The Nerdery - Overnight Website Challenge

Twin Cities 2011, March 26-27

Children's Program of Northern Ireland

Paired with

For the past 39 years, the all-volunteer U.S. and N.I. boards of the Children's Program of Northern Ireland have provided over 5000 Catholic and Protest boys and girls from Belfast and surrounding communities with an opportunity to live with a Minnesota host family for five weeks in the summer. In the early years, the program offered kids a safe haven from the "Troubles" where nightly clashes between Catholics, Protestants and British soldiers was a common occurrence resulting in death and injury.

In 1998, with the signing of the Peace Accord, CPNI realigned its mission to provide the children, the next generation of leaders in N.I., with an opportunity to work, play, and learn from each other in cross community events in their communities. This experience is strengthened during a summer stay with Minnesota host families and ongoing cross community events.

Leaders in Northern Ireland have credited CPNI with saving lives and contributing to the strength of the society that has emerged post-"Troubles."

What new functionality we are looking for

CPNI is a vibrant, kid- and family-focused organization. The current website looks like it belongs to a gentleman in a smoking jacket. Sitting in a wing-back chair. Smoking his pipe.

The website needs a fresh look to convey the focus on kids and families, and also needs to accommodate new content such as testimonials from adults in N.I. who participated in the program as kids, stories from host families and N.I. families, great pictures we have from families and a professional photographer.

We have an outline of pages we'd like to add, good text content, and lots of photos. We're organized and ready to go!

How the new functionality will help

The new website will convey the program's focus on kids and families and make an instant impression on perspective families that this is a great program with lots of good stuff happening. It will also portray the program's long history in Minnesota, and help families in MN and N.I. bond through a common place to visit and gather information.

How our organization will use the technology

Who will use the technology

Before & After Snapshots

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6 Messages from Supporters

2011-02-08 12:58:35 UTC
J. Jordan

This baby needs a face lift more than Keith Richards! As an Irish-American I'd love to help out on a project like this!

2011-02-08 17:18:35 UTC

As a host family parent for CPNI, it would be SOOOO wonderful to have an updated website with current information and updated pictures, etc. When I refer friends to look into hosting a child, they tell me the website looks like it's not even in use anymore.

2011-02-08 17:21:36 UTC

I think the website is not as welcoming as it could be - as a parent who has hosted kids from NI via the program, the forms are not as user friendly as most other websites I have used, and the organization of the site is dis-jointed - it could use some fresheneing up and reorganization and maybe newer more exciting photos or graphics to invite people in better than it is now.

2011-02-08 17:25:41 UTC

It would sure be great to get the site updated to reflect what the program is about - kids - coming to have fun in MN and hopefully going back to Belfast with a bigger view of the world and the opportunities available for change in their own communities.
The site is really pretty dated in how it looks and how it is laid out - should be more kid centered and easy to use.

2011-02-08 23:49:31 UTC

I hosted many kids, chaperones, and served on the board of CPNI for a long time in the past. I was excited that they had a website... but then again, not. It is, in a word, BOR-ING. It needs some pizzazz. It needs to make you want to bookmark it and come back again to see what's new. I see the last photos posted of kids from 2007 and think that it's too outdated for me to want to revisit it!
It also would probably not be of interest to children at all!

2011-02-17 11:00:27 UTC
Leslie Busby

I have been associated with the Children's Program of Northern Ireland for nearly 40 years. This Program has been instrumental in saving many lives and bring peace to Northern Ireland. It has broken down prejudices and educated a large section of this community to live in peace and accept each others differences. Unfortunately there are still pockets of individuals in our society that would like to return to terrorist activity a disruption but we need to continue to help and guide vunerable young people in the path of peace and understanding.

Our Mission

The Children's Program of Northern Ireland aims to develop respectful relationships between children of all traditions in Northern Ireland through cross-community activities in both their own communities and through their five-week summer visit with families in Minnesota. We strive to provide opportunity to develop understanding and respect for diversity through these relationships and promote constructive approaches to conflict resolution.