THE International Fund for Ireland today confirmed €3m/£2.6m of financial assistance to support 22 community projects in Northern Ireland and the southern border counties of Ireland.
The funding, approved at the organisation’s recent Board Meeting in County Donegal, includes €1.8m/£1.5m for 10 Peace Impact (PIP) projects that will assist marginalised communities to resolve complex issues relating to identity and the conflict.
A further €1.2m/£972,000 has been awarded across 11 Personal Youth Development projects that aim to encourage young people to make positive life choices, take part in good relations activities and pursue further education and training provision.
Meanwhile, the Fund’s Peace Walls Programme has granted €149,500/£124,500 to Twaddell Ardoyne Shankill Communities in Transition (TASCIT) in support of efforts to build cross-community confidence and dialogue on interface barriers.
Commenting on the announcement Dr Adrian Johnston, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland, said:
“For more than 30 years, support from the Fund has helped reduce tensions and promote positive transformation during periods of social and political uncertainty.
“The Fund is focused on equipping communities, and young people in particular, with the means to resist and disrupt division and disaffection.
“We are pleased to award financial assistance to 22 projects and commend them for their willingness to take risks to support individuals and communities in challenging environments. Ground-breaking projects, like these 22, have been successful in tackling underlying causes of youth involvement in anti-social behaviour and the corrosive influence of sectarianism.
“We know there are risks that still need to be taken for a lasting peace and the quality of our interventions has never been more evident.”
The latest funding package includes awards to 11 new projects that are supported through the Fund’s Personal Youth Development Programme. These include:
- €91,443/£75,898 to Downstrands Family Resource Centre, County Donegal, for an 18-month project that will engage young people from Glenties, Ardara, Rosbeg, Portnoo, Fintown and Lettermacaward.
- €81,808/£67,900 to Connect FRC, Drogheda, County Louth, for a structured one-year project that will support up to 10 young people from the Drogheda area. The project will enable participants to develop social, physical and technical skills that will benefit them throughout life.
- €107,712 / £89,760 to Glasgowbury for a one-year project entitled I AM (Inclusive Accessible Multimedia). The Draperstown-based project will equip 15 young people from the Mid-Ulster area with the skills necessary to pursue a career within the Creative Industry.
- €127,618/£106,349 to Shankill Women’s Centre, Belfast, for a one-year project that will offer a range of accredited and non-accredited training and one-to-one mentoring for up to 20 young women.
The Chairman took the opportunity to thank the international donors to the Fund for their continued support – the European Union and the Governments of the United States of America, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.