Episode 15 - Maureen Hetherington
‘If we tell people the cost of segregation, they will support greater integration’ If people are told the financial cost of segregation and service duplication, there will be much greater support for social integration, says community worker Maureen Hetherington. Maureen is director of The Junction community and peace-building centre in Derry-Londonderry and was interviewed in the latest ‘Forward Together’ podcast. “I have no doubt that integrated education is absolutely fundamental to getting people to know each other, to engage with each other,” stresses Maureen. “The difficulty there is that we don't have the integrated society. So we absolutely need to start the social housing, that has to be cross-community and it has to be mixed. We could highlight the cost of segregation. “When we get down to the bread and butter issues, the majority of people out there want the best for the children, their family, they want to keep surviving, they want a quality of life. This cost of segregation, if people realise, if we look at that and redistribute the money to where it is really needed, then I think that people would be up for a more integrated society. The majority of people do want change. They do want a better future. But it's taking that leap of faith, but also taking the steps towards that... exposing the segregation for what it is - the systems and structures that keep people separated - and finding ways of bringing them together.” Maureen believes that the other key element of integrating society is for people to live in genuinely shared communities.
Holywell Trust receives support for the Forward Together Podcast through the Media Grant Scheme and Core Funding Programme of Community Relations Council and Good Relations Core Funding Programme of Derry City and Strabane District Council.