Local community representatives came together today to celebrate the official launch of a new two year cross community, cross border project ‘Across the Line’, administered by The Glens Centre.
Funded by the International Fund for Ireland under its Peace Impact Programme, the project will address the deficit of community participation in local development in the greater Manorhamilton and Border area, enabling the building of inclusive communities along and across the Leitrim/Fermanagh border through a number of participatory art projects, capacity building and skills development projects.
There will be specific and targeted opportunities for women, men, young people, adults, and a number of inter-generational opportunities will be created. The overall aims of the programme are to engage individuals in positive projects that improve individual quality of life, and support the creating of an inclusive and coherent community.
The project has the potential to be truly transformative by drawing on existing cultural resources of the Manorhamilton and South West Fermanagh area and utilising these as a means of rejuvenating cross community relationships and by extension, this cross border community. A central theme of the programme is consideration of, and reflection on, the pillars that underpin the Peace Process and the benefits of holding onto the supports offered to the Border region.
The programme will be delivered in a collaborative way, working with organisations and individuals, and where possible and relevant will engage directly with other agencies in the area including Leitrim Development Company, Leitrim County Council and Fermanagh Omagh District Council.
Recognising Manorhamilton’s location and the community history, the programme is designed with a distinctive cross border dimension, including specific cross community participation projects including:
The project will create a choral spectacular about the border, its history and mythology, reflecting and celebrating the border as a place.
This project is open to locally based Community and or School Choirs e.g. Masterson School, St Clare’s National School, St Clare’s Comprehensive School, the Borderland Gospel Choir (Sing for Life, Sing Together groups) and we hope a number of guest artists will be engaged.
A participative image and creativity programme – cross community and cross border reaching out to women in the greater Manorhamilton area and both sides of the Border. This will involve 12-24 women in 21-35 age group. The programme will impart new image making, video and creativity skills and support women in exploring identity and representation. It will lead to the creation of creative work by women, representing themselves as women, leading to the creation of a cross community and cross border archive and showcase event/s. The programme is being delivered with North Leitrim Women’s Centre and reaching out across various women’s and cultural organisations.
A participative writing, storytelling, video and song writing programme will be delivered with The North Leitrim Men’s Group partnering with groups in Fermanagh e.g. Men’s Sheds in Belcoo and Enniskillen. 20-40 men from the cross border area will take part in facilitated workshops and training programmes, supporting personal transformative experiences and the building connections between men within the region and across the border.
A programme of discussion based arts and cultural events, practical training and capacity building activities will be delivered to enable and support the development of confidence, skill and capacity for an inclusive community.
Speaking at the launch of the programme Catherine Ryan, Programme Manager, International Fund for Ireland said the Fund is committed to delivering real and positive transformation in communities through the Peace Impact Programme and we are delighted to support this participatory cross border project.
“This project is designed to address the legacy of conflict, current social and economic realities facing many rural communities, such as isolation and youth emigration, along with the uncertainties of Brexit. In particular, the project aims to increase people’s involvement in their local community and to encourage them to explore the differences and similarities of living in different states but only a few miles apart. Through learning new skills, building relationships and gaining greater levels of cultural awareness, I have no doubt this project will leave a lasting positive legacy for the participants themselves and for their wider communities. I wish everyone involved in the project success in the year ahead”.
Ms Ryan took the opportunity to thank the international donors to the Fund - the European Union and the Governments of the United States of America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand - for their support.
Ruth Gonsalves Moore, Project Co-Ordinator said:
“This project’s peace- building and cross border dimension provides meaningful new opportunities for engagement between individuals and within a community that has been impacted by the border in the past, in a number of ways and traditionally or culturally have been divided. However, our ‘Across the Lines’ programme is starting from a positive base and seeks to shore up positive relationships at a time when there is much uncertainty.”
“The ‘Across the Lines’ programme demonstrates the pivotal role the IFI plays in enabling and facilitating greater cohesion and cultural engagement ‘across the lines’ with each other and with those a few miles away in Northern Ireland. On behalf of The Glens, the groups with whom we will be working with, I would like to thank the International Fund for Ireland most sincerely for their funding support, without which, we could not have undertaken this programme.”
For further information about our funding programmes, or for information on how to apply for funding, please contact the person(s) or organisation(s) identifed at the end of the relevant programme summary in the areas of activity section.
International Fund for Ireland
28-32 Alfred St.
+44 (0)28 9031 2884