Volunteers from Ballymoney and Moyle areas are wanted to feature in a new book about the children of mixed marriages.
The paperback, backed by a publication grant from The Big Lottery Fund, will give at least ten individuals the chance to tell – in their own words – of their experiences as the children of couples that put love before tribal allegiances.
The book, with the working title “Both Sides Now”, is being produced by the Northern Ireland Mixed Marriage Association (NIMMA) and is a sequel to a book about mixed marriage couples that came out two year ago.
NIMMA Chairman Ken Dunn said: “We urgently want volunteers to get in touch to complete a project that will, hopefully, reinforce the message of reconciliation that our first book ‘Mixed Emotions’ is already bringing to secondary school pupils in the Province.
“There is a constant demand for information about both the logistics of mixed marriage and the actual experience itself from prospective couples, the press, the churches and community groups and the children of such unions have an important story to tell.
“Experience has shown us that our young people, in particular, are keen to know more about mixed marriage, how things have changed over the years and how compromise and accommodation within such relationships are like a blueprint for a shared future”.
This month NIMMA, a registered charity and Ireland’s only provider of support for couples and information about mixed marriage, celebrates its 40th.
Ken Dunn said: “There is still much to be done to create a situation where an organisation like NIMMA is no longer needed and the new book, like its predecessor, an be a catalyst for debate and discussion about what for so long has been a taboo subject.
“‘Both Sides Now’ will be designed specifically to highlight the mixed marriage experience in Northern Ireland from the ‘mixed’ child’s perspective, encourage more people to talk about it and tolerate it.
“It will be about increasing awareness through publicity and an educational programme involving local schools, and promoting inclusiveness.
“We recognise that the people who contribute will need to show real courage to take part, but it is courage that will inspire others to see the acceptance of mixed marriage as a reflection of a healthy society.
“We see the resulting book as entertaining, as well as educational, and our target audience includes just about everyone in these islands”.
Anyone interested in being considered for the paperback should contact NIMMA on Belfast 02890 235444 or firstname.lastname@example.org