Two Donegal groups are amongst sixteen community projects which will share €4.1m in grant aid from the International Fund for Ireland.
The two groups are the Donegal Youth Service and the Newtowncunningham Community Outreach Project.
A total of €319,386 has been allocated to Donegal Youth Service under the Personal Youth Development Programme- to extend for two years the Re-ACTIV8 Programme, a cross-border and cross-community youth initiative that spans Lifford, Letterkenny, Inishowen, Ballybofey, Donegal Town, Ballyshannon in Donegal and Strabane, Sion Mills and Clady in Tyrone.
The extension will enable 12 current participants to advance towards new employability training and enrol 32 young people in a programme of personal and social development activities.
A further €199,952 under Peace Impact Programme goes to Newtowncunningham Community Outreach Project for a two-year cross-border and cross-community project that will facilitate peacebuilding activities in Newtowncunningham and work to establish an inclusive model of engagement between the two larger traditions and minority communities.
The funding, approved at the organisation’s recent Board Meeting, includes more than £2.3m/€2.8m that is allocated across 10 projects within the Personal Youth Development Programme. These initiatives support vulnerable young people to re-engage in training and learning activities and reduce the risk of being drawn into violence, crime and addiction.
Almost £1m/€1.1m has also been allocated across five projects in the Peace Impact Programme (PIP), which assists marginalised communities to resolve complex issues relating to identity and the conflict.
Commenting on the announcement Dr Adrian Johnston, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland, said they are pleased to be awarding assistance to 16 groups that are stepping up to address difficult problems that can divide and isolate people.
“The risks that projects are taking, with our support, are paying dividends at a challenging time for communities. Our work over the decades has been conducted in parallel with the political process and the current context has only served to strengthen our resolve to support people to remain engaged in peacebuilding activities and resist polarisation.
“Our steady and careful approach has enabled communities to move forward and secure significant progress on a number of complex issues. Investments made through our current strategy are achieving a great deal, but much more remains to be done. Communities need to see urgent and proactive delivery on commitments made in the Fresh Start Agreement and the Tackling Paramilitarism agenda.”
The Chairman took the opportunity to thank the international donors to the Fund for their continued support – the Governments of the United States of America, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand and the European Union.