Boston to Belfast Youth Empowerment Program:

"Skills for Ice, Skills for Life"

2018 Program Dates 

November 17-25, 2018

Friends Forever International partnered with the Boston-Belfast Sister Cities, the Friendship Four US college hockey tournament, and the Belfast Giants professional hockey club to create a unique opportunity for select inner-city Boston youth to travel to Belfast, Northern Ireland in November 2017. There, they participated in a pilot program designed to promote cross-cultural awareness, education, leadership development, friendship, and respect between and among inner-city youth in Boston and Belfast. Based on the success of the pilot year in 2017, we are now planning year two of the program.


Read on here for a description of the 2017 trip!


Program Information

In 2017 a volunteer associated with the Boston-Belfast Sister City Initiative was asked to organize an exchange for a group of young hockey players from Boston to travel to Northern Ireland to skate with local youth during the Friendship Four Hockey Tournament.


During the week of Thanksgiving, FFI’s first domestic team traveled to Northern Ireland for their Skill Building Phase. Team Twine Shakers spent 8 days in the Greater Belfast Area learning about the history of the region, volunteering with refugees and children, and meeting with community members from all backgrounds.

The trip was impactful not only for the Boston team but for our partners from Northern Ireland. Finally getting the chance to host groups in their community, our partners designed and facilitated workshops around identity and self-expression, showed the Boston team their neighborhoods and youth centers, and even organized a huge Thanksgiving dinner to make sure the Twine Shakers felt at home and part of the Friends Forever family. FFI is already planning our next U.S. Leadership program which will be with students from Spaulding High School in Rochester, NH.


Like other FFI programs, the Boston to Belfast Youth Empowerment Program is divided into three phases: Team Building, Skill Building, and Community Building. The primary difference will be that the Team and Community Building phases will be held in the US, while the Skill Building Phase took place in Belfast, Northern Ireland! 

Interested in helping inner-city Boston youth cultivate Skills for Ice, Skills for Life? You can donate by clicking the button below.

Belfast is one of the fasting growing cities in Europe and opportunity abounds.

Many neighborhoods in Belfast remain divided. There are more walls that separate communities now than before the Good Friday Agreement.

For more information, please contact:

Chelsea Fitton -  Senior Programs and Community Engagement Manager
Friends Forever International
Durham, NH


Tegan Kurzynowski- Programs and Community Engagement Manager

Friends Forever International

Durham, NH


Friends Forever International

One Morgan Way

Durham, NH 03824

+1.603.397.5301 |


Youth Leadership | Empowerment | Change