In total, the IFI has pledged £2,337,765 to provide further intervention and support for marginalised communities across the North of Ireland.
Out of that £2.3 million pot, a total of £918,668 has been earmarked for projects in Co Derry, Derry city, Strabane and other parts of the North West.
The latest funding allocation will support 23 projects in their peace and reconciliation work across the North of Ireland and the Southern border counties.
A significant proportion of funding will focus on the Fund’s Personal Youth Development Programme (PYDP).
Launched in 2015, the programme works with 16-25 year olds who have faced a range of complex issues including; poor mental health, substance abuse, homelessness, difficult family backgrounds and been in or close to the criminal justice system.
Commenting on the latest funding package, IFI Chairman, Paddy Harte says: “The IFI’s work is more relevant than ever. The continued lack of political leadership alongside an increase in hard line opinions on Brexit and dissident activity means that many communities feel more isolated and entrenched with little support on the ground to deliver positive outcomes.
“The IFI is delivering interventions and prepared to go where other agencies cannot to offer better pathways for engagement and growth.
“Our PYDP programme in particular is like no other youth initiative. It is tailored to the individual, develops much needed life skills, instils confidence and prepares young people for positive life choices and employment.”
The IFI’s Personal Youth Development Programme has engaged with over 1800 young people with 3278 accreditations received, 528 progressing into education and training with 390 securing employment.
Mr Harte adds: “Young people today face more challenges than ever and they often feel that society has let them down.
“Growing tensions within communities alongside high levels of social and economic deprivation all work hand in hand to spur on those opposed to the Peace Process who continue to try and radicalise young people through paramilitary recruitment.
“We will continue to engage with those who have benefited little from the Good Friday Agreement and help young people to transform and become positive role models within their local 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.
Further information about all the beneficiaries from the International Fund for Ireland’s latest funding package is available here: www.internationalfundforireland.com or Twitter @FundforIreland
Personal Youth Development Programme
Co Antrim/ Co Derry/Derry
£96,094/€115,313 to Sperrin Cultural Awareness Association for the 12 month ‘Good Relations And Social Personal Employment Development (GRASPED)’ project. GRASPED will work with 10 young people from the Magherafelt and Randalstown areas on a cross-community basis. Participants will engage in a programme of good relations and personal development training and workshops to develop their capacity, confidence and skills.
£97,691/€117,229 to Lettershandoney and District Development Group for the 12 month ‘Tús Nua New Beginnings’ project in the Lettershandoney, Eglinton, Park and Derry City areas. The project will provide 20 young people aged 16-25 with employability support, good relations and personal development and skills development support to help enhance the young people’s skills.
Co Derry/Derry/ County Tyrone
£81,714/€98,057 to St Columb’s Park House for the 12 month ‘IgnYte’ project across the Derry City and Strabane District Council area. The project aims to deliver an integrated training and support programme that uses a range of innovative methodologies including sport, global citizenship, good relations and practical skills training to support marginalised young people achieve, flourish and reconnect with their community.
£103,465/€124,158 to Strabane AYE for the 12 month Strabane Youth Support Programme to develop the capacity and confidence of young people deemed most at risk aged 16 to 25 years on a cross-community basis. Young people will be able to develop and increase their skills levels and progress towards their preferred career progression routes.
Co Antrim/Co Derry/Derry
£109,342/€131,210 to Windy Hall Cultural Community and Sports Group (WHCCSG) for 12 months to deliver the ‘Preparing to Engage’ project across North Ulster from Antrim to Londonderry/Derry. The Project will work with ex-prisoners, ex-combatants and their wider constituencies/communities to foster engagement in peace building and to deliver training and capacity building.
£139,930/€167,916 to Creggan Enterprises Ltd for a 12 month project in the Bogside/Brandywell, Creggan, and Fountain areas of Derry City. The project will work to diffuse community tensions and build community and cross-community relations through capacity building, training and mediation. The ultimate aim is to establish a Critical Engagement Forum where issues can be addressed directly by the communities, stakeholders, and statutory bodies.
£73,311/€87,973 to North West Cultural Partnership (NWCP) for 12 months operating in Derry, particularly the Fountain area and will focus on creating cultural partnerships within the PUL community as well as with CNR neighbours in the Bogside and Creggan areas. The project aims to create cross-community relationships as well as addressing intra-community issues.
£92,207/€110,648 to Resolution North West for an 11 month project engaging and supporting communities across the Waterside area of Derry. It will work closely with marginalised elements and more mainstream community elements to develop a shared perception of the common good of the community, with an overall strategy of building stronger community cohesion by challenging paramilitary control.
£118,914/€142,697 to Bogside and Brandywell Initiative (BBI) for 12 months to focus on both intra- and inter-community relations work. It will continue to challenge attitudes within and between communities to strengthen relations and trust whilst reducing fear.