There were two speakers at a recent Probus club meeting - Lisa Mooney, from the Building Community Resource Centre (BCRC) in Ballymoney and Christine Turner, a participant in the planed BCRC programme.
Lisa, who works with community groups throughout the local council area to develop good relations and a better understanding in our post conflict Troubles culture, outlined the first strand of the bigger programme - the ‘Key Institutions’ within the Causeway Coast and Glens wider area.
Taking part were the GAA; the Ancient Order of Hibernians; the Royal British Legion; the Ulster Covenant Society; the Apprentice Boys of Derry and Comhaltas (preserving traditional Irish music). The aim was to get these and other key elements of our community to talk about what were their specific institutions all about and listen to what other institutions held as their key values.
Getting such diverse groups together, and stay together, was no mean feat. But remarkably, this happened; trust was found and friendships made. This is clearly a programme that could be beneficially rolled out across Northern Ireland.
Christine participated in the programme organised by the BCRC that ran alongside the Key Institutions, and was centred around Civic Responsibility and Civic Courage. This culminated with members of both the programmes going, as a group of thirty delegates, who travelled earlier this year to Bosnia and Croatia to examine conflict resolution and peace building.
Christine and Lisa then presented a slide show and a short film of the overall project and trip, showing many of the people and places they visited. The group participated in workshops and other learning activities involving a visit to the Jasenovac and Gradina Death Camps. They also spoke to victims and combatants from the conflict, also visiting a Mosque, as well as Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches.