The funds will be used to support organisations and initiatives with a direct impact on reducing the risk of violence at community level, see below for examples.
The funds raised will be administered through a charity, soon to be registered in Ireland and governed by a board of respected and credible trustees.
The Shamrock charity will not in itself engage directly in any projects; rather it will work through other organisations with the required experience and expertise. This will allow it to retain independence, provide support where most needed and focus on work that has the greatest impact. Funding decisions will be taken by a panel of experts appointed by the board of trustees of the Shamrock Appeal.
Examples of work that could be supported include:
Reducing gang violence in Haiti:
The Glencree Centre for Reconciliation has cooperated with Concern Worldwide in a programme in St Martin in Haiti. This succeeded in reducing gang violence through a process of inclusive dialogue, involving the private and security sectors in a Partnership for Peace and Prosperity in St Martin (3PSM). (Information from www.glencree.ie)
The first priority for reconciliation has been to deal with the anger resentment and suspicion people have in their hearts. In some instances, we used exercises to ask people what reconciliation should look like from their perspective. The more we did this, the more people were able to ask themselves very deep questions about why they did what they did to one another…These types of conversation are powerful because they are informal and let people pour out their hearts. Emmanuel Bombande, co-founder and Director of the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding, Accord Issue 23, 2012
In the southern Philippines, conflict has caused 150,000 deaths and driven millions from their homes. Kapamgogopa Incorporated works in Mindanao to bridge the divide between Christian and Muslim. One project involves placing Muslim volunteers with community organisations. This helps overcome stereotypes of Muslims within non-Muslim communities and helps the organisations reach out to Muslim communities. (Information from PeaceDirect.Org)
In the decade to 2002, Bogota’s homicide rate dropped from 80 to 28 per 100,000. This was achieved by a comprehensive approach including professionalisation of the police, neighbourhood committees, urban regeneration and firearm and alcohol control. From Llorente and Rivas 2004, in Preventing and Reducing Armed Violence, Oslo 2010
Whilst there have been great strides made in research on violence, there is much more to be done to understand its extent and the measures that can reduce or eliminate it. Academic institutions have a key role to play. An example is the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice at Queen’s University in Belfast.