Clanrye Group is due to receive £85,329 in the latest funding stream from the International Fund for Ireland. The project, based in Killeavy, will receive funding under the Youth Personal Development Program which aims to steer young people away from criminal behavior towards programs, trainings and initiatives that create a better future. Thanks to this program, more than 3,200 young people have obtained various accreditations and 528 are in continuing education.
This is part of the £4,430,621 funding announced today by the IFI for peacebuilding.
The IFI was established by the British and Irish governments as an independent international organization in 1986. It offers a range of peace and reconciliation initiatives across Northern Ireland and the southern border counties. It currently supports a total of 40 projects in Northern Ireland and 15 in the southern border counties.
Funding under IFI’s new ‘Connecting Communities’ strategy will enable grassroots programs that create meaningful collaboration and lasting peace on the island of Ireland. The funding package announced today will benefit 29 community projects across Northern Ireland and the southern border counties.
Six projects under the Peace Barriers program will continue their efforts to bring interface communities to a point where they are ready to discuss the transformation or removal of barriers in their area.
Under the IFI Peace Impact Programme, a total of two projects will be funded for two years. These initiatives work with some of the hardest to reach communities that suffer from high levels of economic and social deprivation where the peace process has brought limited benefits.
Twenty-one projects will be supported through the Youth Personal Development Programme, which targets some of the most at-risk young people in society. Typically, they will come from difficult circumstances, some of which are vulnerable to polarization or recruitment into paramilitary organizations. The program ultimately aims to build confidence and develop life skills that make young people more employable.
Welcoming Connecting Communities’ first funding package, IFI President Paddy Harte said, “The IFI has made significant progress in a number of key areas of our peace and reconciliation work. We have played an important role in breaking down the walls of peace and helping to divert young people from paramilitary recruitment and dissipating tensions during periods of serious civil unrest over the past year.
“While progress should be acknowledged, a number of challenges remain that will require urgent intervention to help improve community relations, reduce instability and the threat of violence.
“The impact of Covid 19, the current political uncertainty and elections later this year in Northern Ireland, as well as the wider complexities of all islands around Brexit, the NI protocol and the increased calls for Border polls indicate that tensions will continue to rise in communities that feel abandoned. behind.”
The IFI currently offers four key programs and the latest financial support package will help develop initiatives over a four-year period.
The Peace Impact program will continue to engage with marginalized communities on sensitive issues that often require diversionary work. To date, the projects have created more than 1,200 intra- and cross-border relationships with over 7,400 participants involved in capacity building, training and events.
Likewise, the Peace Barriers program will continue to provide long-term sustainable solutions and transformation in interface areas to remove remaining mental and physical barriers. More than 3400 participants are currently engaged in projects and 77% are in favor of removing or reducing Peace Barrier.
The Youth Personal Development Program is truly unique in its approach and delivery to at-risk youth. It will intensify efforts to divert young people from criminal behavior into programs, training and initiatives that create a better future. Thanks to this program, more than 3,200 young people have obtained various accreditations and 528 are in continuing education.
The new Communities in Partnership program has a strong focus on boundaries and will build resilience in the face of uncertainty and friction and support the development of local leadership. The projects involved aim to establish real links on a cross-border basis, which in turn bring significant benefits to the communities involved.
Mr. Harte adds, “The IFI works on a cross-border and cross-border basis through its targeted programs, seeking to achieve a more peaceful and shared society. Given the complexity of the issues that many communities are currently facing on the ground, it is evident that there is a clear need for independent support provided by the IFI, especially in many hard-to-reach areas that are experiencing growing tensions.
“We are one of the few organizations with the experience required to negotiate the difficult and challenging conversations that lie ahead. Collaboration between partners and statutory bodies will be key to creating a truly shared future. It is time to break the cycle of instability, suffering and violence and help prevent further trauma from being passed on to future generations.
The funding was announced at the recent IFI Board meeting in Rathmullan, Co. Donegal. The President took the opportunity to thank the Fund’s international donors – the European Union, the British and Irish governments as well as the governments of the United States of America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – for their support.