The PEACE IV “Intercultural Community Pairing – Cohesive Neighbourhoods Minority Inclusion” project was brought to a close last month, with a trip to Carrowmena Activity Centre.
The project is run by The Rural Area Partnership in Derry (RAPID), and it aimed to facilitate the coming together of groups and participants from diverse backgrounds across the Derry City & Strabane District council area to learn about and enjoy each other’s culture and identity with the view of tackling sectarianism and racism.
In September 2018, RAPID started a five-week cultural programme in partnership with Newbuildings Community Association, which saw 60 young people between the ages of 8 and 12 enjoy a range of cultural activities including Tai Chi, Gaelic Football, Chinese Art and cultural based cooking.
The participants came from Claudy, Newbuildings, Strathfoyle as well as the Mandarin Speaking School, North West Islamic Centre, the local Polish School in Strathfoyle, and six Syrian Refugees.
This initial five-week programme was a great success as it allowed the young people participating the opportunity to enjoy something new, in an environment which was new to them and with people who they would not otherwise have had the chance to meet. Kayla Glackin, a participant from St Colmcille’s PS Claudy said: “I loved these activities. I have especially loved the fact that I have met my new best friend, Chelsea. We met here and got on so well.”
To build on the friendships made during this first five week block, a second set of activities took place in early spring, which enabled the same group of young people to get together again to learn about a new set of cultures from around the world. This was a fantastic programme which was enjoyed by everyone, young and old, who played a part and it was finished off with a trip to the Carrowmena Activity Centre in May, to celebrate the journey made throughout the lifetime of the project by its young participants. The weather didn’t dampen the spirits on the day as everyone enjoyed braving the ‘Leap of Faith’ challenge and fighting their way through the inflatable assault course.