Schoolchildren TREK in North Belfast
Published: Wed, 27 Apr 2016
A bright future lies ahead for hundreds of schoolchildren in north Belfast, who completed a special trek to promote inclusivity and diversity today (Wednesday, April, 27).
The TREK (Truth, Respect, Empathy and Kindness) initiative, supported by the Housing Executive, has seen two weeks of activity to help create a shared future in twenty one schools from all sectors in north Belfast.
Boys Model School hosted the event for students from primary and post primary, integrated, maintained and controlled schools, special education and Irish medium schools, all of whom took part in the special ‘trek’.
Today’s ramble was the culmination of a fortnight of events across each of the schools, aimed at celebrating cultural diversity and raising awareness on key issues of respect and diversity among the schoolchildren.
The TREK Initiative kicked off on Monday, April 11 with special breakfasts in each of the 21 participating schools and a range of events have been held since then, including community coffee mornings, fancy dress days, sessions for parents on celebrating difference and mini-TREKS.
Each participant in today’s walk was given a commemorative t-shirt and wristband to mark the occasion.
At the conclusion of the trek, a host of multi-cultural activities were offered, including Chinese and Bollywood dancing, Indian and Japanese art, African drumming, cultural activities from the Pakistani, Caribbean and Romanian communities and Irish music.
Belfast Boys’ Model School Principal Alan Logan said; “It is a great pleasure and privilege to have so many children from so many schools join our boys here in Belfast Boys’ Model School for our diversity day.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to bring together young people of all ages and backgrounds to take part in exciting activities which will help to bring about a better understanding and acceptance of each other.
“The experience will undoubtedly challenge the misunderstanding and indeed mistrust of ‘different’ cultures which is so often evident in our society – I’m sure this will be a very memorable and enjoyable day”.
Malachy McKinney, North Belfast Area Manager for the Housing Executive, said; “We cannot underestimate the importance of grassroots, good relations activities like TREK and The Housing Executive is very proud to have supported such a positive development.
“North Belfast is an area of great potential and given how positively the young people involved engaged with the programme, it’s clear a bright future lies ahead.”