£200K IFI funding boost for Derry and Donegal projects

Five County Derry and Donegal based projects have been allocated around £200,000 as part of a wider initiative towards peace and reconciliation efforts.

The latest International Fund for Ireland funding package will be shared across two key programmes, Communities in Partnership Programme (CIPP) and Personal Youth Development Programme (PYDP).

Waterside Neighbourhood Partnership in Derry will receive £100,000 with partner organisation Donegal Local Sports Partnership to implement a 15-month cross border, cross community project in the Donegal and Derry area working to deliver a ‘Community Activity Play Programme’ that will benefit children and adults living in disadvantaged urban residential areas on each side of the border.

Bogside and Brandywell Initiative, Pink Ladies Cancer Support Group and Life After meanwhile will get a share of £100,000 for their work in the city along with Donegal partners Killea Community Park and Tidy Towns. This 12-month project involves collaboration on a range of health, well-being, safety and environmental issues/ awareness-raising campaigns.

International Fund for Ireland Board Members made the announcement at their latest meeting in Rathmullan.

Under the IFI’s current strategy, there is a strong border focus through the CIPP to ‘build resilience and empower areas to develop strong cross-border partnerships alongside local leadership’.

The PYDP aims to help the most at risk young people in society to improve their confidence and personal resilience, develop a better understanding of culture and identity, and develop practical skills that improve their employment prospects.

IFI Chairman, Paddy Harte says: “At the moment, we know communities are feeling isolated and facing many challenges at a political, social and economic level. The IFI has a unique role to play now to bridge the divides and encourage outreach within border communities especially. Through our experience, we know that with the right support on the ground, we can ensure the connections painstakingly built up across borders and across communities are protected and nurtured.

“Projects receiving this funding are instrumental in developing positive, local leadership. Our support gives communities and individuals the tools and skills they need to prosper and grow to create a more inclusive, shared society for all.

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“The border on the island of Ireland stretches for more than 300 miles and it remains a psychological and physical barrier for many communities. These communities suffered tremendously during The Troubles, even today many towns remain deprived with residents leaving to find opportunities elsewhere.”

He added: “The IFI has been a strong advocate of building border connections and development since its inception.”

From the restoration of the Shannon Erne Waterway in 1991 right through to the present day, we support many projects operating in the border region.”

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The IFI was set up by the British and Irish governments as an independent international organisation in 1986. It delivers a range of peace and reconciliation initiatives across Northern Ireland and the southern border counties. It currently supports a total of 45 projects in Northern Ireland and 15 in the southern border counties.

The funding was announced at the IFI’s recent Board meeting in Rathmullan, Co.Donegal. The Chairman took the opportunity to thank international donors to the Fund - the British and Irish Governments as well as the Government of the United States of America. The Chair also thanked the Fund’s international observers, the European Union, Canada, Australia and New Zealand - for their continued support.

Since its inception, the Fund has committed more than £754m/ €944m 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.