Video: Building good relations through ‘twinned’ cross border neighbourhoods
Cross border neighbourhoods in Derry~Londonderry and Convoy in County Donegal have embarked on a unique ‘twinning’ process through the Housing Associations Integration Project (HAIP) and now a video has been produced to showcase HAIP and the experiences of those in the twinned neighbourhoods who have been involved so far.
Tenants from Sheriff’s Glen in Derry~Londonderry have been twinned with Ard Mhuileann in Convoy, Co. Donegal with the aim of sharing their experiences and learning more about their twinned neighbourhood.
The HAIP seeks to improve cross community relations in social housing. The project is being delivered by a partnership of four of Northern Ireland’s largest Housing Associations – Apex, Choice, Clanmil and Radius – along with TIDES Training, Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations and the Irish Council for Social Housing. It is a €1.1 million project supported by the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, which is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. Match funding for this project has been provided by the Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland.
Eilish Doherty, Apex Housing Manager, explains why the project is so unique:
This is the first time that housing associations have been brought together to work in partnership in a project throughout Northern Ireland and the border regions of the Republic of Ireland. The aim of the project is to deliver cross community and good relations work to tenants of different cultural and community backgrounds to enable them to share experiences with one another.
Rosemary Harkin, one of the tenants involved from Sheriff’s Glen, commented:
This has brought our community together. It’s enabled me to be more understanding of other people and their history and culture. I’m so looking forward to twinning with the neighbourhood in Convoy. We’re going to learn new skills and be offered new opportunities and we’ll be meeting new people to socialise. We’ve already learned so much from each other through our educational and cross community trips.
Mary Harper, a tenant from Ard Mhuileann in Convoy, Co. Donegal, said:
I have met so many new people. I have done stuff that I thought I never could do. I’m looking forward to the twinning; we’re all ordinary people at the end of the day so we’re bound to get on all together.
Ann Herron, Apex Good Relations Officer, explains how the twinning will work:
The tenants will get the opportunity to meet, to socialise, and to train together. They’re already very excited about learning about each other’s backgrounds and cultures. It’s an exciting time; and it’s great that the HAIP project gives tenants like this the opportunity to meet each other and share experiences.