Friends Forever International currently works with adolescents from the Arava, Haifa, and greater Nazareth regions. Each year, teams travel to the United States for the two-week Skill Building Phase of the program. Each delegation is comprised of five Jewish Israeli youth and five Arab Palestinian Israeli youth, an adult educator from each community, and one US-based Program Coordinator.
The program provides the opportunity for the young people to connect with each other in an environment free from the usual pressure of home, while closely interacting with residents of their host communities. The intense two weeks in the US forges bonds among the participants but also empowers the students to realize that friendship is possible with anyone from a different culture, religion, or ethnicity.
The students return home for their Community Building Phase and hold a minimum of eight meetings, which are monitored for impact throughout the year. FFI alumni play a key role in making the recurring group sessions a success.
“We realized we all like to eat the same food, we all like the same games, and we all want peace.”
- Ammar, Middle East program