The East Belfast Good relations Programme brings together young people from the Short Strand, the Markets and Ravenhill Road area. Through peer-to-peer learning, young people from neighbouring Protestant and Catholic communities learn about the ‘other’ and address the issues which impact their lives. Through the programme they have the opportunity to visit each other’s communities, participate in away from home experiences and work together on a social engagement project.
Whilst on the programme young people from all communities have been working together, towards a final social engagement project, providing them with the opportunity to design an event bringing together all sections of their communities, including a diverse age range and mix of religious backgrounds.
Young people have also helped those form the ’other’ community to learn about their area through a series of community tours in each area. Young people have taken a lead in identifying areas of their community that hold significance to them. By making these spaces more accessible to the ‘other’ communities this will help open them up to those who would previously have felt they were inaccessible to the ‘their’ community.
The programme focuses on reconnecting young people to their communities. Whilst on the programme they have the opportunity to meet local decision makers in their areas and find out how they as young people can have a say in decisions made, which affect them and their community.