Saturday, June 30, 2007
As the school year at Hazelwood has come to a close, my time working with those particular children has ended until the last week in July, during which I'll be helping out with the Hazelwood summer scheme. The purpose of the summer scheme is to prevent the students from getting mixed up in confrontations or fights, ultimately stemming from the conflict, since they're not preoccupied with their studies during the summer holiday. Until then, I'll be volunteering for the first three weeks of July at a different organization within North Belfast that also works with the youth community afflicted by the post-conflict aftermath. I presume that this work will be much more difficult than my work at Hazelwood, as these children will not necessarily come from homes in which the parents promote integration and peace. Furthermore, I'll also be volunteering on Wednesday nights at a Catholic youth group that provides hope and inspiration for youths susceptible to depression and suicide within the city. This is a reaction to the suicide crisis that has arisen throughout Northern Ireland, to which I referred in earlier posts. This second phase of my internship will begin on Monday, July 1st, and will run until the end of my internship. I was fortunate enough to run into these Catholic youthworkers while walking into the heart of the city with local girl my age, also volunteering to work with children in interface communities, who I met on the bus to Galway City. We were walking with some of her friends to the Belfast Festival, and tonight I'm going to see fireworks with a few of her friends I've met from Zimbabwe. The group is comprised of Baha'i teenagers who do cross-community work in East Belfast.