Date: 06 May 2022
A special event took place in Belfast recently to mark the closure of one of the council’s PEACE IV projects, delivered by peacebuilding charity Corrymeela.
‘Belfast and the World’ was a four-year initiative that sought to engage people around the Decade of Centenaries period from 1912 to 1922. 170 residents took part drawn from communities across the city. The project was funded by the European Union’s PEACE IV programme managed by the SEUPB.
Participants attended workshops, talks and visits to locations such as Parliament Buildings, City Cemetery, Grangegorman and Glasnevin cemeteries and Arbour Hill. Engagement during the pandemic included online seminars and mailings of course materials. Speakers to the sessions included historians and academics - Eamon Phoenix, Johnston McMaster and Myrtle Hill.
Reflecting on Belfast and the World, Corrymeela’s Project Coordinator, Andy Magennis, said that looking back to look forward was key to building positive relationships between communities and within communities.
Jean Hughes, one of the course participants from Shankill Women’s Centre, said: “I now understand better through the process of looking at the past, what an important time this was in our history.”
Tom Thorpe, part of a group of Green Badge tour guides who also took part in the project, said he loved meeting with different people and hearing different perspectives.
“Hearing different people’s stories helps me understand how the issues brought up in the course affects them personally,” he said.
Rose Crozier, Interim Director of City and Neighbourhood Services, at Belfast City Council, said: “Building positive relations across Belfast is critical to developing our vision for a shared and inclusive city. This is the first project from the council’s PEACE IV Building Positive Relations theme to come to a close and we are delighted with the achievements of the project.
“By exploring history in a sensitive manner, the participants have been on journey of discovery, learning about their culture and identity. They now have a greater understanding of others, and the empathy built between the participants from different communities in the city is a great achievement. I hope the friendships established continue into the future.”
For more information on Belfast and the World, visit https://www.corrymeela.org/programmes/legacies-of-conflict/belfast-and-the-world-191821-marking-a-decade-of-anniversaries
Further information on Belfast PEACE IV can be found at www.belfastcity.gov.uk/PEACEIV