The International Fund for Ireland (IFI) has unveiled a new £1m funding initiative that will recognise the critical role community organisations have made to the Peace Process.
The ‘Our Peace, Our Future’ Initiative is open to projects currently funded under the IFI’s four flagship Programmes. It is hoped that organisations with a wealth of experience fromdiverse backgrounds can work to examine the future direction of peacebuilding, exploring the successes and future challenges that communities face in their pursuit for sustainable peace and reconciliation.
Projects that receive funding under the Initiative will aim to develop strong relations – both North-South and East-West as well as using arts and culture across the island of Ireland to benefit future generations.
Since its inception in 1986, the IFI has championed grassrootspeace and reconciliation efforts in communities suffering from high levels of economic and social deprivation, many areas continue to deal with the legacy of The Troubles to this day.
Our Peace Our Future will highlight the huge contribution that ordinary people have made to help deliver peace within communities, between communities and across the border.
The Initiative was launched at a Special Board Meeting in Derry / Londonderry on the 25th anniversary of the Referendum where a large majority voted in favour of The Good Friday Agreement across the island of Ireland.
IFI Chair, Paddy Harte talks about the significance of Our Peace, Our Future; “The IFI has always worked to support marginalised communities where the Peace Process has delivered limited benefits.
“The symbolism for launching on this date is alsoimportant – 25 years ago people overwhelmingly voted for peace and for a better future. Much has been achieved since 1998 and many challenges remain but we mustrecognise contributions from the often-overlookedcommunity sector. These individuals were at the coalface, essentially quiet peacemakers who kept everything together and encouraged progress and dialogue.
“The IFI believes there is now a unique opportunity to look ahead to the next crucial stage of peacebuilding as projects continue to deliver in a challenging climate. It’simportant that we acknowledge the past and how it has influenced where we are but, equally, embrace the future, potential growth and opportunities it can bring. The wealth of experience that our projects can provide will play a key role in the creation of a more inclusive, shared society for all. “
Our Peace Our Future will employ a range of values that demonstrate how communities can live together peacefully. These include developing new connections between North and South, East and West. Projects will work throughpartnership, equality and mutual respect, commitment to exclusively democratic and peaceful means of resolvingdifferences and use cultural wealth through language, commemoration of the past, music and sport to better understand diversity.
There will also be a strong emphasis on the endorsement of civil and political leadership roles that have traditionally been underrepresented, including women and new citizens that make significant contributions to society.
Eligible projects must align with the overarching values and engage with opportunities to help develop further peace and reconciliation, promoting successful peacebuilding efforts of the past and looking to what will work for the next 25 years.
IFI Chair Paddy Harte adds; “The nature of this funding demonstrates the unique support the IFI offers. It will continue to give communities those tools required to essentially design their own future through a trulycollaborative approach. By exploring a range of themes, we hope that Our Peace Our Future is an opportunity toreflect, share reconciliation experience and encourage a positive direction for the next 25 years in ourpeacebuilding journey.”
Project applications close at 4pm on Friday 30th June and must be delivered by 31st May 2024.
The funding available will be as follows:
Single Organisation Projects
Up to a maximum of £10,000
Two Organisation Collaborative Projects
Up to a maximum of £15,000
Three or More Organisation Collaborative Projects
Up to a maximum of £20,000