The International Fund for Ireland today confirmed €3.9m/£3.3m of financial support for 19 community projects across the island of Ireland.
Two of the projects are in Donegal.
The North West Alcohol Forum received €207,473 for a two-year project called Positive Attitudes, Beliefs & Aspirations. The project will provide personal youth development activities across Letterkenny, Milford, Buncrana and Ballybofey.
Downstrands Family Resource Centre was allocated €82,529 to extend and expand the ‘Ignite your Future’ project for one year. The south west Donegal project will provide personalised employability training for eight current participants and enrol a new cohort of 12 young people aged between 16 and 25 in a programme of tailored activities aimed at improving personal and social skills.
The funding which was approved at the organisation’s recent Board Meeting in County Louth, includes more than €2.9m/£2.5m that is allocated across 15 projects within the Personal Youth Development Programme (PYDP). These initiatives assist young people to take better control of their lives, re-engage in training and avoid being drawn into criminal or sectarian activity.
The remaining funding, €974,000/£810,000, has also been allocated across four projects in the Peace Impact Programme (PIP), which assists marginalised communities to resolve complex issues relating to identity and the conflict.
Dr Adrian Johnston, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland, said: “We still live in a deeply fractured society and political uncertainties are adding greater pressures to communities that are working hard to move forward. The risks taken by groups we support cannot be taken for granted. In many difficult areas, the Fund and these groups are delivering the only interventions that are preventing the escalation of tensions and polarisation. In challenging circumstances, their ambition and vision deserve to be equally met with political action and leadership.
“With the limited resources available, the Fund is making important contributions that support stability and progress, particularly among communities that had not previously recognised a peace dividend. However, the Fund alone is not equipped for the scale of challenges that may emerge during an indefinite political vacuum. Each generation should expect a better life than the last. That can only happen if there is political will and adequate resources to help resolve the legacy issues that continue to blight communities.”
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, New Zealand - for their support.
About the International Fund for Ireland
The International Fund for Ireland is an independent, international organisation established by the Irish and British Governments in 1986. The Fund’s main objectives are to promote economic and social advance and encourage contact, dialogue and reconciliation between Unionists and Nationalists throughout Ireland.
Since its inception, the Fund has committed more than £728m/€914m to a wide variety of projects in Northern Ireland and the southern border counties of Ireland. Developing and funding initiatives that tackle segregation and promote integration to build a lasting peace in Northern Ireland and the southern border counties is a key priority for the Fund.
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