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Peace Walls Update from International Fund for Ireland

24th October 2016

Peace Walls Programme

by Dr Adrian Johnston. Chair, International Fund for Ireland

Physical barriers that separate communities are among the most visible symbols of division in Northern Ireland.

While there is a desire to move to a position where barriers are no longer needed, it is clear that much work is required to create the conditions where local residents feel it is safe and appropriate to consider changes in their area.

Through the Peace Walls Programme (PWP), the International Fund for Ireland is providing financial assistance towards a range of confidence and relationship building initiatives that operate within and between communities living near interfaces.

In a relatively short period of time, projects like Suffolk Lenadoon Interface Group (SLIG) have opened important new conversations on the future of many physical divisions. The outcomes and continued progress of these projects have generated positive momentum and in some cases led to removal of longstanding walls and barriers.

These achievements are notable and success has resulted from concentrated efforts that build trust and change attitudes in each area. Visible change can only occur when communities agree that the time is right and it is safe to transform barriers. That’s why the PWP places emphasis on enabling communities to develop their own solutions and move at a pace that is right for them and their area.

Interface communities engaged in the Peace Walls Programme are undertaking an intensive and inclusive range of community engagement activities. I would encourage anyone who is interested in improving their community and building strong foundations for positive transformation to get involved, particularly those who live closest to the interfaces.

Dr Adrian Johnston is the Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland. The PWP is an inclusive programme that welcomes the involvement of all communities. To find out more visit www.internationalfundforireland.com/peace-walls-programme

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