Friends Forever International
Based in Durham, NH, Friends Forever is an independent 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that utilizes a grass roots approach to help those from sectarian and conflict-prone regions of the world build lasting friendships across cultural, religious, and political divides. Serving as a liaison between U. S. and international communities, Friends Forever allows people of all backgrounds to participate first hand in the international peace process.
Since its founding in 1986 by Rotarian Bob Raiche, Friends Forever has worked with over 1,400 youth leaders from Northern Ireland, Israel and Uganda. As part of our yearlong leadership program, Friends Forever brings groups of youth, age 15-17, from conflicting cultures to U.S. communities in New England, the Gulf Coast and the Midwest, for a two week training referred to as the Skill Building Phase. The Skill Building Phase is designed to take participants out of their comfort zones and encourage them to lean on each other for support. Abandoning their cell phones, the group eats, lives, and travels together as a single unit for the entire two weeks. The Skill Building Phase is focused around 5 key components: Strengthening Communication, Broadening Perspective, Practicing Empathy, Identifying Resilience and Achieving Impact.
Each activity during the Skill Building Phase is aimed at preparing our students for their work at home. Once back in their home countries, each group is required to complete a "Social Action Project" during the program's Community Building Phase. The Social Action Project is designed to address a need in their community and continue the Friends Forever mission while engaging their families, friends, and entire communities in the process
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