County Down schools commit to building peace at Ireland’s largest youth led reconciliation event.
Pupils from The High School Ballynahinch, St Coleman’s High and Sixth Form College, Assumption Grammar and St Colmcille’s High School in Crossgar were among 15 schools represented at Ireland’s largest youth-led peace event on Friday (March 29) in Derry/Londonderry where over 300 young people publicly committed themselves to building peace in their communities.
Organised by Co-operation Ireland and the Amazing the Space Steering Group and funded by The Northern Ireland Executive, the project developed from cross community work carried out by the Reverend Dr. David Latimer from the First Derry Presbyterian Church in 2013.
Amazing the Space centres around young people writing down pledges outlining what they will do to foster community relations in their everyday lives.
On Friday at the Foyle Arena the young people recommitted to their pledges and explored peacebuilding strategies in a series of workshop titled Engaging with Authority to Promote Peace, Celebrating Cultural Diversity, Using Sport to Promote Good Relations, and The Role of the Arts in Peace Building.
Speaking after Friday’s event, Amazing the Space founder Reverend Dr. David Latimer said: “This year’s Amazing the Space saw hundreds of young people with gather at the Foyle Arena to share their and perspectives on peace building and I am delighted to have been able to welcome them here to promote peace.”
Co-operation Ireland Chairman Dr Christopher Moran said; “As Chairman of Co-operation Ireland, I commend the young participants, special guests, and sponsors of Amazing the Space 2019.
“Founded by Rev. Dr. David Latimer and launched by the late Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Junior Minister Alastair Ross at the Peace Bridge in Derry/Londonderry, Amazing the Space has quickly assumed its place in Northern Ireland’s peace process.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex lent their support to opening the program in 2017 and continue to encourage young people’s engagement in local communities. Today, peace and prosperity across the Island of Ireland could not be more important, and there is no better group to imagine and shape this future than our next generation”