This resource outlines the work that has been taking place between two pioneering North Belfast schools – Holy Cross Nursery School (HCNS) and Edenderry Nursery School (ENS), in partnership with CRIS for more than a decade. Through a process of ‘plan, do, review’ the three organisations have designed ‘Buddy Up!’ – the cornerstone of their Community Relations programme.
HCNS, ENS and CRIS have developed a system which actively engages children, school staff, parents and carers from two proximate school communities in meaningful cross-community Community Relations work. ‘Buddy Up!’ builds the confidence of the individuals involved; encourages creative working; strengthens inter-personal skills; extends the school curriculum; humanises ‘the other’; and actively promotes peace-building by reducing fear and mistrust. It is also relatively inexpensive and straightforward to run but most importantly of all, it is life-giving, fosters hope and is fun for everyone involved!
The ‘Buddy Up!’ methodology (which has been leveraged to create an accessible school resource) has been rolled out across a number of school partnerships in Northern Ireland and is currently cited as good practice with in the Government Strategy “Together: Building a United Community” (T:BUC 2013).
To order a full copy of the resource or to discuss how your school community might utilise it, please contact the CRIS office on the contact details provided.