Published: Wed, 25 Oct 2017
The Connected Communities one-day cross community event for older people recently took place at the Glenavon Hotel in Cookstown.
Organised by the Peace Walls Project Derry in partnership with the Housing Executive, this event involved up to 200 people from interface communities across Derry~Londonderry and Belfast.
Connected Communities provides an opportunity for older people to connect with their peers from other interface communities across the North of Ireland and share cultural backgrounds and personal stories about their areas regarding conflict, changes that have taken place over the years and what they would like to see for the future in terms of cross community interaction and peace building initiatives.
This event will also lever the benefit of bringing the seven IFI funded Peace Walls projects together, thus adding additional value to an already worthwhile activity.
Connected Communities has great potential to create open minds and curiosity and elicit thought provoking questions and reflection on personals value systems and beliefs and how these would have influenced them as an individual, a family member and community member on how they viewed the other communities during and post troubles both in their local and regional areas.
It has the potential to act as a catalyst for self-reflection and propel people taking the next step into bridging their divided communities and start to breakdown barriers to social interaction, peace building and informing and influencing the next generation.
Rachel Mullan-Carlin Peace Walls Project Derry said:
“As this was such a great event last year and well attended, we are grateful to the Housing Executive for giving us the opportunity again this year to run with this event.
"We hope that the various groups can take away positive experiences from the Connected Communities event to impart onto others.
“We also hope that this event will become an annual event which will help each group keep in contact and display the great work carried out by each of them, the older generation can disperse experience and knowledge of cross community and peace building initiatives to their families, peers and communities in a relaxed and informative manner that could affect community cohesion in terms of insightfulness and respect of other cultures.”
Deirdre Crawford, our Neighbourhood & Cohesion Manager, added:
“We are delighted to support this worthwhile event and build on last year’s success.
It’s important for these super adults from interface areas across Northern Ireland to come together, share experiences and hear how they would like to move forward.”