OUR Generation marked its official closure event on Thursday 25th May 2023.
Children and young people, staff, and funders, all came together to celebrate the project at La Mon Hotel & Country Club.
OUR Generation Project Manager, Carol Scullion, welcomed attendees and introduced the event, which was attended by over 220 people, and also saw the official release of the OUR Generation Project Impact Report.
A mural created by members of North Belfast Area Project (NBAP) and East Belfast Area Project (EBAP) with Blaze FX, facilitated by project workers from lead partner Action Mental Health, was created and unveiled, especially for the event.
Over the past three years, OUR Generation has collaborated with existing community–based initiatives to offer accessible, age-appropriate prevention, early intervention and recovery activities. The project has also supported meaningful cross-border relationships and built on the good relations focus of the Urban Villages Initiative. OUR Generation has now reached over 48,000 children, young people and the adults who support them and will run until 29th Sept 2023.
Reflecting on the importance of the OUR Generation project, DRCD Minster Joe O Brien TD, said: “I would like to congratulate all those involved in the design, delivery and successful implementation of the “OUR Generation” project which was funded under the EU PEACE IV Programme, led by Action Mental Health, in partnership with Donegal Youth Service, Co-Operation Ireland, Youth Action NI, Youth Work Ireland, Play Board and Ulster University.
“I am delighted that my Department of Rural and Community Development was able to provide funding and support for this very important and meaningful project, and that it has fulfilled its aims to build positive relations and emotional resilience in communities impacted by four decades of the Troubles.
“We are dedicated to creating a shared and bright future for everybody, and this project encouraged greater levels of cross-community and cross border contact and intercultural awareness, which will help to build a more peaceful and cohesive society for future generations.”
Pupils from St. Joseph’s College
Elmgrove Primary School pupils
Denis McMahon, Permanent Secretary in the Executive Office, congratulated everyone involved in the OUR Generation project, commenting: “The Executive Office is delighted to have been involved in the delivery of this fantastic programme through the Urban Villages Initiative. OUR Generation has built on and supported local Urban Villages projects, strengthening community-based services and enabling communities to tackle post-conflict peace building and mental health issues. It has encouraged greater levels of cross-community contact and intercultural awareness, which will help to build a more peaceful and cohesive society. Thank you to everyone involved.”
Gina McIntyre, Chief Executive of the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), said:
“The future of this region will be shaped by our greatest asset, our children and young people. The OUR Generation project is a shining beacon of how best practice can support future generations to be agents of change and contribute to a lasting peace.
“Each of us has a responsibility to ensure children and young people grow up in an environment where good mental health and wellbeing is central to their lives. This PEACE IV project is helping to create unique opportunities to build resilience and halt the impact of intergenerational trauma, which is a consequence of our shared history.”