LINCS is a Consortium consisting of Northern Ireland Alternatives (Alternatives); Community Restorative Justice Ireland (CRJI) and NIACRO with Northern Ireland Alternatives acting as the lead body. LINCS is a citywide grassroots project which aims to deliver regular, meaningful and purposeful cross-community and good relations activities designed to foster inclusion between Protestants, Catholics and ethnic minorities/newcomers.
The Consortium believes that the capacities of host and ethnic minorities are mutually inclusive and must be considered as key determinants to successful integration. Therefore our methodology is based on a continuum of key engagement stages and face-to-face activities all of which are underpinned by restorative practices:
- Advisory Forums
- Civic engagement programmes
- Bespoke and Accredited training
- Volunteering opportunities
- Intercultural programmes
- Shared Learning Seminars
LINCS encapsulates the vested interests of all participants as co-guarantors of creating safe, tolerant and inclusive spaces conducive to consolidating peace and reconciliation.
Our methodology is based on a continuum of key engagement stages and face-to-face activities:
Strategic Advisory Forum and Neighbourhood Participatory Forums
The Consortium will recruit a total of 20 stakeholders from across the 4 localities who in turn will form a Strategic Advisory Forum that will advise, consult and support the delivery of the Project. We will also recruit a core group of at least 20 participants (80+ in total) from each locality who will form a Neighbourhood Participatory Forum (NPF – 4 in total). Each NPF will help to develop a localised Neighbourhood Action Plan (NAP) of high intensity programmes, training and events which add value and support to the current Belfast City Council initiatives such as: the Migrant Forum; Cultural Orientation Programme; Diverse City Programme.
Dialogue Civic Engagements / Training and Active Citizenship
Each NPF will develop a localised Neighbourhood Action Plan of regular, meaningful and purposeful cross-community and good relations activities designed to foster inclusion between Protestants, Catholics and ethnic minorities/newcomers. Dialogue civic engagements will include themes: confidence building; communication and listening skills; host communities’ orientation; NI context; codification photography. Bespoke and accredited training will include: Hate Crime Awareness; Migration Awareness; Prejudice & Discrimination; Diversity and Tolerance; Mediation & Conflict Skills; Restorative Practices; social media misuse. Active citizenship engagements will include: Generative Themes / Good Neighbour; intergenerational volunteering opportunities, practical skills and befriending. All of the aforementioned will help to alleviate community tensions, suspicions and reduce isolation.
Intercultural programmes will be a natural and fluid progression from the activities outlined above which will have laid the foundation for creating safe, open spaces where cultural identity and cultural diversity can be explored and celebrated. Each locality will engage in at least 6 intercultural programmes (24+ in total). We will provide for exciting innovative engagements which include: cross-community & cross-cultural visits; bonfires, flags and emblems; horticultural schemes; non-threatening arts-based music, language and crafts to express culture; Show Your Peace events; cookery and ‘Dine With Me’ events; Reframing the Negatives migration photographic exhibition.
Shared Learning Seminars
Each NPF will take the lead to organise and host a Shared Learning Seminar (4 in total) with support from the Project Co-ordinator and SAF. Each thematic seminar will represent an invaluable opportunity to showcase the journey and progression of participants and the LINCS Project itself.