The Rotary Club of Slidell was privileged to host alumni from Friends Forever International at a luncheon at Pinewood Country Club on Friday, April 14, 2023.  This was the first year since the start of COVID that the group has been able to visit the U.S.  Club members from the morning club (Rotary Club of  Slidell Northshore) and several guests also attended.
Friends Forever International (FFI) was founded by New Hampshire Rotarian Bob Raiche in 1986 to bring together teens (ages 15-17) from areas of conflict for a two week, 24/7 retreat in the US, a neutral environment, to build bonds of trust and friendship away from the prejudices and pressures that they experience at home.  Our group of alumni were all past participants in the program and are still fully involved in its mission of "World Peace - Grown Locally".  They demonstrated the confidence and leadership skills that they had learned through the program and spoke to us of the impact they are having in their own countries.  They were all quite inspiring.
FFI Alumni are, from left to right:  Matthew - Maine; Jess - Northern Ireland; Abraham - Uganda; Dima - Palestine; Robyn - Northern Ireland; Hadas - Israel; Steph - Northern Ireland; Diamondo - Cyprus; and sponsor Karen Babin.  Matthew and Jess are leaders of the group.