1. What is this programme about?

Open Doors” is a new regional initiative, which aims to build relationships between the ex-prisoner / former combatant community, and other groups and sectors across the region.

 

Over this period, OPEN DOORS project will build a path towards a normalised society, which accepts the past and recognises the important contribution that ex-prisoners/ former combatants can make to a peaceful society. It will encourage members of the ex-prisoner / former combatant community to participate in a range of activities which:

  • Promote re-integration with other sections in the community
  • Connect with the services established to provide for those impacted by the legacy of conflict
  • Take a positive role in the healing of community divisions and the future development of our society

Achieving these goals will be a significant step for peace-building across the region, and will have sustainable benefits across society, both for the ex-prisoner / former combatant community and for those seeking healing for victims and survivors of the conflict.

 

2. What organisations are involved in the project?

The project was developed by Co-operation Ireland following a 2-year period of engagement with a range of groups representing the ex-prisoner and former combatant community. The other partners involved in the project are the Ex-Prisoners Interpretative Centre, Charter NI, Teach Na Failte and the Plough Historical and Cultural Group.

 

3. Who is funding the Programme?

The Open Doors Initiative is supported with funding from the supported by the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). Further information on the Peace IV Programme can be found by clicking the following link: https://www.seupb.eu/piv-overview

 

4. How much funding has the project been awarded?

The total grant awarded to the project is €1,666, 045.31. Payment of the grant is dependent upon the fulfilment of a number of pre-conditions approved the Peace IV Steering Committee, and subsequently on the fulfilment of the project targets and objectives. Failure to meet these conditions, targets and objectives can result in either a reduction in the grant award or the withdrawal of the entire grant.

 

5. What work has been done to date?

The project began on 01st April 2018 and is due to end of 30 September 2021. The partners were required to submit a workplan to the Special EU Programmes Body detailing the work which the partnership would deliver over the lifespan of the project.  To date, the partners have only begun to recruit staff and therefore only very limited activity has taken place. 

 

6. How will the project be managed and monitored?

The Open Doors Partnership has developed a project management structure which requires Co-operation Ireland, as the Lead Partner, to monitor and review the operation of the project regularly. This review process also includes the verification of all project expenditure.

 

Activity levels and project expenditure is further monitored by staff from the Special EU Programmes Body on a quarterly basis.


7. 
Is this simply paying paramilitaries to go away?

The core objectives of PEACE IV are to support actions that  develop and deepen reconciliation between divided communities; increase tolerance and respect, promote increased community cohesion and contact, enhance cross-border cooperation and address the legacy of the past.

The specific objectives of the call under which Open Doors is funded aims to “promote positive relations, characterised by respect, and where cultural diversity is celebrated and people can live, learn and socialise together, free from prejudice, hate and intolerance.”

 

This objective supports those particularly impacted by the legacy of the conflict, such as victims and survivors,  as well as those identifiable groups dealing with specific legacy issues such as young and older people, women, the faith community, ex-prisoners, displaced persons and former members of the security forces.

8. Where can I find out more about the project?

Enquiries about the Open Doors project should initially be sent directly to Co-operation Ireland either by telephone on 02890 321462 or by sending an email to [email protected]