One World Festival mixes international development issues with culture and craic

Famine in Somalia is explored in an event titled From Belfast To Baidoa on Friday

NORTHERN Ireland's first global development, arts and culture festival continues this week, with a diverse programme of talks, music, poetry, film, drama, debate and storytelling.

The One World Festival brings together more than 40 events in Belfast, Derry, Armagh and Lisburn.

The festival has been organised by the Coalition of Aid and Development Agencies (CADA NI) – made up of 20 overseas humanitarian charities in Northern Ireland – to explore global issues and inspire action locally towards a just, peaceful and sustainable world.

Events so far have included Table for 10 billion, examining how to feed the world sustainably, with population growth expected to reach 10 billion by 2050, while, as more Irish people consider volunteering on aid projects in developing countries, a talk at the Accidental Theatre in Belfast's Shaftesbury Square this evening asks: Short term volunteering – Does it make a difference?

Donegal folk group The Henry Girls perform in the Sean Hollywood Arts Centre, Newry, on Friday, while on Sunday there's a World Music Jam in The American Bar in Belfast.

The festival also features discussions by Extinction Rebellion on how the climate crisis is affecting communities in the Global South, talks on veganism, reusing clothing, period poverty, and a We Are One World photo competition and exhibition organised in partnership with Belfast Exposed, Press Eye Photography and Rush Digital Printing. The competition is open to all, with a £500 prize for the winning photograph.

“The festival has grown out of a desire to stand in solidarity with communities around the world for whom injustice, poverty, hunger and inequality is still a factor of daily life," Peter Anderson, chairman of CADA NI, says.

“Increasingly, Northern Ireland is a place of diverse backgrounds and beginnings. We believe we can learn and gain so much from this diversity, something which is reflected in the festival programme."

He added: “It is a new initiative for CADA, and we hope it will become an annual event bringing people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures together to discover new perspectives.”

:: The One World Festival runs until Sunday October 27. Admission to most events is free. For more information and to reserve or purchase your tickets online visit

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