International Fund for Ireland chairman, Paddy Harte , front left, is pictured along with board members
The International Fund for Ireland has pledged €2,805,315 to provide further intervention and support for marginalised communities.
The latest funding allocation will support 23 projects in their peace and reconciliation work across the southern border counties and Northern Ireland.
A significant proportion of funding will focus on the Fund’s Personal Youth Development Programme (PYDP). Launched in 2015, the programme works with 16-25 year olds who have faced a range of complex issues including; poor mental health, substance abuse, homelessness, difficult family backgrounds and been in or close to the criminal justice system.
Commenting on the latest funding package, IFI chairman, Paddy Harte said: “The IFI’s work is more relevant than ever. The continued lack of political leadership alongside an increase in hard line opinions on Brexit and dissident activity means that many communities feel more isolated and entrenched with little support on the ground to deliver positive outcomes.
“The IFI is delivering interventions and prepared to go where other agencies cannot to offer better pathways for engagement and growth. Our PYDP programme in particular is like no other youth initiative. It is tailored to the individual, develops much needed life skills, instils confidence and prepares young people for positive life choices and employment.”
The IFI’s Personal Youth Development Programme has engaged with over 1800 young people with 3278 accreditations received, 528 progressing into education and training with 390 securing employment.
North West Alcohol Forum based in Letterkenny has received €63,506 for its Donegal Reach project, working with 14-16 year olds across Donegal affected by parental alcohol or other drug use. It aims to build up young people’s self-esteem, promote positive relationships, help them to become more resilient and improve their future prospects.
Mr Harte adds: “Young people today face more challenges than ever and they often feel that society has let them down.
“Growing tensions within communities alongside high levels of social and economic deprivation all work hand in hand to spur on those opposed to the Peace Process who continue to try and radicalise young people through paramilitary recruitment.
“We will continue to engage with those who have benefited little from the Good Friday Agreement and help young people to transform and become positive role models within their local communities.”
The chairman took the opportunity to thank the international donors to the Fund - the European Union and the Governments of the United States of America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand - for their support.
Further information about all the beneficiaries from the International Fund for Ireland’s latest funding package is available here: www.internationalfundforireland.com or Twitter @FundforIreland
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