St. Patrick's Day is upon us! Before the festivities begin, I want to use this Feel Good Friday post to let you know about The Peace and Reconciliation Group (PRG) in Northern Ireland.
Most likely you know of the decades-long conflict between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland, commonly referred to as the Troubles. If not, you can read a very quick summary here. In 1976, the PRG was established to "build bridges and promote a peaceful and inclusive society for all in Northern Ireland."
Specifics of their work can be found on the website and primarily focus on getting people to talk to each other. In addition to providing training programs focused on "community relations, community development and conflict management", they also mediate disputes. Some of their larger projects include a training program that guides people in dealing with the past and shaping the future and another that aims to education young people on democracy and elections.
PRG also works with the police to "manage and mediate contentious situations. This includes parades, bonfires, football matches, elections and other events." They're international as well, working on projects in Africa, the Middle East and Belgium.
While they've got a waitlist of volunteers, you can help them out and stay informed by liking their Facebook page.
Now that you know there are people working for peace, you are all clear to put on a green shirt and try to convince strangers to kiss you!