16 Young people from Manor House traveled to Northern Ireland to explore how young people from different backgrounds cope with conflict in an urban setting.

The project was developed in partnership with Manor House Development Trust and Young Hackney as part of The Edge Youth Hub’s EDGEucation programme, that gives young people the skills to be able to express themselves, ask questions, have difficult conversations with their peers and feel empowered to effect positive change in their communities.

Our volunteer coordinator, Carolina Aguinaga and the Edge Youth Hub team prepared the young people for the visit by running weekly workshops focusing on teamwork, capacity building and equipping the young people, aged 12 – 17, with the skills to better deal with and resolve conflict.

Upon arrival in Northern Ireland the group met young people from The Oasis Youth Club and together they participated in a series of activities including a tour of Belfast and the ‘peace walls’. This was followed by a stay in Corrymeela Community, an internationally renowned centre for peace and reconciliation, where young people from both groups shared their collective and individual experiences of living with the effects of conflict and violence.

Jessie Asideu-Boah, 13, from Manor House said:

“This week really helped me to build up my confidence. I’m really glad I came!”

Felipe Sequeira, 16 also from Manor House said:

I love the fact that everyone shared their life stories and that everyone listened to each other.

The project also aims to encourage young people to become more involved with their communities and increase their employment opportunities by completing an ASDAN accreditation linked to their participation in the project. ASDAN awards offer programmes and qualifications that provide skills needed for learning, employment and life.

In August, the Oasis group of young people from Portadown will be visiting Hackney for the second leg of the exchange.

This project was co-funded by the Manor House PACT project, Well London, Genesis Housing Association and Young Hackney.