At the first event of the CAN PEACE III Leading Ladies programme for 2014, more than 70 women from across the boroughs of Carrickfergus, Antrim and Newtownabbey came together to hear inspirational speakers at an event held recently in Newtownabbey.
Funded by the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation (PEACE III) and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body, the Leading Ladies programme aims to inspire local women through engagement with influential female speakers on a range of topics.
Speakers at the March event included Irene McMahon, Former Director of Overseas Missionary Fellowship in Ireland and Rev Liz Hughes, Minister of Whitehouse Presbyterian Church. Both women shared their experiences on building positive relations both locally and internationally.
Irene McMahon urged those attending to be open to learning and encouraged curiosity about other cultures. She pointed out the importance of empathy and communication. Rev Hughes, whose church was destroyed in an arson attack in 2002, highlighted the importance of listening to others and persevering, and concluded that: “Reconciliation is a process; it isn’t easy, but it is possible.” Both leading ladies spoke of overcoming adversity, earning respect, communicating, and exemplified the results of continuing to build bridges.
Concluding the event, Councillor Noreen McClelland, Vice Chair of the CAN PEACE III Partnership commented: “At the CAN PEACE III partnership we are delighted to have secured the funding to continue this exciting programme of events. They are challenging and encouraging and I look forward to the remaining events in the programme.”
A further three Leading Ladies events will take place this year. For information contact Vanessa Postle, Peace III Project Officer, on 028 9034 0196 or email firstname.lastname@example.org