Rural Community Network (who are core funded by the Community Relations Council) are delivering a new project working across rural Northern Ireland called 100 Years of Change – Rural Shared History Programme.
The project, which is part of the Shared History Fund, will help groups mark the Centenary in a thoughtful, inclusive and engaging way.
The project programme includes a digital storytelling, archive and media project; 3 shared history courses; and will work directly with rural practitioners and volunteers at a grass roots level. The project runs until March 2022.
Martin McDonald MBE, Chair of Community Relations Council, said:
“The Community Relations Council has invested in the Rural Community Network through our Core Fund programme over many years. During that time CRC has supported the Rural Community Network to build the capacity of rural communities to develop and sustain better community relationships. We congratulate the staff and Board of Rural Community Network on the launch of this new and exciting project .”
The Principles For Ethical Remembering have been a key consideration for this project.
Martin continued: “It is pleasing to see another example of the Principles For Ethical Remembering that CRC developed with The National Lottery Heritage Fund put to practical use in the community. The principles ask us to start from the historical facts; recognise the implications and consequences of what happened; understand that different perceptions and interpretations exist; show how events and activities can deepen understanding of the period; and all to be seen in the context of an inclusive and accepting society. The training and dialogue programme in this project will engage rural communities across the region and help them embed these valuable principles into everyday life.”
RCN is an organisation that has since its inception sought to build understanding, to get beyond rhetoric and to explore differences.
Kate Clifford, Director Rural Community Network, said:
“RCN is an organisation steeped in difficult, challenging and very rewarding peacebuilding work. Over our lifetime this organisation has sought to build understanding, to get beyond rhetoric and to explore with those who are different from ourselves. In all we have done, we hold close the principles of community development that our organisation was founded upon. We have approached the Decade of Centenaries work with a strong sense of exploration and learning from the past and an ambition to build a more peaceful future for all of the people we work alongside.”
RCN have worked within Ethical and Shared remembering guidelines to develop a programme of work through the Shared History Fund. This investment will directly aid those living in rural communities to develop new skill and encounter different perspectives on the history.
Mukesh Sharma, Chair, Northern Ireland, The National Lottery Heritage Fund said:
“We are delighted to support Rural Community Network through the Shared History Fund, a programme we are delivering to help a wide range of groups mark the Centenary of Northern Ireland in a thoughtful, inclusive and engaging way.”
Find out more about 100 Years of Change – Rural Shared History Programme