Extract from a case study produced with the Special European Projects Body (SEUPB), 2019.
Peace Bytes is delivering a cross-community and cross-border based project that will utilise tech and traditional youth work methodologies to reach out and engage young people in a programme of learning focusing on good relations, personal development and citizenship. The project will target young people aged 14-24 years from areas which have high levels of deprivation and who are influenced by paramilitaries and religious identity. It will build and embed the capacity of these marginalised young people as leaders, advocates and peace builders for cross-community and cross-border reconciliation in and between local communities in Newtownabbey, Derry/Londonderry and East Inishowen in Donegal.
‘I first started Peace Bytes back in July 2018 when the programme became available in the area. I gained 3 OCN qualifications and learned various things to do with my community, what backgrounds and religions there was and also what different organisations are within my community.
After the programme finished, I got the chance to come into Peace Bytes in Derry-Londonderry and volunteer setting up different computers, iPads etc. I really began to see how young people can be who they want to be as well as making changes within their local community.
The programme has allowed me to increase my skills in technology, digital media and helped me gain self-confidence that will hopefully allow me to pass on my experience to other young people.’
Peace Bytes Participant, Derry-Londonderry
Using the Bytes Project’s unique digital approach, along with traditional youth work methodologies, Peace Bytes is working closely with long-standing community-based project partners in Newtownabbey and Moville in order to target, recruit and retain young people aged between 14 and 24. Participants will experience cultural interaction and exchange with members of different communities and have the opportunity to earn a minimum of 3 OCN qualifications. They will be supported throughout by dedicated youth workers, on a 1-to-1 basis if necessary, helping to provide better prospects and encouraging them to take a more active role in society.
‘Peace Bytes is a vital initiative that will bring the Bytes Project’s two decades of experience to communities across Northern Ireland and the border. Through empowering and engaging with marginalised young people, we hope to foster new cross-community ties and help future leaders flourish. I personally am very excited about the ongoing opportunities that Peace Bytes will bring about for the communities we work with.’
Roger Warnock, Director, The Bytes Project
To view this case study in downloadable PDF form click here.