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Know Norn Iron

An old Chinese Proverb attributed to Confucius says “Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.” This is the concept of change we hope to secure through this project. In a modern Northern Ireland we still see a divided education system in place 100 years later, and no agreement around understanding the past let alone teaching it. The project aims to distil the collective knowledge of experts and academics with the lived experience of local people to help ‘new’ audiences better understand Northern Ireland.

Confucius said it as far back as 500 B.C.: “Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.” Confidence has been defined as the belief that you can succeed at something and a sense of self assuredness. Knowledge is a key confidence builder; it allows one to feel a sense of accomplishment, to be more fearless, and to grow in unexpected ways. This confidence and self assuredness in turn sparks motivation and optimism—or hope as Confucius says— to work towards peace.

We as a Chinese community have a unique place in Northern Ireland. We have been here and called it home for over hall of the country’s lifetime, yet we can still bring a fresh set of eyes and ears to the questions that still divide people and defy answers. In a divided eduction system we feel there is a need for learning materials that both main communities can adopt and use.

Our concept is that as an ethnic minority outside the traditional unionist nationalist blocs we can be an honest broker dealing in the truth of the past. We were not here for the difficult birth of Northern Ireland, and we have not taken sides in the conflicts that followed. We have always been fair minded in our dealings with both main communities and worked through the darkest days to provide support and services to both communities we lived and worked in. 

We hope that this position has allowed us to hear both sides, and to value both traditions and now with the help of experts, academics and those with lived experience we believe we are best placed to produce education and

interpretative information on the history and legacy of Northern Ireland which will teach us all in a way that produces confidence, hope and ultimately peace. 

Learning Zone

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Catch up on all the latest project news and the wider events and activities being supported by the Shared History Fund to mark Northern Ireland’s Centenary.

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