Over the past two weeks PeacePlayers International – Northern Ireland (PPI – NI) has been working in partnership with the 174 Trust, on the Together Stronger Programme. The project is focusing on the Carlisle Circus area of North Belfast, working with young people aged 13 – 17 for a six week accredited community-relations-through-sport programme. Following the recent interface violence at Carlisle Circus, the importance of this work is vital.
The group is made up of young people from the Shankill, New Lodge, and Oldpark areas of North Belfast. During the programme, the participants will look at issues of diversity through a sporting lens. The three days of rioting put North Belfast back into the headlines for all the wrong reasons, with society pointing the finger at young people. What people seem to overlook is the commitment that our young people have to creating a peaceful society in Northern Ireland, and that pointing the finger is not the right way to promote positive change. As one of our new International Fellows said, “The Rioting in North Belfast has shown me the importance of what we do.”
After a successful beginning, we at PPI – NI are looking forward to continuing this good work with The 174 Trust and the young people from the Carlisle Circus area.