THE International Fund for Ireland today confirmed €3.9m/£3.3m of financial support for 19 community projects in Northern Ireland and the southern border counties of Ireland.
The funding, approved at the organisation’s recent Board Meeting in County Louth, includes more than €2.9m/£2.5m that is allocated across 15 projects within the Personal Youth Development Programme (PYDP).
These initiatives assist young people to take better control of their lives, reengage in training and avoid being drawn into criminal or sectarian activity.
The remaining funding, €974,000/£810,000, has also been allocated across four projects in the Peace Impact Programme (PIP), which assists marginalised communities to resolve complex issues relating to identity and the conflict.
Dr Adrian Johnston, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland, said:
“We still live in a deeply fractured society and political uncertainties are adding greater pressures to communities that are working hard to move forward.
“The risks taken by groups we support cannot be taken for granted. In many difficult areas, the Fund and these groups are delivering the only interventions that are preventing the escalation of tensions and polarisation. In challenging circumstances, their ambition and vision deserve to be equally met with political action and leadership.
“With the limited resources available, the Fund is making important contributions that support stability and progress, particularly among communities that had not previously recognised a peace dividend.
“However, the Fund alone is not equipped for the scale of challenges that may emerge during an indefinite political vacuum. Each generation should expect a better life than the last.
“That can only happen if there is political will and adequate resources to help resolve the legacy issues that continue to blight communities.”
The Chairman 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, New Zealand – for their support.
The latest funding package includes awards to seven new projects including:
- €131,083 / £108,798 to Foroige Drogheda Turning Point for the ‘Turning Point’ project, a two-year initiative that will engage 15 young people in a structured programme of good relations, personal development and skills development activities.
- €207,473 / £172,202 to North West Alcohol Forum for a two-year project called Positive Attitudes, Beliefs & Aspirations that will provide personal youth development activities across Letterkenny, Milford, Buncrana and Ballybofey.
- €242,882 / £202,402 to Causeway Rural & Urban Network (CRUN) for the BRAKE Project, a two-year cross-community initiative which will support young people in Coleraine to positively engage in their community, improve self-esteem, confidence and employability.
- €216,804 / £180,670 to Orchardville Society Ltd. for ‘Project Fusion’, a two-year cross-community initiative based in East Belfast. It will engage 20 participants in a variety of personalised training, work experience, skills and employability development activities.
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