2023 – Reconnecting CFPNI
Thank you to Ulster University for hosting the 2023 CFPNI Alumni Reunion!
This year’s reunion on October 7 was held in the beautiful atrium of Ulster University’s Belfast campus and featured a bountiful and beautiful wine and cheese reception that was enjoyed by all. CFP is deeply grateful to Catriona McCarthy and Suzanne Hewitt for arranging this special event.
The attendees enjoyed the opportunity to renew friendships and each received a copy of the Alumni Directory, which included profiles of alumni, some unable to attend. A special surprise were welcome letters from former U.S. Senator George Mitchell and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Anyone wishing to have an electronic copy of the Alumni Directory sent to them, please contact LindaZ@friendships4peace.org
We wish to thank John McKinney, Catriona McCarthy, June McMullin and Clare Talbot-Jones for their remarks on CFPNI and how it impacted their lives.
Thank you, too, to all those who posted CFPNI pictures on the CFPNI & CFP Alumni Facebook page. Reunion attendees enjoyed a running powerpoint slide show on multiple screens containing 140 pictures. A special thank you to Warren Muir and Lilah Graham for their contributions.
Finally, a thank you to Thomas McQuillan and TMM Productions for the reunion video which can be viewed via the button below. The 5 minute video provides some highlights of the event and ends with a tribute to the U.S. host families who made CFPNI possible.
1987 to 2007
The Children’s Friendship Project for Northern Ireland, Inc. (CFPNI) was a peace and friendship building program that fostered understanding and promoted interaction between the Catholic and Protestant teenagers of Northern Ireland, their families, and friends between 1987 and 2007.
In an effort to break the cycle of fear and mistrust, teenagers in Northern Ireland, who showed the potential to be future leaders, were selected and paired in cross-cultural teams to spend several weeks together during the summer in an American home where they could become friends in a neutral environment and could focus on their commonalities, rather than their differences.
CFPNI sponsored numerous gatherings in Northern Ireland, both before and after the summer, to build and sustain the friendships of the pairs, as well as to broaden cross-cultural contacts with other teenagers in the program, other family members, and friends. The over 2,000 teenagers who participated in the CFPNI program came from all six counties of Northern Ireland and all socioeconomic backgrounds.