Peacebuilding Initiative “Buddy Up!” from Northern Ireland Receives the 2017 Intercultural Innovation Award
Through a school-based approach, the “Buddy Up” initiative by the organization Community Relations in Schools (CRIS), engages children, parents and families to build meaningful relationships and friendships while learning and achieving together. The project documents an alternative narrative that is being written by the families who live on either side of one of Northern Ireland’s most divided interfaces.
“We believe that schools are the ideal meeting places to grow a community of togetherness and compassion,” said Lisa Dietrich, Director of CRIS. “Our work 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.”
The Intercultural Innovation Award supports grassroots initiatives that promote intercultural dialogue and understanding, thereby contributing to peace, cultural diversity and more inclusive societies.
In addition to a financial grant, CRIS will receive support from UNAOC and the BMW Group to help their project expand and replicate in other contexts. This model of collaboration between the United Nations and the private sector creates deeper impact, as both partners provide their respective expertise to ensure the sustainable growth of each project. Assistance is customized based on the specific needs of award recipients.