You are here
BURC’s CONCENSUS Initiative was launched in 2009 to support the translation of project aims and objectives into real world activities, engaging the participation of local people from communities where the need is greatest, with locally defined sustainbility issues. CONCENSUS goes from strength to strength and the broad range of activity described below is an indication of the scope it provides for engagement and participation.
In the past year the CONCENSUS Initiative has worked with the Royal Artillery Association along with Active Retirement Ireland, the Parents Support Group from the Youth Justice Agency, Young People from the Youth Justice Agency, Teach na Failte with Lower Castlereach Community Group, the UDR Association in Coleraine, The Hubb, Fab Femmes Women’s Support Network for women on probation, young people from Drumarg and Mullacreevie in Armagh, Palestinian Aid and the ‘Here to Help’ womens group in Tigers Bay, through the CAFE programme. CAFE (Citizenship and Fellowship Education) is supported by the EU’s PEACE III Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.
Concensus has further worked with youth groups from the following organisations and centres. Moville Family Resource Centre, Buncrana Youth Centre, the Doorway Project in Letterkenny, Portaferry Community collective, Ramelton Summer School, a group from Rosemount, Hear 2 Help women’s group from lower North Belfast and young people from Abhaile Aris in Letterkenny a part of the COISTE network with the Hubb in North Belfast as a part of the EPIC network. There have been productions hosted by North Leitrim Womens group in Manorhamilton, Stagewrite in Strabane and through the North West Drama Festival. We have further hosted a trip to Derry/Londonderry with North Down Community assistance, a group linked with the EPIC network, with the Lithuanian Association in Comber. We have also worked with an intercultural Group in Letterkenny where migrant workers and the LGBT community have worked together on a project. All these groups have been a part of our DISC programme. DISC (Development for Inclusivity and Sustainable Communities) is supported by the EU’s PEACE III Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.
A grant from the Community Relations Council enabled the CONCENSUS Initiative to support the publication and launch of ‘The New Workers’. The activity included participants from Lithuania, Nigeria, Brazil, Poland, Liberia, Romania, Spain, Cameroon, Philippines, Ghana and Holland. The launch event had a wide diversity of individuals participating, including cross border migrants as well as members of the indigenous community in Northern Ireland.
Research on the effects of the border on the mobility of migrant workers, supported by EURES, has been an extremely informative piece of work. This activity has produced significant findings about the barriers to labour mobility and social integration that migrants face. Full findings and shall be published later in 2011.
The CONCENSUS Initiative has also worked alongside Newtownabbey Community Focus delivering a 50 week programme on shared history. This group of 30 were engaged in a broad range of topics from the earliest Irish history to modern day migrant workers.
Groups working with the CONCENSUS Initiative are facilitated through a learner-led participation based programme. The programmes enable participants to decide what they want to learn about and how to use it.
The aim of each programme is to develop community sustainability. Creating a project work outcome as a resource for the group to use supports this process. This outcome can take the form of a video , funding application, a mission statement, a plan for the group, a study visit, a publication, an exhibition, a project plan, an event or it might even take the form of a funding proposal for something more ambitious. Or, it could be something else again.
Through addressing these issues, this significant development has been achieved in developing a more inclusive society in Northern Ireland and the border counties and progress has been made on challenging sectarianism.