By Mari Fitzduff;
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Extra resources for Beyond Violence: Conflict Resolution Process in Northern Ireland (Unu Policy Perspectives, 7)
On the other hand, community, economic, and social development work, undertaken on a cross-community basis, which provided opportunities for communities to become involved with one another on a sustained basis and which were aimed at increasingly tangible cooperation over a sustained period, were probably the most effective in achieving attitudinal and behavioural change on the part of the participants. Cultural traditions projects, which addressed the need for communities to begin to see their cultural differences as a possible source of richness, and not as a threat to each other, were also seen as useful.
Such practices limited the range of occupations available to Catholics upon leaving school. Reforms aimed at changing funding arrangements for the maintained (mainly Catholic) sector were introduced in 1992. A formula was agreed for funding which took account of social deprivation, provided 100 per cent capital funding for maintained schools, which had previously only received 85 per cent of such funding, provided extra resources for the building of more grammar school places for Catholic children, and provided for a review of the necessity to address nursery school provision, and a review of the curriculum to ensure that both Catholic and Protestant schools offered a broad and balanced curriculum.
And when the first integrated schools were set up, the Catholic Church refused to set up religious support for Catholic children attending such schools. Some of this has begun to change. Since 1990, there has been a large increase in the number of church-based organizations concentrating on community relations. The Evangelical Conference on Northern Ireland (ECONI), an evangelically based organization, undertakes substantial internal work with its congregations aimed at increasing tolerance, and was one of the first Protestant organizations to involve Sinn Fein publicly in dialogue.