Teenagers involved in hate crimes to take part in new 'behaviour change' project
YOUNG teenagers who have been involved in sectarian or hate crimes are to take part in a new project aimed at helping them change their behaviour.
The On the Right Track! programme will work with 14 young people aged between 13 and 16 each year.
The cross-community project will focus on teenagers who have been involved in the youth justice system for sectarianism, hate crimes or issues at interfaces.
Led by social justice charity Extern, the project will mentor participants and get them involved group work, sport and field trips where they will speak to people from other communities and cultures.
The teenagers will also keep logs of their experiences during the programme and develop their own plans for the future.
Extern chief executive, Charlie Mack, said the charity has huge experience in working with marginalised and disadvantaged young people.
"We are trusted by families and we will be bringing a wealth of expertise to bear in supporting these young people to challenge themselves and break out of the sectarian mind-set which can have a detrimental impact on their lives," he said.
"Projects like this are needed now more than ever if we are to ensure a happy and successful future for our young people in Northern Ireland. I look forward to seeing the positive outcomes which will come from this exciting new venture in the weeks, months and years ahead."
The programme, based in Extern's offices in Belfast, has been funded under part of Belfast City Council's PEACE IV programme for three years.