A recent youth drama performance was part of a number of projects delivered by North Leitrim Glens Development Company through IFI funding
The International Fund for Ireland has unveiled a total of €1,359,631 funding, including €171,194 to a Leitrim project, against a challenging backdrop to support those delivering much needed interventions within the community sector.
The funding provided by the International Fund for Ireland is crucial in aiding the ongoing, essential work of community leaders who are rising to overcome the challenges in a time of great uncertainty and without the help of political leadership. The funding has been allocated to a range of projects across the Peace Impact Programme and the Personal Youth Development Programme.
The Leitrim money will go to the North Leitrim Glens Development Company for an 18 month project to engage with young people, women and older men with no previous experience of community development and peace building activities, in cross-community, cross-border communities in Leitrim and Fermanagh. Through capacity training and back to education programmes, the project will underpin the Peace Process and promote economic prosperity.
Paddy Harte, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland says: “External challenges such as the ongoing uncertainty of Brexit, the lack of a functioning NI Executive and the rise of hardline dissidents have created a considerable void, which is having a very negative impact upon communities.
“Understandably, we can see that these challenges have resulted in mistrust and alienation for some. It comes at a critical time in the Peace Process where we want to see communities flourish instead of returning to darker times of the past.
“The fund is the only organisation that is engaging with some of the most disengaged in society. We are transforming lives and going where others aren’t in order to give those communities the tools to rebuild trust and prevent the escalation of tensions and polarisation.
“Despite a clear lack of political leadership across the board, community leaders must be commended as they have risen to the challenge during these uncertain times. They are unsung heroes but without collaboration with other key organisations/government, they simply cannot deliver positive outcomes on the scale that is required.
“Our programmes are making important inroads to help resolve legacy issues, encourage dialogue around difficult conversations as well as tackling deprivation, employment skills, mental health issues, drugs and alcohol abuse and paramilitary activity."
“It is vital that this momentum continues so that communities can prosper, become self-sufficient and offer a better life for generations to come.”
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.