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Connect 4 - The Whistle Project

Name of Project: Connect 4
Lead Partner: The Whistle Project, Derry/Londonderry
Grant Awarded: £39,476

This intergenerational project was a collaborative, cross community/interface and cross border initiative that allowed participants to explore their own and each other’s heritage, culture and identity. A partnership was created between 4 organisations - The Whistle Project, Londonderry YMCA, Irish Street Community Centre and Inishowen Development Partnership, targeting 40 marginalised young people, 10 from each community representing both Catholic and Protestant communities.

Four shared learning workshops were facilitated by ex-prisoners from both sides of the community allowing young people to explore their past together, develop an understanding and respect for their own culture, and learn firsthand of the knowledge and life experiences from the ex-prisoners regarding the “Troubles”. The young people took part in six team building activities, essential in providing a safe environment for addressing difference and promoting diversity.

The young people also had an opportunity to study the Easter Rising and World War 1. They researched soldiers from their own communities, as well as surrounding areas, who fought in WWI and died at the battlefields in the Somme. A trip to Messines in Belgium gave them an opportunity to further explore war graves, discovering where local soldiers were buried, walking the trenches and experiencing first-hand what it would be like to have fought in the war, and the impact the war had on Belgium, through interpretative re-enactments. A number of educational trips closer to home saw the young people visiting the Belfast Murals, the Garden of Remembrance and the historical sites of the Easter Rising in Dublin.

This project has positively educated young peopled in dealing with past and improving their capacity to address sectarianism and racism within their respective communities. The 40 young people have become peer leaders, imparting positive influences within their respective communities around issues of respecting other cultures, religions and appreciating a peaceful and shared future.

The Legacy Celebration Events Programme is a project supported by the European Union's PEACE III Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body and delivered by the North West PEACE III Partnership of Derry City Council, Omagh District Council, and Strabane District Council.

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