Cross-community farm based projects in Northern Ireland bring young people from both traditions together to remove prejudices and raise awareness of ecological needs.

The Peace People were founded in the 1976 by Maireád Corrigan Maguire, Betty Williams and Ciaran McKeown as a protest movement in response to the Troubles.

This work now includes Kilcranny House and farm in the Coleraine countryside, where young people from different communities come together for weekends while working on the farm. It is a practical way of giving peace a chance to spread, says volunteer Donna Breen,

This is an alternative way to work for peace.

The farm work in particular lends itself to cooperation and learning on many levels, and the experience of picking vegetables for meals, renovating the house and participating in tasks to ensure the farm runs smoothly fosters interactions and conversations which might never happen otherwise.

Donna Breen believes a neutral location and a relaxed atmosphere away from daily life also encourages people to open up.

They're free to say what they like, and that quite often for certain groups is an important aspect.

For the majority of young people, a cross-community weekend in Kilcranny House has a positive impact, says youth leader Wilson Freeburn,

They realise that the differences are really very minimal.

Unfortunately due to lack of funding in this area there is no follow-up programme with the team at Kilcranny House and as a result these weekends are once-off events. In the absence of support it is inevitable that many of the young people will slide back into their old perceptions and patterns of thinking.

Growing up in a community which does not actively work towards reconciliation means the odds are not in these teenagers' favour maintains Wilson Freeburn,

It's very very difficult to break out of that strict environment of paramilitary influence.

The attraction of the paramilitaries for young people is particularly apparent in Belfast, where unemployment and badly designed housing have created a great deal of restlessness among the young.

Farset City Farm has been created from wasteland between the nationalist Moyard and the unionist Springfield communities and provides an alternative to the streets for some young people.

An enterprise which is fully supported by all local communities, the government-sponsored projects here provide young people with skills to work in market gardening, grounds maintenance and local authority parks services. The ethos of Farset City Farm means everyone is included. As Ray McIlwaine points out,

The unemployed doesn't have any church, everyone suffers from unemployment.

'Waging Peace’ broadcast on 25 November 1986. The narrator is Doireann Ní Bhriain.