Peace III Investing In Our Future Priority Launched

Investing in Our Future Priority LaunchThursday 22 April 2010

Over 100 representatives from Youth organisations from across the  Southern Cluster (Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon and Newry and Mourne Council areas) attended the official launch of the EU funded PEACE lll ‘Investing in Our Future’ priority at the Edenmore Golf and Country Club.

The Investing in Our Future Priority is one of seven priorities managed by the PEACE lll Southern Partnership, across the council areas of Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon and Newry and Mourne. It also links in with Louth and Monaghan. Craigavon Borough Council is the lead partner for the Investing in Our Future Priority.

All seven of the priorities are being funded by the EU Programmes for Peace and Reconciliation (PEACE lll) under ‘Theme 1.1 Building Positive Relations at the Local Level’ as part of its ‘Beyond Tolerance’ strategy.

Mayor of Craigavon, Cllr Meta Crozier began the evening by welcoming everyone to the Launch and talking about the programmes that will take place over the course of the ‘Investing in Our Future’ priority.

Joint Chair of the Southern Partnership, Charlie Casey spoke about the importance of young people in our society and how through Investing in Our Future young people can have the opportunity to help move towards a shared future. He said that “through the Investing in Our Future priority it is hoped that relationships can be built, both on an intergenerational and community basis”.

Welcoming the initiative Howard Keery, Director of the Joint Secretariat at the SEUPB, said: “I believe that it is a highly innovative project which will play a significant part in helping to change attitudes and tackle some of the root causes of sectarianism and racism. In challenging the inherited prejudices that have divided our community for decades, it will help to transform it, creating a new and more peaceful society. Young people lie at the heart of this transformation and it is of vital importance that we foster within them an understanding and respect of people from different backgrounds and cultures.”

The Investing in Our Future Programme will focus its work with young people and also on an intergenerational basis. It will involve four programmes, A Consortia programme, a Training and Development Programme, A Creative Young People’s and A Creative Art/Drama programme.

These programmes will involve building relationships within communities and between communities, addressing sectarianism and racism and working in interface areas across the Southern cluster. It will be delivered through the medium of training programmes, workshops, art activities, sports activities and residentials.

Any individuals or groups who wish to learn more about the Investing in Our Future priority should contact Emma O’Carroll on 028 3831 2492.

Notes to Editor

The Special EU Programmes Body is the managing authority for the European Union’s Peace lll Programme

The Peace lll Southern Partnership incorporates the councils of Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon and Newry and Mourne. It also includes cross border links with Louth and Monaghan.

SEUPB

• The Special EU Programmes Body is a North/South Implementation Body sponsored by the Department of Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland and the Department of Finance in Ireland. It is responsible for managing two EU structural funds Programmes PEACE III and INTERREG IVA designed to enhance cross-border co-operation, promote reconciliation and create a more peaceful and prosperous society. The programmes operate within a clearly defined area including Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland and in the case of INTERREG IVA, Western Scotland.

• The PEACE III Programme is worth €333 million and is aimed primarily at reinforcing progress towards a peaceful and stable society and promoting reconciliation. It focuses on helping Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland to reconcile communities and contribute towards a shared society.

• For more information on the SEUPB please visit www.seupb.eu