While great progress has been made as a result of the peace process, the legacies of conflict – deep social divisions and poverty – remain. Through programmes like FAST we're helping Northern Ireland's children reach their full potential.
- 110,000 children — more than 1 in 4 — live in poverty
- Nearly 1 in 10 live in severe poverty
- We’re determined to hold the government to its pledge to end child poverty by 2020.
In areas like Ballymurphy ward in Belfast the outlook for children is bleak.
More than 80% of people have no or low educational qualifications. Long-term unemployment is 45%.
The areas that experienced the worst of the conflict in Northern Ireland are also those with the highest levels of deprivation and poverty.
Consequently, more than 1 in 4 children are living in severe poverty, more than twice the average in the UK.
What we’ve achieved
As the above video shows our FAST programme is starting to make a real difference.
We began with two FAST projects in St Bernadette’s primary school in Ballymurphy followed by one in nearby Black Mountain primary.
“In just eight weeks,” reported Black Mountain principal Billy Macauley, “FAST achieved what the formal education system had failed to deliver for our parents in their school life — a feeling of self-worth and recognition that they can be masters of their own destiny.”