Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Rural PEACE Building

Sligo Leader Partnership Co (SLPC) submitted a tender to carry out the Rural Peace Building Action which was successful. The broad aim of this action is to:

“Facilitate the rural community in County Sligo to come together on a cross-community basis and to engage with rural communities in NI through a series of cross-community and cross-border events, workshops, residentials, study visits and social activities. These will promote, preserve and celebrate a shared rural heritage, a shared rural landscape, a shared rural experience and a shared rural cultural identity.”

Project Description

The Rural Peace Building Project structure has been broken down into five elements. Each element is aimed at targeting a different aspect of rural society. Involvement in one project by a rural dweller by no means rules out involvement in any of the others – in fact it is recognition that people are involved in many aspects of their localities:-

Element 1: Exploring Protestant Culture/Identity/History in a Rural Context

The central idea of this element is to provide an opportunity for rural Sligo’s Protestant community to come together to discuss issues relating to their own history, culture and identity. The rationale is that this would provide a vehicle for people to address issues identified in the Peace plan i.e. challenging sectarianism and racism, and building positive relations at local level, and how these might apply to the experience of the Protestant community.

Element 2. Promoting Community Inclusion and Capacity through Creative Arts

Amateur drama is very strong in the county and is an effective mechanism for community engagement. This project proposes to utilise the external expertise of Blue Raincoat Theatre Company (http://www.blueraincoat.com/) to network the amateur dramatic groups across the county with near-neighbour cross-border amateur dramatic groups. The method will be to offer a joint training initiative in technical support and performance for theatre, culminating in a joint production to address issues of sectarianism.

Element 3. Growing Friendships, Growing Older: Sligo Older Persons’ Forum and Third Age Trust, Enniskillen

SLPC has heretofore facilitated the development of an Older Persons’ Forum for the County which has networked community groups representative of Older People. It is proposed that this project will facilitate the activities of this network and enable it to engage with similar cross border groups in order to increase understanding, lessen isolation and increase participation by older rural dwellers in civic life.

Element 4. Shared Agricultural/Rural Interest: Sligo Macra na Feirme and Young Farmers Clubs of Ulster, Fermanagh

Building on an existing relationship, the Macra na Feirme (http://www.macra.ie/ ) clubs of Sligo and Young Farmers Clubs of Ulster, Fermanagh Clubs propose to engage in a programme of residential training and social events. Training will address a broad spectrum of issues experienced by young rural dwellers in relation to skills acquisition and on-farm diversification. The groups also propose engaging in further joint projects arising from the residential training

Element 5. Development Supports for Broad Spectrum Community Initiatives with existing linkages which reinforce progress to a peaceful society and promoting reconciliation

Following a community consultation process, a representative number of Community Groups submitted Expressions of Interest in engaging in cross-community, cross border projects to be facilitated by SLPC. Some of these Broad Spectrum Community Projects have a previously developed cross-border relationship and supports under this element will continue developmental activity aimed at addressing all three Strategic Priorities outlined in the Rural Peace-building Action (p.1).