The ‘West Ulster Impact Project’ has been officially launched today in Kee’s Hotel, Stranorlar, Co Donegal.
The Tyrone-Derry and Donegal Action, ‘West Ulster Impact Project’ will build and develop capacity to enable and strengthen cross-community and cross border engagement and to address sectarianism and racism across Donegal and the North West.
While building upon the experiences gained by the Tyrone-Derry and Donegal Action Board and cross border workers over many years, the project will further challenge Protestants, Catholics and others to engage in dialogue, discussion, and debate.
Speaking at the Launch, Albert Allen Programmes Director with TDDA said: “This is an exciting project working with Protestant groups and organisations to increase their confidence and capacity.
“The programme is a follow on from the North West Development Cross Border Programme and the Churches Facilitation and Co-operation programme funded under the Special European Union Programmes Body Phase I – Peace III and as a result of the success of those programmes we
developed this project that recognised and acknowledged more specifically the needs of the Protestant community.”
“The programme has been designed to target those Protestant groups and organisations in Donegal identified by Donegal CDB Peace and Reconciliation Partnership in their Operational Plan who did not benefit fully from the previous Peace programmes.”
“The West Ulster Impact Project is in three parts. Part one has a number of actions which are aimed at identifying and delivering training for Protestant groups and organisations to increase their confidence and capacity and to provide groups with the skills to effectively network with others.”
“The second part of the programme will deliver a ‘paired’ programme of activity designed by the groups in conjunction with project staff to Protestant and Catholic groups, which will encourage and facilitate mutual understanding, challenge attitudes to sectarianism, encourage active civic participation and which will promote greater community integration both within Donegal and across the Border.”
“The third part of the programme will facilitate churches in six areas to hold open days for senior classes in the local Primary schools-(all schools visit one Church on same day) Catholic and Protestant Senior classes visit each of the Church buildings, e.g. Presbyterian, Church of Ireland. and Roman Catholic and hear a brief history of the building and faith tradition – Children visit the inside of another denominations Church”
“The programme will also enable Protestant and Catholics in Donegal to engage with their fellow citizens in promoting equality and embracing diversity and to engage in activities designed to lessen conflict, racism and enable mediation. To work towards a genuine and lasting Shared Future.”
“We have two project workers covering Donegal and the Border Counties, working and directly engaging with groups and organisations.”