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FCT 20110525-08 - IFI Building Bridges - Wider Horizons - Gerry Speiran FAS


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FCT 20110525-08 - IFI Building Bridges - Wider Horizons - Gerry Speiran FAS

  1. 1. IFI Wider Horizons Programme Overview of the Programme Objectives Context/Background to the development of the Wider Horizons Programme Outcomes Challenges
  2. 2. <ul><li>WHP established 1986 – one of the Funds longest running Programmes </li></ul><ul><li>very bleak time during the height of the Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’ </li></ul><ul><li>economic deprivation and political instability - violence and civil unrest </li></ul><ul><li>high unemployment, low investment and deterioration of the physical infrastructure throughout Northern Ireland and Southern Border counties </li></ul><ul><li>closure of border roads cut off cross-border trading and cross border contacts were minimal </li></ul>IFI Wider Horizons Programme Context
  3. 3. <ul><li>political activity – 1985 signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement </li></ul><ul><li>emphasis on the totality of relationships – cross-community in the North, cross-Border between North and South of Ireland, and East/West between Britain and Ireland </li></ul><ul><li>Article 10 recommended that a special fund be set up to further the economic and social development of cross-community and cross-Border relationships, especially with regard to “ those areas of both parts of Ireland which have suffered most severely from the consequences of the instability of recent years ”. </li></ul><ul><li>This was the context in which the Fund and subsequently the Wider Horizons Programme was born. </li></ul>IFI Wider Horizons Programme Context
  4. 4. IFI Wider Horizons Programme Context <ul><li>The words of the first Chair of IFI highlights the focus on promoting contact and dialogue through economic and social regeneration </li></ul><ul><li>“ Stability and prosperity are seen as prerequisites for peace and reconciliation. Nobody is so na ï ve as to suppose that money alone can buy peace; or that money could, or should be used to subvert deeply held principles or beliefs. But discord, conflict and violence flourish in conditions of economic instability and disadvantage; and contributions to ‘viable and self-sustaining growth’ may provide a foundation upon which a more peaceful and prosperous society can be built ” </li></ul><ul><li>Annual Review 1986/87 International Fund for Ireland (p.3) </li></ul>
  5. 5. IFI Wider Horizons Programme Objectives <ul><li>the fostering of mutual understanding and reconciliation </li></ul>The twin objectives of the WHP are: <ul><li>to improve the employability through training, work experience and personal development at home and abroad </li></ul>
  6. 6. IFI Wider Horizons Programme Methodology <ul><li>Cross-border, cross community – geographic links/partnerships (TDP, Springboard, Clanrye) </li></ul><ul><li>Bringing groups together for training and overseas work experience </li></ul><ul><li>While abroad the participants learn to live and work together as a united group </li></ul><ul><li>Taking young people away from their home environment, where they can be challenged by outsiders who know very little of the differences that may divide them, has been found to have a very positive impact on participants </li></ul><ul><li>Mutual understanding achieved through formal and informal methods </li></ul>
  7. 7. IFI Wider Horizons Programme Structure <ul><li>A current WHP Project typically </li></ul><ul><li>targets unemployed, disadvantaged 18–28 year olds </li></ul><ul><li>has three phases – Pre-departure, Overseas and Return phases </li></ul><ul><li>has an equal ratio of participants i.e. 7 from the Nationalist community in NI, 7 from the Unionist community in NI and 7 from the border counties or Dublin in the South of Ireland. </li></ul>
  8. 8. IFI Wider Horizons Programme S tructure <ul><li>Duration varies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>pre-departure / training phase (8 – 17 weeks) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>overseas/work experience/ study phase (1 – 10 weeks) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>return/job seeking/progression phase (2 – 6 weeks) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Various overseas destinations – Canada, Europe, USA </li></ul>
  9. 9. IFI Wider Horizons Programme Structure <ul><li>Pre-departure phase </li></ul><ul><li>accredited vocational training – specific and generic </li></ul><ul><li>mutual understanding activities – formal & informal </li></ul><ul><li>Residential – team building </li></ul><ul><li>personal development & life skills e.g. money management, drugs and alcohol awareness, first aid </li></ul><ul><li>career planning </li></ul><ul><li>meeting with overseas provider </li></ul>
  10. 10. IFI Wider Horizons Programme Structure <ul><li>Overseas phase </li></ul><ul><li>Orientation </li></ul><ul><li>Work experience placement </li></ul><ul><li>Social & cultural activities </li></ul><ul><li>Return phase </li></ul><ul><li>CV preparation / Job search / career progression </li></ul><ul><li>Complete qualifications & portfolios </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Graduation event </li></ul>
  11. 11. IFI Wider Horizons Programme Challenges <ul><li>WHP changed over the years due to challenges: </li></ul><ul><li>- changing economic climate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- changing social environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- demand for skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- cultural changes due to immigration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- operational challenges – currency fluctuations, Ash cloud, 9/11, foot & mouth, SARS </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. IFI Wider Horizons Programme Summary 2011 Activity Plan <ul><li>Budget for the WHP in 2011 is £4.22m Stg (IFI) + €1m (FÁS) + £700k (DEL) </li></ul><ul><li>TDP – 11 projects (228 participants) </li></ul><ul><li>Springboard – 10 projects (210 participants) </li></ul><ul><li>Clanrye – 4 projects (84 participants) </li></ul><ul><li>Open Access – 3 Projects Derry – Austins, DYCW & St Columb’s Park House (63 participants) </li></ul><ul><li>Open Access ‘Special Project’ Ballymena </li></ul><ul><li>Total 29 projects (up to 606 participants) in 2011 </li></ul>
  13. 13. IFI Wider Horizons Programme Results <ul><li>To date approximately 17,000 young people have completed the WHP </li></ul><ul><li>28 Wider Horizons projects plus one development project successfully completed in 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Combined progression into training & employment in 2010 was 71% </li></ul>
  14. 14. IFI Wider Horizons Programme Results <ul><li>During the 2008 Evaluation o ne participant stated </li></ul><ul><li>“ This Programme has changed my life. I would be lying in bed all day and getting up to go drinking and stone Catholics later. Now I’m involved in youth work and I love it. Some of my best friends are Catholics, and I go to places I’d never have gone before. I have great hopes for the future… before the Programme I had nothing going for me.” (p 105) </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation of the impact of Mutual Understanding interventions on participants on the IFI’s Wider Horizons Programme’ (May 2008) Deirdre Fitzpatrick & Associates </li></ul>