Scouting Ireland promotes Peace Program at Castle Saunderson International Scout Centre
22. April 2014 - 16:20
Castle Saunderson is an international Scout centre located on the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland. It opened in August 2012 and serves as a peace centre seeking to promote peace and bridge differences between individuals, groups and communities.
The partition of Ireland in the 1920s paved the way for a troublesome and at times violent coexistence between different social and cultural groups on the island. The latter part of the 20th century was marked by the eruption of violence and spread of extremism in Northern Ireland. The conflict, which involved cultural, historical, social and economic elements, finally gave way to a long and challenging peace process.
Castle Saunderson is situated ideally to provide a meeting point for Scouts and non-Scouts from both communities and both sides of the border to come together and through interaction increase mutual understanding and acceptance. Part of the centre’s program focuses on peace and dialogue training.
The centre’s Peace Program encourages interaction and cooperation between groups and involves different kinds of activities, such as a service project to develop the centre. The peace training includes workshops on human rights and discrimination. Participants are also introduced to the Messengers of Peace initiative and encouraged to plan and realize a community project.
The centre has also hosted many other organizations specifically involved in building peace in Ireland. These have included; a project recording a verbal history of the conflict, a cross community women’s seminar, a celebration of music from both communities and promotion of arts as a way to develop peace among disadvantaged young people to mention a few.
This project was supported by the Messengers of Peace Support Fund.