Next Chapter Project Manager Mirjam Bader takes a closer look at what's in store for you
It is great to see all the Chapters now firmly established and working on their Community Projects. While the themes identified by the various Chapters for their Project are mostly very different, they all have in common the need for gender equality and continued peace building. The plan is for all the Chapters to work on their project at their meetings until the end of June and then for members to get together informally over the Summer to any continue work with ad-hoc assistance from their Regional Co-ordinator.
I was also encouraged by how much the members who attended our first Peace & Reconciliation event at Stormont on 6 March seemed to enjoy meeting and networking with members of the other Chapters and the female MLAs of the Northern Ireland Assembly Women’s Caucus.
Photo: Next Chapter participants at the #BalanceforBetter event with Clare Sugden MLA
Our second REPRESENT Women's Ambassadors Forum took place on 10 May in Monaghan town and was also well attended. I really enjoyed hearing from those women involved in the negotiations for the Good Friday Agreement 21 years ago, as well some of the Chapter members about why they decided to become involved in the project.
Photo: Next Chapter participants attending the 2nd REPRESENT Women's Ambassador Forum 'Women - Champions of Peacebuilding - The Past and The Future' in Monaghan
The fourth module of the capacity building training programme, Communicating with Impact, is now well under way. This training focuses on liaising with and handling the media, including social media, and coping with unexpected situations and any associated media interest. These are all skills which are essential to anyone involved in leading in community, public or political life. We are currently hoping to secure a new training module to be run in September, October and November and you will hear about this over the Summer.
Finally, just to let you know that no Chapter meetings, training or events are planned for July and August to give everyone a well-earned break although your Regional Co-ordinators will be available for a chat or some advice when needed. Hopefully, this will ensure that everyone is refreshed and ready to start working on developing, filming and editing their Chapter’s vodcast, as well as attending the Peace & Reconciliation event to be held in the Dáil in September.
Photo: (L-R) Mirjam Bader, Next Chapter Project Manager, together with a participant from Belfast, Lisburn & Castlereagh Chapter