We are nine students from Duke University spending a summer in Northern Ireland. We are partnering with Belfast-based NGOs that focus on human rights in the context of “The Troubles,” an ethno-political conflict between the Protestant and Catholic populations. The groups with which we work are fostering human rights culture, working to lessen sectarian division, implementing stronger human rights reporting and protections, and working at the grassroots level to address how the violent past can be acknowledged and used as a way to construct a more peaceful future. Our program runs from March 17- July 14, 2012.
Feel free to contact this blog’s moderator, Nicole Daniels, with any questions at email@example.com.
Learn more about our adventures by scrolling over our names above!
Centre for Health and Wellbeing/Women’s Support Network- Nicole Daniels and Jaclyn Dobies
The Centre for Health and Wellbeing is a stress clinic emphasizing holistic therapies. The Women’s Support Network is an umbrella organization and policy group that represents both Protestant and Catholic women’s groups.
At the Centre for Health and Wellbeing, Nicole and Jaclyn are working at the stress clinic, attending therapy education classes, and working with youth groups. At Women’s Support Network, they are contributing to WSN publications and developing a pilot program to link women’s groups in the U.S. and Northern Ireland.
Ex Prisoners Interpretative Centre- Nick Prey and Erin Tuckman
EPIC is a Loyalist NGO that is interested in having students continue to develop a virtual tour of the Shankill and also assist in the development of the Maze (Long Kesh) prison, now being developed as a memory site and post conflict reconciliation center.
Nick and Erin are helping with the project to convert the former prison known as the Maze to a “site of conscience.” They are also continuing to develop the Shankill website and Facebook pages and organize a Tourism forum for Shankill residents.
Healing through Remembering- Beth Blackwood
HTR represents a consortium of groups and individuals committed to finding non-violent ways to deal with “The Troubles.” Its dozens of members include representatives from Republican and Loyalist backgrounds, churches, individuals, other NGOs, academics, journalists, victims groups and former political prisoners, among others.
Beth is assisting HTR on adding to their Troubles database, which includes information about contemporary incidents of sectarian violence. She is also working on the “Everyday Objects” project.
Intercomm- Evan Shea
Intercomm was founded in 1995 as a direct response to grassroots community concerns about inter-community conflict and social deprivation in north Belfast. Through a diverse range of programmes they aim to assist in combating the social, economic and political problems created by 30 years of conflict and help construct a concrete and viable peace. They also learn from, and assist in, other conflict transformation processes worldwide, using local knowledge and expertise.
Evan is helping Intercomm create an assessment model to evaluate the learning and impact of Intercomm. This includes suggestions and recommendations to improve community relations work.
Lisburn PSP- Chris Cusack and Leslie Hillman
The Lisburn PSP is a Loyalist NGO that was set up in 1996 as an offshoot of Loyalist Prisoner Aid. Over the years it has supported hundreds of former Loyalist prisoners and their families from across Northern Ireland, including South Down and North Armagh. It is the only Loyalist NGO to have taken a serious interest in the development of social economy structures.
Chris and Leslie are documenting the history of Lisburn Prisoner Support Project from the time the group formed until the present. They are helping organize a family fun day on June 3 and other community activities. Chris and Leslie are also writing articles and taking photographs.
WAVE Trauma Center- Mattie Goldman
WAVE Trauma Center is a cross-community NGO (and HTR/WSN member) that works with people who have been affected by political violence, either through the loss of a loved one, injury or the trauma of living through political violence. Mattie is assisting the WAVE director in creating content for their newsletter. They are pulling together a 21st anniversary edition, and Mattie is interviewing past participants for their stories. She will also write articles and take photographs.