Recently, Youth Link delivered the ‘Together Building United Communities’ (TBUC) Programme which is supported by The Executive Office (TEO) and the Education Authority. The TBUC project Youth Link delivered was called ‘Agents of Transformation in a Divided Society’. It was delivered to Youth Work Partners in Belfast, Derry and Clogher Diocese. They included St Louis House, Ballysillan YFC, Derry Search, Clogher Don Oige and Clogher Diocesan Youth Council.
Initially, the groups engaged in single identity work over the summer months as they prepared to meet the other young people from community backgrounds different to themselves.
The TBUC programme has 3 distinct phases: Pre-camp phase, Camp phase and Post-camp. In the pre-camp phase participants engaged in the OCN NI Level 1 Award in Diversity and Good Relations. This involved discussions, activities and guest speakers who brought unique perspectives. At the Camp Phase the group went to Greenhill YMCA and took part in the outdoor activities but also challenged themselves with thought provoking discussion with ex-combatants, faith-leaders and some cultural workshops. During the post camp phase the young people completed the OCN NI qualification and visited Dublin/Derry to explore cultural differences and our common heritage.
The young people involved in this TBUC programme all had an amazing experience and feedback was positive. They celebrated their achievement at celebration fund day at the Eikon Centre in Lisburn on 4 March 2017.
I would recommend that all faith-based youth work organisations and Churches get involved in this TBUC programme as it is a worthwhile initiative to build united communities.
TBUC Camps 2017/18 Programme has now opened for applications. The closing date for receipt of all applications with appropriate documentation is Wednesday 19 April 2017 at 2.00pm.
Application forms and guidance notes are available from www.eani.org.uk or https://www.executiveoffice-ni.gov.uk/publications/summer-camps-programme-2017-18