This week’s blog was written by PPI-NI participants, Kyle Mitchell and Caitilin Murphy.
Hi my name is Kyle Mitchell: I am sixteen years old and I have been a participant at Peaceplayers International-Northern Ireland for over two years and this year I took part in the Camp Beta Summer Camp at Ganaway Activity Centre as a Senior Leader.
Hi my name is Caitlin Murphy: I am fourteen years old and I have been a participant at Peaceplayers Northern Ireland for just over two years. This year I took part in the Camp Beta Summer Camp at Ganaway Activity Centre as a member of the Senior Girls team.
At camp, we did loads of activities such as monitoring and evaluation, basketball and community relations. Camp days were long and jam-packed but we still managed to have time for the traditional Ganaway activities: Caving, Low ropes, Archery, Zip Line and the best for last, the slip and slide.
The goal for this camp was to bring people from different communities and backgrounds together for a weekend of fun, learning and of course, basketball! Both of us met people from all sides of the city with different religions and cultural backgrounds. We have both made long lasting friends and learned a lot from some of our new friends, as well as others who we have known for longer.
Another goal was to introduce monitoring and evaluation to all the participants of Camp Beta.What is Monitoring and Evaluation?? It is a process that helps improve performance and achieve different results with a goal of improving current and future management of outputs, outcomes and impact. Julie from Washington D.C site and Laura from PeacePlayers Northern Ireland were our monitoring and evaluation coaches and they helped us understand the steps to achieve your set goal from the use of terms, outcomes and the activities.
In the Senior and Junior groups, we had to create a business plan. First, we had to set a goal. My group’s goal was to help young people gain key workforce skills and to reduce the amount of homeless people on the streets. We were going to accomplish this goal by making a cafe that hired young people and homeless people. If we wanted to do this we would need to come up with a list of outcomes or changes we would like to see and a list of activities to help us make those changes. I think monitoring and evaluation is a very good skill to teach all young people. Julie and Laura did a really good job of teaching this to all of the participants and I would like to learn more about M&E.
In the Senior Leadership group, we had a different role when it came.. We had to look at the different outcomes and goals of Peaceplayers-Northern Ireland and then see what areas we think we could gather information on. Our group, “Maud’s Ice Cream,” chose the area of community relations. We spent quite some time thinking and breaking down the different parts of the CR curriculum and developing our questions. Some of our questions were: “Do you feel more comfortable walking through Belfast?” and “What themes have you not covered that you would like to cover?” On the last day of camp, we did our activity with the younger groups and asked them questions to help us gather more information. This was a great opportunity to give us an inside look into monitoring and evaluation but also gives us a chance to help change the way CR is done at many different programmes like the Belfast interface League, Twinnings, and even next years camp!
Overall, we think camp was such an amazing opportunity. We both met many new friends and we got to see our friends from past experiences. The coaches who took a big part in this camp were really the ones that made the experience so great!. Special shout out to coach Liam, Sally, Fiona, Adam, Ryan, Laura, Julie, Ben, Joanne, Michaela, and of course Debbie and Gareth. Big thank you to all of the staff at Ganaway, to the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Members for your help, and of course to all of the other PeacePlayers participants who made our experience so memorable! Can’t wait to see you all again soon!