Meeting with the Enemy

The Independent Christmas Charity Appeal is worth considering this Christmas:

McKittrick descibes here“……One such group is the Belfast-based Healing Through Remembering, which is supported by Peace Direct, one of the three charities in this year’s Independent Christmas Appeal.
For years it has been working quietly on the question of how to improve a society on which the Troubles inflicted emotional lacerations. It tries to do so by bringing together individuals who were, until not so long ago, deadly enemies. One of its exercises involved an IRA bomber, a man whose wife was killed by an IRA bomb, a one-time senior policeman and a former British Army officer……….
……Its latest initiative, Whatever you Say, Say Something, will over the next two years use trained facilitators to bring together individuals and groups who have had difficulty engaging in conflict issues.

Part of the group’s approach is summed up by HTR member Geraldine Smyth, who says: “Commemoration is at the heart of what makes us human. In remembering we hold dear those we have lost, and we keep faith with others. If we can remember with open hearts, we can find healing and release from pain.”

There is a double reason for supporting the work of groups such as HTR. Northern Ireland clearly needs help to cope with those 3,700 deaths, and all the wounds, physical and psychological, generated by them.
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