Human Rights, Climate and Arts in spotlight with new All-Island Funding

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Human Rights, Climate and Arts in spotlight with new All-Island Funding

17 Feb 2023

Cross Border Civil Society Partnerships receive Grants 

All-Island civil society partnerships combatting the far right, promoting human rights, boosting climate action and improving access to the arts are among those receiving new supports from the All-Island Fund.

Sixteen partnerships are benefiting from grants from the fund which has been operated by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland in conjunction with the Community Foundation Ireland over the past two years.

Each involves civil society organisations on both sides of the border coming together to tackle social, environmental as well as rights issues which impact on people across the island.

This is the second round of grants supported by private donors. It brings total support issued to community and charitable groups to almost £535,000 (£150,000 in this round).

Partnerships will be focusing on a broad range of issues.

  • A new manual on climate justice will increase awareness on both sides of the border. While ending damage caused by ‘extractivism’ including mining is the aim of a partnership between Friends of the Earth and An Taisce.
  • On migrant rights ambassadors of sanctuary are being appointed to promote integration in schools and colleges. Uplift Ireland and Act Now are working together to establish methods for monitoring the rise of the far right across the island. Preventing gender based violence is the focus of a continuing project by the Sexual Exploitation Research Programme and Belfast and Lisburn Women’s Aid.
  • Improved services for children with long term illnesses and their families is the focus of work by Children’s Heartbeat Trust (NI) and the Children in Hospital Ireland (ROI). Ensuring better outcomes through early intervention in young lives will be promoted by those working with children in the North-East and in Northern Ireland.
  • Breaking down the barriers for women and girls to careers in engineering will see relevant skills promoted in primary schools on a cross border basis by experts in Limerick and Derry.
  • Creative exchanges are the focus of a relationship between arts organisations.
  • Leading human rights campaigners on both parts of the island are working together to ensure all laws are compliant as well as examining policing reforms and policies. LGBTQ campaigners close to securing an All-Island ban on conversion therapy will bring a wider focus to their cooperation.

Announcing the second round of grants, Róisín Wood, Chief Executive of the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland said:  

“There is no doubt that we are dealing with a wide range of serious and indeed very topical issues that respect neither border nor jurisdiction. Finding solutions and sharing knowledge is important to our island, our future, our rights, entitlements, and the environment we live in.

“The cross-border work between these groups has been exemplary. The need for a strong, independent civil society, ensuring that those involved, including those directly impacted or with lived experience, have a voice that can reach right up to the highest level is so important.

“Seeing the benefit of this work over the past two years has been uplifting. Twenty-five years on from the Good Friday Agreement, the reality of all island collaboration, making changes that benefit all of the people who share this island, is something that we are delighted to be supporting.”

Denise Charlton, Chief Executive of Community Foundation Ireland added: 

“A quarter of a century since the Good Friday Agreement it is important to ensure that we have a strong civil society which has an all-island focus. It is a reality that the challenges facing society do not end at the border. Climate change does not end at Dundalk, human trafficking does not stop at Newry. The voices of the far right are getting louder – whether you are in Kerry or Derry.

“Meeting these and many other challenges requires a perspective which goes beyond one jurisdiction. Community workers, advocates and campaigners bring that perspective. For two-years we have been working to promote and strengthen those voices and we are now proud to be taking the next step.” ends


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