‘Buddy Up!’ Wins Place in Top 3 for Innovative Peacebuilding at Prestigious International Awards

‘Buddy Up!’ Wins Place in Top 3 for Innovative Peacebuilding at Prestigious International Awards

About Buddy Up:

The ‘Buddy Up!’ initiative engages children, parents and families to build meaningful relationships and friendships while learning and achieving together. ‘Buddy Up!’ uses an intergenerational engagement model to promote shared activities for ‘buddies’ (pupils) and their families who- despite living on either side of one of Northern Ireland’s most divided interfaces- wish to support ‘everyday peacebuilding.’ It is an alternative story of life along interfaces in North Belfast.

Quote from Lisa Dietrich, CRIS Director

“We believe that schools are the ideal meeting places to grow a community of togetherness and compassion,” said Lisa Dietrich, Director of Community Relations in Schools (CRIS). “Our partnership with Holy Cross Nursery School, in Ardoyne and Edenderry Nursery School, in the Shankill is already creating the conditions for the removal of barriers. We hope we can expand this work further in North Belfast by engaging more families and share this model across Northern Ireland with the support of the Intercultural Innovation Award.

Congratulating CRIS and partners on this prestigious nomination, Jacqueline Irwin, Chief Executive of the Community Relations Council, said:

“This is a huge honour for all partners of the Buddy Up! Programme. The Community Relations Council would like to congratulate the Board and staff at CRIS and all those associated with the Buddy Up! programme at Edenderry and Holy Cross Nursery School on being nominated for this global peace-building award.   We see daily the enormous contribution Buddy Up! makes to school and family life for many children across North Belfast so it’s wonderful that this important work being recognised on a global stage.”

CRIS is grateful to all its funders who help support this important and worthwhile peacebuilding programme. Primary project funders for ‘Buddy Up!’ are the Community Relations Council (CRC), the Irish Government’s Fund for Reconciliation administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFA), and the Shared Education Signature Project (SESP).