More than 60 women from various communities in the city and Waterside recently came together at Holywell Trust to celebrate the conclusion of a successful Executive Office Good Relations Funded project ‘Ripples in the Pond.’
The ladies from across Derry who took part in the project were involved in researching and subsequently choosing a woman from their community, their city or further afield, who had made an impact on society in the North.
This also gave participants the opportunity to discuss how women in the North have impacted on peace and reconciliation over the years.
TWN chair, Patricia Lewsley-Mooney said: “The reason for the name ‘Ripples in the Pond’ is because Derry sits on the River Foyle, and as we all know throwing a pebble in a pond creates a ripple effect that spreads far and wide.
“That is exactly the affect that cross-community dialogue and discussion between women can create – those tiny ripples can and will create waves for change in not only individual communities but across this ‘Diverse City’.
“We have all seen the success of the project here.
“The wonderful deliberations, role playing, poetry and telling the stories of so many great, brilliant women out there that so inspire us across all our communities.”
The aim of the ‘Ripples in the Pond’ project was to increase the sense of community belonging between participants, whilst celebrating the diversity that enriches our society, so that all participants could feel equipped and able to positively contribute to good relations between communities.
Over 60 local women from community organisations such as Galliagh Women’s Group, Caw/Nelson Drive Action Group and Nelson Drive’s Women’s Network took part in the event.
An excellent programme of events was scheduled on the night, including a keynote address by Rev. Judi McGaffin and poetry by Margo Connolly of Galliagh Women’s Group.
There was also an in-depth talk on the late Mo Mowlam and Cecil Frances Alexander, as well as a number of local women praised for their success in their own communities.
Catherine Cook, organiser, said she was delighted with the success of the project and from momentum it appeared more similar projects should be in the pipeline.
Speaking about the event, Catherine said: “I was really looking forward to the many presentations tonight and to hear about the women who were researched by the groups and their findings.
“I was not disappointed and great credit to all those who took part tonight and throughout the programme. I recall the previous ‘Framing the Future’ closing event last year where we had some budding actresses and fabulous musicians taking part and we were not disappointed again tonight.”
Catherine also wished to thank all who took part in the project, for their time, dedication and commitment. I really hope you have enjoyed the experience, got to know new people, developed new friendships. I sincerely hope these will lead to greater things for the women of this amazing city. Well done to all involved.”