We are very pleased to have partnered with Belfast Interface Project as part of their Past and Present project.
‘Over the period 2013 / 2014 Belfast Interface Project secured funding from N.I. Community Relations Council to deliver a program entitled ‘Past and Present’ which would involve a number of workshops / discussions to local communities in Belfast. These dialogue sessions would explore their experiences in reconciliation and dealing with the past. This project brought a lot of people but particularly victims and survivors together to experience a post conflict journey within themselves. It was a very emotional and inspirational set of episodes for many people. Although extremely difficult it is a journey that many in our society still need to make together. We feel participants on the program and in the discussion groups got a sense of how difficult the journey of reconciliation can be but also how necessary it is for our society to move forward. We feel this piece of work was greatly enhanced by the input from Jo Berry and Pat Magee and the ’Building Bridges for Peace’ initiative and the story of their personal road to reconciliation was the inspiration for many of the discussions. We would also hope that we can work with them again in the future to develop other ideas and opportunities on peacebuilding in our communities.’
In Northern Ireland we have been speaking together for the last 12 years to victim/survivors groups, ex combatants and cross community groups and schools. We are now embarking on a 3 year project and are partnering with excellent grassroot organisations already working in this area.
Pat and Jo share their story and deliver workshpops in schools, (Catholic, Protestant and integrated) cross community groups, victim/survivors groups, ex prisoners groups and churches. There is still much sectarianism, fear and hatred as a legacy from the violent conflict. Our work facilitates different stories being heard from all sides and create a safe space for discussion which allows understanding to grow. We create opportunities for interaction and discussion of issues relating to conflict and division.