The International Fund for Ireland has confirmed £3.6m/€4.3m of financial assistance to support 32 community projects.
The funding, approved at the organisation’s recent Board Meeting in Newcastle County Down, will see £2.1m/€2.6m shared among 17 projects that are working to address difficult issues linked to the legacy of conflict and will engage with young people who are at risk of becoming involved in sectarian or anti-social activity.
More than £804,000/€966,000 will be shared among 10 new projects that will support vulnerable young people who are unable to access or remain in traditional education. It will engage young people in good relations activities and transform their lives by providing alternatives to violence, crime and addiction. A further £612,000/€735,000 has been allocated to five initiatives that are developing new dialogue on the future of Peace Walls.
Dr Adrian Johnston, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland, said:
“Since our Community Consolidation - Peace Consolidation Strategy launched last year, we’ve invested with confidence in bold projects that have enabled communities to reverse the severe effects of division and divert young people away from the influence of armed gangs. However, community appetite for these initiatives is much greater than the resources we alone can assign to it.
“Community groups are taking risks and generating momentum for change, but for progress to be sustainable support from statutory authorities is critically needed. The time is right for others to adopt and support Fund interventions and deliver on the promise of a shared society that is free from sectarianism and the shadow of paramilitaries.”
The latest funding package includes awards to 10 new projects that are supported through the Fund’s Personal Youth Development Programme. These include:
- £79,209/€95,050 to Maghera Cross Community Link to deliver the Link Youth Achievement Project, a structured programme of support, offering personal development and skills building for 16 young people residing within Maghera and the surrounding areas.
- £105,279/€126,334 to Springboard Opportunities Limited for a one-year cross-community project comprising 24 unemployed young people aged 16-25 years and living in North and West Belfast. The target group are those who are socially isolated and at risk of long-term exclusion due to social and emotional difficulties.
- £80,807/€96,968 to Clanrye Group, Newry for ‘Re-Gener8’ a one-year structured youth-based programme within the Newry and South Armagh area and in particular the wards with the highest levels of deprivation of health, wellbeing, education, employment and social opportunities.
- €77,390/£64,233 to FOCUS Family Resource Centre to deliver the FUSE Project a one-year structured programme of Personal Development, Good Relations and Skills Development operating across Killeshandra, Miltown, Arvagh, Belturbet and Blacklion.
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.
Further information about all the beneficiaries from the International Fund for Ireland’s latest funding package click here