Now in its 14th year, the programme is funded by the International Fund for Ireland and organised in partnership with the US Consulate in Belfast and currently managed by the Washington Ireland Program.
More than 150 participants have benefitted from the training and networking offered by AMBIT to date and those involved have got to experience community work at grassroots level in some of the best known cities across the United states including; Boston, New York and Washington D.C.
Each year the programme follows a broad theme – influencing policy, leader development, community development, developing the next generation, alternatives to mainstream provision and looking at the juvenile justice system. The AMBIT class is mainly drawn from projects supported through The Fund’s programme and the selected 16 leaders from the community and voluntary sectors explore policy and practice from exemplar projects in the United States.
The learning from this focused study visit is then invested back into participant’s fields of work that are closely aligned with the Fund’s interests. Many past participants have gone on to claim prominent roles in politics, civic life and community development and have gained a considerable base of expertise and influence.
In 2017 the first Ambit Alumni event took place and invitations were extended to all who took part in the Programme over the last 14 years. The event provided an informative opportunity for participants to reconnect, establish new contacts and networks, share experiences, learning and access insight from a notable authority.
Garry McAllister is a community Youth Worker with Harryville Partnership Initiative and Carson Project- an IFI funded PYDP project based in Ballymena.
He was an AMBIT participant in 2017 and the study trip offered important insight into community and youth outreach in New York, Washington DC and Philadelphia.
Gary says; “As Youth Workers our lives can be very hectic. We don’t get the chance to sit down and learn from others because we’re often caught up in the harsh realities and issues facing young people. We come up against some of the most difficult situations and see, first hand, the risks facing young people today.
“AMBIT gave me a great opportunity to get out of my own environment, meet people from the other side of the Atlantic and I soon realised that everyone is dealing with similar issues.
For further information about our funding programmes, or for information on how to apply for funding, please contact the person(s) or organisation(s) identifed at the end of the relevant programme summary in the areas of activity section.
International Fund for Ireland
28-32 Alfred St.
+44 (0)28 9031 2884