Muirhevna Mor community outreach programme launched in Dundalk
Local community representatives gathered at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dundalk today to celebrate the official launch of “Invictus”, a major new cross community cross border project focussing on the greater Muirhevna Mor and border areas.
Administered by Ait na Daoine and funded by the International Fund for Ireland (IFI), the 21-month project aims to increase the involvement of residents, families and young people in the development of the local community and its infrastructure, building a safer environment for those living in the area.
The €180,000 in funding provided by IFI, under its Peace Impact Programme, is being used to develop and run a comprehensive programme of initiatives designed to engage individuals of all ages in projects that will improve individual quality of life, and support the creation of a more inclusive, cohesive community.
Invictus builds on the work of a previous cross border cross community project run by the Muirhevna Mor Community Youth Project and Camlough Development Association. Recognising Muirhevna Mor’s location and the community history, the many initiatives planned in this new project include:
- Capacity building – upskilling local residents to help them become more involved with community activism and development.
- Women’s group – development of the existing women’s group, supporting cross border and cross community networking opportunities.
- Creation of a new group for younger women, focusing on personal development and employability skills.
- Stakeholders group –working with other agencies and organisations in the area to support and encourage shared learning and collaborative approaches to solving common social and economic problems relating to the area as well as providing residents with information on the services available and how they can access them.
- Youth project – providing training, workshops and one-to-one mentoring to assist young people in their personal development and skills training.
- Cross border and cross community relationship building.
- Workshops and discussions around legacy issues with people disaffected by the peace process.
Speaking at the launch of the project, Sadie Ward McDermott, Board Member of the International Fund for Ireland, said the Fund is committed to delivering real and positive transformation in communities through the Peace Impact Programme.
We are delighted to support this wide-ranging project, which aims to address the legacy of conflict, as well as current social and economic realities facing this community. In particular, Invictus aims to engage individuals in positive projects that will improve individual quality of life, and support the creation of an inclusive and cohesive community. I have no doubt that this project will leave a lasting positive legacy for the people in Muirhevna Mor and its environs. I wish everyone involved in the project success in the months ahead”.
John Connolly, Invictus project co-ordinator, stated: “Invictus means ‘undefeated’ or ‘unconquerable’ and perfectly describes the spirit we want to nurture within this community, which has been impacted in so many ways – through the conflict, as well as by social and economic problems. This project aims to ensure that the residents, families and young people of this area are supported and provided with the tools necessary to build a brighter future for themselves, and play a positive role in the development of a more inclusive and engaged community.”
Mr Connolly added: “This project demonstrates the pivotal role the IFI plays in enabling and facilitating greater cohesion and engagement within communities and between communities. On behalf of Ait na Daoine and all the organisations and groups with whom we will be working, I would like to thank the International Fund for Ireland most sincerely for their funding support, without which, we could not have undertaken this programme”.
Led by Ait na Daoine, the Invictus programme will be delivered in a collaborative way, working with organisations and individuals in the Louth and South Armagh areas. It is anticipated that the project will be complete at the end of December 2020.
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