Leap of Faith is an initiative conceived by UCI’s 2011-12 Dalai Lama Scholar, Armaan Rowther, to raise awareness about hunger and poverty by bringing together students from various faiths and backgrounds to participate in community service projects that address these issues. Orange County, despite its reputation for wealth and privilege, has about 1 million residents who face hunger each month – half of whom are children – and local shelters are capable of accommodating only a tenth of the area’s homeless population. For more information about Leap of Faith, visit www.facebook.com/leapoffaithUCI.
Queen Noor of Jordan, the widow of King Al Hussein, is interested in education, conservation, sustainable development, human rights and cross-cultural understanding, as well as their application to human security. Since 1979, the Noor Al Hussein Foundation and the King Hussein Foundation have tackled the global challenges of poverty, women’s empowerment, microfinance and health. Queen Noor is a longtime advocate for Arab-Israeli peace. Her peace-building work has focused on the Middle East, the Balkans, Central and Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa.
Orange County’s Center for Living Peace, founded by philanthropist Kelly Thornton Smith, provides a place where children, families and adults of all ages can connect to self, others and the world and feel inspired to make a difference.
Queen Noor of Jordan will welcome UC Irvine community members gathering at Orange County’s Center for Living Peace to participate in the Leap of Faith Day of Service. She will speak to the group about diversity and the importance of working together to address challenging social issues. Volunteers will be bused to various nonprofit sites to take part in projects addressing hunger and poverty.
The Center for Living Peace is at 4139 Campus Drive, in University Center, across the street from the UCI campus. The charities involved are Share Our Selves, in Costa Mesa; the Islamic Center of Irvine; and the Orange County Catholic Worker’s Isaiah House, in Santa Ana.