North Belfast Peacebuilding Group to take the stage in New York City

29 November 2017

Press Release

29th November 2017


Community Relations in Schools (CRIS) Nominated for an International Award

Community Relations in Schools (CRIS) has been shortlisted for the Intercultural Innovation Award.  The  prestigious awards ceremony will take place in New York City this evening.

The award, which comes from a partnership between the United Nations of Civilisations (UNAOC) and the BMW Group, recognises innovative, grassroots peace-building initiatives from across the globe.

More than 1,400 projects from 30 different countries have been judged by an esteemed group of jurors, made up of leading activists and peacebuilding specialists from all over the world. Tonight, the Intercultural Innovation Award will be bestowed on just ten of these organisations.

Successful awardees will receive one year of support and consulting from UNAOC and the BMW Group which will boost their respective projects significantly and increase overall effectiveness. In addition to this, winners will also receive substantial resources from both partners to help them achieve their goals and they will become members of the exclusive Intercultural Leaders group.

CRIS, which is a core-funded group of the Community Relations Council, has been shortlisted for its pioneering ‘Buddy Up’ programme. With the support of local schools, this intergenerational approach to peacebuilding has been a key driver in tackling problems associated with segregation and sectarianism amongst school children and their families in North Belfast for 20 years.

Working primarily with Holy Cross and Edenderry Nursery Schools, CRIS has been helping children and their families to break-down divisions and form long lasting friendships in an area that is disproportionately affected by the conflict in Northern Ireland.

Congratulating CRIS on this prestigious nomination, Jacqueline Irwin, Chief Executive of the Community Relations Council, said

“This is a huge honour for CRIS.  The Community Relations Council would like to congratulate the Board and staff at CRIS and all those associated with the Buddy Up programme on being nominated for this global peace-building award.   We see daily the enormous contribution CRIS make to school and family life for many children across North Belfast so it’s wonderful that their hard work is being recognised on a global stage. We wish CRIS every success and are delighted that such a worthwhile organisation is representing Northern Ireland at the awards ceremony tonight in New York .”

To watch the Intercultural Innovation Award, please visit or follow all of the action from the ceremony using #iiaward on Twitter.

Buddy Up


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