Local community representatives came together today to celebrate the official launch of a new cross community, cross border project ‘Inside & Out’, administered by Cranmore Community Co-Operative.
Funded by the International Fund for Ireland, under its Peace Impact Programme, the project aims to empower people of all age groups in the Cranmore housing estate and Queenspark Women’s Group in County Antrim, through capacity building and skills development programmes that will enable their involvement in positive projects that will improve their own quality of life as well as the community at large. The project is unique in that it will engage directly with other statutory agencies in the area including Cranmore Regeneration team, Mayo/Sligo/Leitrim Education & Training Board, Home Youth Liasion Services, MABS, Foroige, Dept of Social Protection and local Gardaí.
An innovative dimension of the programme is the direct and creative engagement with women on both sides of the border in both County Sligo and County Antrim. This Women’s Peer Development Programme and an Intergenerational History and Cultural Exchange project with Queenspark Women’s Group, promises to be a particularly powerful and interesting aspect of the developing relationship between these two communities.
The programme will provide opportunities for communities to learn about each other’s histories and their own and develop and appreciate the differences in each other’s communities, acknowledging and celebrating diversity through cross border, cross community residentials per year, in both Antrim and Sligo. These will provide opportunities to share stories and histories, looking at the communities and respecting difference.
Specifically, the programme will Facilitate the development of 10 Community Leaders through dialogue and exchange of experience with the Queen’s Park Women’s Group. These potential community leaders want to learn how to motivate and bring about real and meaningful change to the more vulnerable women of Cranmore.Strand One: Engage Children and Young People
The project will facilitate the active engagement and participation of young people in 7-12 year old and 12-16 age groups, promoting their sense of self and their capacity for relationships with others from their community. It will reveal their capacity to engage in good behaviour, to skill share, to learn to work together through brainstorming, ultimately creating an environment of fun, bringing joy to the community.Strand Two: Women’s Development Programme
Support and facilitate access to ETB training – more importantly this will be very much decided upon by the participants themselves dependent upon their particular needs and interests. Potential training include QQ1 Levels 1-3 General Learning; Certificate in Employability Skills; Driver Theory; Introduction to Computers; Career Preparation & Computers QQI Health and Nutrition & Cookery Skills; Cultural Heritage & Tourism. Strand Three: Cross Border Leader Peer Programme.
The Cranmore Co-Op will establish and develop a cross border relationship with the Community Relations Forum and Queens Park Women’s Group in Antrim. The programme will provide opportunities for communities to learn about each other’s histories and their own and develop and appreciate the differences in each other’s communities. Strand Four: Intergenerational History and Culture Project with Community Relations Forum
The project will facilitate cross border exchanges in both Sligo and Antrim sharing histories and exploring cultures and hidden histories, including tours of famine graveyard and talks on Sligo 1916 by local historians; visits to Unionist communities in Antrim including visits to Interfaces and murals.
Speaking at the launch which was held in the Cranmore Community Co-Op, Dorothy Clarke, IFI Board member, said that the Fund is committed to delivering real and positive transformation in communities through the Peace Impact Programme and we are delighted to support this wide-ranging cross community, cross border project. “This project aims to encourage local residents to engage with the wider community by building relationships beyond their families and communities and to learn new skills and importantly, to learn to work together. I have no doubt that this project will leave a lasting positive legacy for the people in Cranmore and its environs. I wish everyone involved in the project success in the year ahead”.
Anne Marie Snee, Cranmore Community Co-Op said: ‘This project’s cross border dimension proposes real and meaningful engagement between communities that traditionally have not engaged directly. The project demonstrates the pivotal role the IFI plays in enabling and facilitating a connection to a group in Northern Ireland through the PIP programmes, to the benefit of both communities. On behalf of both communities I would like to thank the International Fund for Ireland most sincerely for their funding support, without which, we could not have undertaken this project”.