroine, Chandra.
It documents her quest to overcome intolerance, prejudice and racism in collaboration with her allies – the mice. The book is designed for 8-12 year olds but the deeper threads running through the story makes it equally appealing to adults as well. This project which uses the book with children in schools and other appropriate venues, in the critical transition phase between primary to secondary education, to raise discussion on the above issues which have become of major significance in the current time impacting on the daily lives of children throughout the UK.
Sir Derek Jacobi, has become associated with the project through the ambition to take the book to the big screen. He read the story excerpts with passion and emotion taking the audience into the world of Chandra and the mice.