Five youth projects across Northern Ireland and the southern border counties have been awarded a total of £179,976 / €215,971 through the International Fund for Ireland’s latest support package.
The groups are all supported under the IFI’s Personal Youth Development Programme (PYDP). Targeting young people from some of the most deprived areas who would otherwise become involved in criminal or unlawful activity, the programme offers tailored routes to learning, personal development and employment opportunities.
It typically engages with people who will have come from challenging family backgrounds, are vulnerable to paramilitary recruitment, suffer from poor mental health, substance abuse, and have left the education system early and in some cases been involved with the criminal justice system.
IFI Chairman, Paddy Harte says: “In recent months our projects have managed to respond and adapt to provide innovative solutions for young people and, in these truly challenging times, the IFI’s ongoing support has helped foster community spirit and leadership.
“People and communities have united like never before. Young people involved in our PYDP projects have been able to continue their development with over 500 classes delivered online and 147 gaining new qualifications during lockdown. Over 5,000 food parcels were delivered to the most vulnerable and over 4200 items of PPE gear were produced and delivered by PYDP projects and partners during this period.
“Only now are we seeing the true impact of Covid- 19 on our young people. Lockdown has forced many to feel more isolated than ever bringing mental health issues to the fore. Positive engagement and support is vital to enable younger generations to become equipped with the confidence and necessary tools to embrace a new society post coronavirus.”
IFI Chairman, Paddy Harte continues: “We recognise that the global pandemic has put considerable pressure on bringing communities together on a number of challenges that face Northern Ireland and the southern border counties in the coming months.
“The Fund is committed to working with communities on sensitive issues and delivers where others don’t. We will continue to bring interventions and build important relationships in order to help reduce a return to terrorism and violence.
“Our work is more relevant than ever. We are progressing towards the next phase of important peace and reconciliation activity and the fallout from Brexit, particularly in border areas, where there will need to be support mechanisms in place for 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 and New Zealand - for their support.
PYDP Projects awarded Funding:
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