• Peace Impact Programme

    Peace Impact Programme

    Time2Choose

    The Time2Choose Project was established in June by Rosemount Resource Centre in response to increasing calls for support from people facing intimidation and at risk of violent attack. It provides specialist mediation and intervention services to those under threat, their families and the wider community.

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  • Peace Impact Programme

    Peace Impact Programme

    Londonderry Bands Forum

    The Londonderry Bands Forum is supporting community and marching bands to play a bigger role peace-building role and offer positive options for vulnerable young people in the city.

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  • Peace Impact Programme

    Peace Impact Programme

    Newtownbutler Together PIP

    Newtownbutler Together has got the ball rolling on a new initiative aimed at addressing community division, unemployment and limited opportunities for young people.

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  • Sharing in Education

    Sharing in Education

    Welcoming Schools

    The Welcoming Schools and the Primary Curriculum Partnership projects engaged with more than 8,400 pupils, 1,000 school staff and 550 parents to promote equality of opportunity, good relations and respect for diversity and identity.

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  • Building Integration

    Building Integration

    Rasharkin Community Youth Project

    The Rasharkin Community Youth Project received £106,036 from the International Fund for Ireland through its Integrating Community Organisations Programme and was supported by the Rural Development Council and Ballymoney Borough Council.

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  • Peace Walls Programme

    Peace Walls Programme

    Peace Walls Programme

    Helping to address the physical and mental barriers to lasting peace and a truly shared society.

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  • Fund Focus

    Fund Focus

    Fund Focus September 2014

    The latest edition of the International Fund for Ireland newsletter is avaialble now.

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Shankill Parish Caring Association Youth Reach Project, Lurgan, County Armagh

shankill_parishIn a town where young people are involved in anti-social activity and where dissident paramilitary groups are active, the Shankill Parish Caring Association Youth Reach Project has been steadfastly chipping away at barriers.

Launched in 2008, the 3-year cross-community project aims to teach local young people how to address community relations issues and engage in the process of peace building while equipping them with real qualifications and credit points in the process.

Richard Dougherty, Youth Reach Project Development Officer, Shankill Parish Caring Association, explains some of the challenges the Project has faced: “In the first year it was tough to get the cross-community balance that we had hoped for. But we stuck by the young people who had dropped out and we have now achieved a 50/50 split.”

He continues: “The young people who have already been through Youth Reach have now gone on to become volunteers within their own communities and started to take a leadership role in the Project. They even helped to drive forward the youth-led summer programme, which impacted on over 200 young people in Lurgan.

A 3-D model of Lurgan built by the Project’s second year participants was recently honoured with the Northern Ireland Youth Award for Peace Building.

According to Richard: “The model really is by the young people, for the young people. It was their vision that it needed to show both sides of the community. They didn’t want a one-sided story.”

With the help of a local artist, the young people designed and built the model to demonstrate how they felt about Lurgan. This evolved through a series of discussions with each other looking at issues like policing, flags and symbols and a lack of jobs. The model represents which parts of the town they consider neutral, and which areas they don’t.

Richard says: “The discussions were really telling. The young people even started to look at the Lurgan of the future and what we were hearing from them is that they truly feel that Lurgan has potential. Helping them to be a part of realising that potential is what the Youth Reach Project is all about.”