Lyn Moffett, Ballymoney Community Resource Centre’s Coordinator, is one of a group of 14 people who have recently returned from an AMBIT study tour of the USA, where she visited Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington.
This AMBIT study visit programme was initiated by the US State Department’s Belfast Consulate to bring leaders from Not for Profit organisations in Northern Ireland to the USA to enrich their experience and development.
The Programme is funded by the International Fund for Ireland. Partner organisations are the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA) and the Community Relations Council.
The group visited over 30 organisations and individuals active and successful in influencing the public policy debate. Some of these organisations had a strong advocacy and policy focus but others were inspirational grass roots projects designed to make a difference in some of the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods in the US.
One particularly exciting project working with young boys in Washington was called Life Pieces To Masterpieces. There, a small team of staff and volunteers provided opportunities to discover and activate the innate and creative abilities of the members to change life challenges into possibilities.
As well as literacy and numeracy, staff used artistic media to help the young people deal with trauma and promote self-esteem.