A major community outreach and training partnership that created more 1,100 places on courses and activities in Limavady was recognised at a special celebration event on Tuesday 24th November at the Drummond Hotel in Ballykelly.
Since launching in June last year, the Roe Valley Peace Impact Project has delivered a suite of practical training courses that include accredited and non-accredited courses designed to prepare people aged 16-30 for employment and community leadership roles.
Led by Roe Valley Residents Association, the project is delivered through a partnership involving the Roe Valley, The Glens, Coolessan and Bovalley areas of the town. The initiative has also hosted a wider range of intergenerational activities and workshops that engaged with young people, families and the wider community to establish understanding of cultures, history and traditions and foster greater inter-area co-operation.
International Fund for Ireland Board Member, Paddy Harte said:
“This Peace Impact Project has creatively and successfully built on good work that has been underway for some time between the four estates in Limavady. As a result of this and the partnership approach, it has been able to reach directly into each area and provide the types of training and support that are needed most. It is a powerful example of how one community initiative can drive real, meaningful change and open new dialogue on important issues.
“The achievements of this initiative have been impressive and that it is clearly helping to propel the areas and individuals forward. Participants now feel more involved in their own community and also believe that they can make a positive contribution as well through personal development and training. The challenge now is to ensure the progress made here continues and can be expanded upon.”
Ashleen Schenning, PIP Project Officer, said:
“This project has helped us take forward a range of activities that have given new options and opportunities to people of all ages and ability in the community. It has encouraged and challenged everyone to raise their expectations for this area and giving them a role in shaping it. It has been rewarding to see so many people come to together support the project and get involved in activities.
“This is about building valuable skillsets and offering a new pathway for some who may have not felt comfortable or accepted in mainstream projects. Within each area, it is assisting communities to build new capacities and the confidence to address difficult issues.”
In June 2014, the International Fund for Ireland awarded £81,500 to the Roe Valley Residents Association through its Peace Impact Programme (PIP) which looks to address some of the most sensitive, complex and challenging issues within areas where there have been low levels of engagement in peace building.
To find out more about the Peace Impact Programme visit http://www.internationalfundforireland.com/peace-impact-programme