RCITY is an abbreviation for Communities Integrated Through Youth … Young people at the heart of building bridges between two communities in North Belfast divided by interfaces and religion.
In 2013 the project was formed by Alan Waite (Shankill) & Thomas Turley (Ardoyne) after initial conversations around the idea of a programme making a real difference in the lives of the participants as well as the communities they live.
RCITY project is built upon a ethos of respect, regardless of religious or cultural background. The project encourages the participants to be proud of their communities culture but in the same context respect that of others while doing so.
Three core themes are embedded through out the project learning process , 1- Leadership & skill base 2- Employment & education 3- positive youth.
Each year the programme starts with a five day camp were the young people participate in numerous workshops designed to enhance relationships, explore personal development, encourage self awareness and create an opportunity for young people to step out of their comfort zones in a safe environment.
After the process of the camp, the groups then meets weekly in alternative locations either sides of the peace lines where the participants engage in facilitated sessions with the core themes implemented throughout. Positive community events , charity fundraisers , social action projects are also among the yearly calendar which are designed and delivered by the participants themselves.
RCITY project has a progression for participants from year 1 , year 2, volunteer development programme to then staff team making the process 3-4 years long choice for the young people involved.
RCITY project also has an international element attached to the programme which is the Belfast 2 Blanco project. This programme allows a set number of participants to work on a year long process over and above their RCITY sessions on focused workshops preparing them as team for a two week international trip to South Africa. See more on this programme on www.belfast2blanco.com