VIDEO: Ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair makes appearance during school's video conference
FORMER Prime Minister Tony Blair made a guest appearance during an online chat between Derby High School and pupils in Nigeria.
The video conference was part of a wider project called Face to Faith, set up by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation and aimed to get pupils from the two schools to talk about the importance of understanding other faiths.
Students from the sixth form at the Littleover school talked to the Nigerian students about their communities and how they differ from one another.
And during the call, Mr Blair and Bishop Justin Welby, the soon to be Archbishop of Canterbury, both made a surprise appearance.
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Mrudula Utukuri, 17, said the video call was a worthwhile experience.
She said: "It gave us a chance to see what differences we face compared to them in an Africa country.
"They were asking us about out difference religions and the challenges we face in our communities and telling us about theirs."
Milly Clover, 16, said: "What some of the students were saying were incredibly insightful and it really opened our eyes to their way of life and what they had to face on a day-to-day basis."
High schools from 19 countries are part of the Face to Faith project and the idea is that they will link up with each other to talk about issues affecting them.
Mr Blair said: "I think that what we have learnt here, in talking between the two very different areas of the world, is that love, tolerance and respecting each other for who you are, not because of the religion you are. Knowledge about other faiths is incredibly important, as knowledge leads to understanding and understanding leads to a peaceful living area, without fear and conflict."
Noreen Driver, the school's head of religious studies, said being involved in the programme was a valuable experience. She said: "Knowing about other cultures and religions is important for a well-rounded young adult."