THE International Fund for Ireland has confirmed financial assistance of £1.4m/€1.63m that will support peace building, integration and reconciliation projects in Northern Ireland and the southern border counties.
The announcement was made following the International Fund for Ireland’s recent Board meeting which took place in the Ballymascanlon House Hotel, Dundalk.
The financial commitment includes £435,616/€505,420 within the Fund’s new Peace Impact Programme to be shared among four community initiatives, three in Dundalk and one in Derry/Londonderry.
The programme is designed to build sustainable peace and reconciliation within and between communities suffering from high levels of economic and social deprivation; where there have been low levels of engagement in peace building; and where there remains a continued risk of instability and violence.
IFI chairman Dr Adrian Johnston said: ““Despite the enormous progress that has been made in recent years, tensions remain within and between communities that can and has, in recent weeks, erupted into violence.
“Our funding is strategically directed towards some of the root causes of sectarianism and delivering a range of targeted peace building and capacity building interventions.
“The projects we have made commitments towards are strategically working to create a better and more shared future for all – a future free from sectarian tension.
“Several of these projects are taking brave and important steps with communities that have had limited engagement in reconciliation activities.”
He added: “This latest funding announcement is in line with our strategy to deliver real and positive community transformation by helping to address some of the most significant remaining challenges to securing lasting peace and a shared future.”
The Chairman also 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.
In addition to the Peace Impact Programme, the latest funding package includes:
• The Community Based Economic & Social Regeneration Programme will provide £400,892/€464,996 to extend or enhance seven projects in the southern border counties.
• £87,768/€101,809 through the Fund’s Sharing in Education Programme will extend the Reach Across Project to the end of 2013, enabling it to deliver additional training courses for young people.
• £233,000/€270,360 under the Fund’s Leaving a Legacy Programme to meet the cost of unforeseen additional works associated with the 174 Trust’s refurbishment and reuse of the former Duncairn Presbyterian Church in North Belfast.
• £253,626/€294,294 will support a West Belfast-based project within the Peace Walls Programme. The financial assistance will go towards the cost of implementing a robust community engagement process that will investigate the potential for local residents to move to a position where they feel it is safe and appropriate for the removal, restructuring or re-opening of peace walls to commence.
Since it was formed in 1986, the Fund has provided more than £707m/€890m to a wide variety of projects that focus on promoting social and economic advance and creating the conditions for Unionists and Nationalists to learn, work and live together as part of a peaceful and shared future.
Further information about all the beneficiaries from the International Fund for Ireland’s latest funding package is available at the International Fund for Ireland’s website: www.internationalfundforireland.com
Community Based Economic and Social Regeneration Programme:
3CAP, Ballinaglera, Co Leitrim – £49,358/€57,237 Towards the development and extension of the successful programme which engages communities in Ballinaglera, Co. Leitrim, and Boho and Killesher, Co. Fermanagh.
Belturbet CDA, Co Cavan – £104,517/€121,202 to progress development of Belturbet Town Hall as a shared community and resource facility and commemorate two teenagers killed by a car bomb in 1972.
Bush Old Schoolhouse, Co Louth – £11,350/€13,163 towards capacity building that will increase the use of the renovated Old Schoolhouse as a shared community resource and promote good relations, shared history and reconciliation in the area.
Muirhevnamor CC, Dundalk – £30,181/€35,000 to extend young people’s community relations and cross-community activities which includes cross-border visits and exchanges and training courses.
Stephenstown Pond, Dundalk – £71,544/€82,985 to extend a successful two year reconciliation project that uses copper crafts as a medium. The extension will support a 36 week course for 15 new participants including those in communities that have not yet fully engaged in reconciliation activities.
Fellowship of Good Counsel “An Tearmann Project”, Donegal – £80,327/€93,172 towards the extension and delivery of an effective set of cross-border and cross-community activities tailored to meet specific challenges in counties Londonderry/Derry and Donegal.
Cashelard Community Development Ltd, Donegal – £53,656/€62,236 to extend ‘Engaging the Breesy Way’ an innovative cross-border and cross-community project, across counties Donegal, Sligo, Cavan, Londonderry/Derry, Tyrone and Armagh.
Building Integration Programme
Sharing in Education Programme
Reach Across, Londonderry/Derry – £87,768/€101,809 to extend the delivery of additional accredited and non-accredited training courses to approximately 320 young people across five courses and also two summer education projects. The courses include Primary Pathways, Accredited Citizenship, Non-Accredited Citizenship, Accredited Prefect and Non-accredited Prefect training.
Leaving A Legacy
174 Trust, Belfast – £233,000/€270,360 additional assistance towards the refurbishment of a former Duncairn Presbyterian Church in North Belfast to bring it back into community use as a Community Resource, Arts and Cultural Centre.
Peace Walls Programme
Blackmountain Shared Space Project, West Belfast – £253,626/€294,294 towards the cost of implementing a robust community engagement process that will investigate the potential for local residents to move to a position where they feel it is safe and appropriate for the removal, restructuring or re-opening of peace walls to commence.
Peace Impact Programme
Rosemount Resource Centre, Londonderry/Derry – £188,926/€219,201 towards an intervention to support young people at risk of paramilitary attack and/or recruitment by paramilitaries.
Fáilte Abhaile, Dundalk – £53,674/€62,271 towards the cost of running a nine-month practical training and up-skilling project for 70 people including ex-prisoners, displaced people and their family members, based around their identified employability needs.
Cox’s Demesne Youth and Community Project (CDY&CP), Dundalk – £43,612/€50,601 towards the cost of two six-month projects that will work with at-risk young people. The first is an accredited football training and community leadership project, which will target 30 young people who will be identified by a local community diversionary project. The second is an Early Intervention project that increases self-confidence and opportunities available to young people through drama workshops and a drama production.
Louth Leader, Dundalk – £149,403/€173,346 towards a programme of activities, which will include specific modules and training elements relating to the impact of conflict on the island, on local communities, on families and on women.