Main pic: IFI Board members (L-R) Peter Osborne, Avila Kilmurray, Sadie Ward McDermott, Bernie Butler, Chairman Paddy Harte and Anne Carr.
A number of communities in Donegal are to benefit following major grants to two Derry-based projects.
Both Ballinascreen Community Forum and Bogside and Brandywell Initiative have received almost £347,000 (€405K) funding from the International Fund for Ireland (IFI).
A total of £143,172 (€167,358) was allocated to Ballinascreen for an 18-month project aimed at developing the relationship between the forum and partner organisations in Glenties through events and activities. The project will cover a number of towns and villages, including the parish of Ballinascreen and Kilcronaghan (Draperstown, Straw, Sixtowns, Moneyneena, Kilcronaghan/ Tobermore) areas within Derry and the Parish of Iniskeel Glenties, Edeninfagh and Fintown.
The Bogside and Brandywell Initiative, meanwhile, has received £203,824 (€238,283) for a 24-month project targeting the areas of the east Donegal border region, Derry City and Strabane. This will benefit areas such as Muff, Killea, Lifford, Buncrana, the Culmore area of Derry City and its adjoining area of Quigley’s Point. The funding represents an extension to the existing ‘Better Together project’ and will aim to build on the lessons learned and experience gained over the last year ‘to reinforce the relationships that have been established and expand these both geographically and thematically.’
The project will have five named partners, including two Buncrana based organisations – the Exchange and Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin, Hive Cancer Support, formally the Pink Ladies Cancer Support Group based in Buncrana, the Life After Group based in Kilfennan, Derry, and Strabane Health Improvement.
Both projects are funded through the IFI’s Communities in Partnership Programme (CiPP).
The funding forms part of a €801,925/£1,172,890 funding package, allocated to eleven projects across the southern border counties and the North aimed at supporting local projects deliver vital peace building and community relations initiatives.
Chair of the IFI, Donegal man Paddy Harte, welcomed the latest allocation of funding.
“Supporting people working in their local communities consistently demonstrate their ability to understand and address the needs of their local area,” he said.
“We are seeing more projects identifying innovative and creative opportunities for engagement and dialogue between communities, encouraging cooperation and relationship building.
“We are continuing to see tensions between and within communities in Northern Ireland and the southern border counties, specifically relating to culture, identity, and legacy, further exacerbated with the lack of the Northern Ireland Executive. Our young people continue to be at risk from paramilitary recruitment and criminal influence and this funding will ensure that support is targeted at those who really need it.”
The Peace Impact Programme (PIP) received €556,074 /£419,967across five projects which will deliver ‘sensitive interventions’ in communities that have not previously, or have only partially, participated in peacebuilding and reconciliation activities.
The Personal Youth Development Programme (PYDP) received €129,236/£405,927allocated across three projects. The focus for these projects will be to improve confidence and personal resilience in young people, helping them develop a better understanding of culture and identity, and grow practical skills to offer better employment opportunities.
The Communities in Partnership Programme (CiPP) was allocated a total of €116,615/£346,996 which will go to three projects aimed at helping to build resilience and empower communities to build stronger, meaningful cross-border partnerships.
The eleven projects will work across communities in Armagh, Tyrone, Leitrim, Louth, Antrim, Fermanagh, Cavan, Derry, Donegal and Monaghan.
The IFI was set up by the British and Irish Governments as an independent international organisation in 1986 and is supported by international donors – British and Irish Governments, government of the United States of America, European Union, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The organisation delivers a range of peace and reconciliation initiatives across Northern Ireland and the southern border counties, currently supporting a total of 46 projects in Northern Ireland and 20 in the southern border counties.