Friends Forever

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Friends Forever brings together Protestant and Catholic youth from Northern Ireland -- young people who have been taught from birth to hate one another -- and teaches them just how much they really have in common.  

Friends Forever started right here in District 7780 as a Portsmouth Club project.  It was initially conceived by Rotarian Bob Raiche, and has now grown to include involvement of Rotary Clubs throughout northern New England. The program is a year-long comprehensive training program that begins with a two-week team-building "Life Raft" course in New England. The key to our success is the involvement of communities in these programs. 

The New England module includes ropes courses, hiking, public speaking, technology sessions, local high school visits, community service and family nights. Friends Forever teaches these young people what you can't learn in a classroom -- that everyone is the same on the inside. Respect, understanding and compassion are the cornerstones of what these teens take back with them.

Our Life Raft retreat quickly erodes the learned fear and mistrust of past generations with shared memories of laughter and friendship that can never be taken away. All Friends Forever programs employ core team-building components that promote mutual respect, positive self-expression, and peaceful conflict resolution.