NEWTOWNBUTLER Together has revealed details of a major new initiative aimed at addressing community division, unemployment and limited opportunities for young people in the border area.
The 20-month Peace Impact Project, delivered with Youth Work Ireland Monaghan, received £98,578 from the International Fund for Ireland and will provide new training courses and cross-community events that engage with a range of age groups.
Newtownbutler Together said it would seek to engage the whole village in a range of activities that can build confidence, enhance community interaction training aimed at improving skills and employability.
Set up in 2011, the group has worked to promote respect for all cultures and traditions within the village and has been part of the public discussions on a range of divisive issues including parades and protests.
Speaking at the launch of the Peace Impact Project, International Fund for Ireland Board Member, Dorothy Clarke, said:
“This project is seeking to deal with a number of complex and challenging issues. It will open new pathways for people to overcome divisions linked to our past and provide training opportunities for young people to improve their employability options.
“Newtownbutler Together and Youth Work Ireland Monaghan are already doing a lot of outstanding work and we know this project can have stabilising effect on young people who might otherwise engage in anti-social or unlawful activities.
“Projects like this are critical if we are to generate greater momentum for positive change and deliver stability and prosperity. This project will support communities to develop positive solutions that can resolve difficult local issues.”
Bert Robinson and Thomas O’Reilly, the Chair and Vice Chair of Newtownbutler Together, said:
“Our focus is on creating a vibrant community that is prosperous, safe and has the needs of all at its core.
“Division and disaffection are complex issues that continue to affect our communities and young people in particular in this area, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
“This project builds on work we have already been doing. It is about encouraging and challenging everyone in the community to raise their expectations for a brighter future and giving them a role in shaping it.
“The project is focused on delivering for all in the village and wider area and we hope everyone will get behind us.”
The International Fund for Ireland awarded £98,578 to the Newtownbutler Together in November 2013 through its Peace Impact Programme (PIP) which looks to address some of the most sensitive, complex and challenging issues within areas where there have been low levels of engagement in peace building.
To find out more about the Newtownbutler Together Peace Impact Project contact project staff Charley McAdam or Rita Killian on 028 6773 8963, visit www.facebook.com/NewtownbutlerTogether or call in to the office at First Floor, Credit Union Building, 1B High Street, Newtownbutler, BT92 8JD.