Northern Ireland is again facing a crisis the summer of 2013 has not been a pleasant one despite the glorious weather and the fantastically successful Derry City of Culture and the World Police and Fire Games.
It is to be welcomed that the ongoing difficulties of flags, parades and dealing with the past have been outed as problem issues and our politicians have put in place, through the Haass talks, a process to find a resolution. The Haass process combined with the OFMDFM Together:Building a United Community policy create the embryo of hope that we are on a journey beyond peace to reconciliation.
The voluntary and community sector has continuously taken the risks and made the sacrifices in the interests of the common good. We need to support civic society to flourish and to create opportunities for civic engagement across our segregated community, and there is no better way than through volunteering. Those organisations who took the ‘leap of faith’ to create Volunteer Now as an effective Northern Ireland infrastructure to promote and support volunteers are to be commended for their foresight and courage to embrace change.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson American poet states,
“Good thoughts are no better than good deeds, unless they be executed”