Celebrating International Day of Peace by Having a Voice

This week’s blog comes from PeacePlayers International-Northern Ireland (PPI-NI) participant, Nora Sullivan. She tells us about her experience and involvement in the Northern Ireland Executive’s ‘Together: Building a United Community’ Engagement Forum.” 

My name is Nora Sullivan, I am 16 years old and from North Belfast. I am a participant and Champion4Peace at PeacePlayers Northern Ireland. On September 20th, I was given the opportunity to attend “Together: Building United Communities” Engagement Forum (T:BUC), which was centered around the importance of children and young people in peace-building. The event examined approaches and initiatives that involve bringing young people together from different communities in order to bridge divides.

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Nora winning ‘camper of the week’ at PPI-NI’s second annual basketball camp earlier this year in July.

At the event, we evaluated previous peacebuilding initiatives in Northern Ireland and discussed more strategies of how we can make our separated communities a united one through young people. I was interested in attending this event as I felt it was important young people have the opportunity to express their views and ideas on the topic that affect our lives in various ways. Following the event, I gained more knowledge and understanding about the goals of improving community relations, and ways to go about it. After seeing survey results carried out about how people feel the relationship between Catholics and Protestants has improved and hearing stories of others experiences who attended cross-community camps, I feel the experience was a worthwhile one.

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Nora with her fellow Champions4Peace (from left) Shauna, Connor and Liam at the T:BUC Engagement Forum this week.

PeacePlayers has taught me to look beyond anyone’s religion, and to accept anyone and everyone into society because even though it may not seem like it, we all have similarities and can all get along.

Happy ‘International Day of Peace’!

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Nora with her North Belfast teammates at Jingle Ball 2015

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