Each July, a group of 12 teens from Enniskillen (County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland) come to Cincinnati and stays with host teens and their families. The teens are half Catholic, half Protestant, half boys, half girls, and 14-15 years old. They are matched with a host family that has a teen of the same gender, age, and church tradition (either Catholic or Protestant). The idea is that they learn to appreciate and respect one another’s differences here on neutral ground.
During the month, all of the teens, both Northern Irish and American, participate daily in a variety of service projects, social activities, and discussion groups. These include things such as volunteer work at day care centers, orphanages, nursing homes, swim parties, Kings Island, water parks, canoeing, Reds games, and a weekly group where character issues and conflict resolution are discussed. (Fees for these events are paid for by the Project, not the Host Families.)
The bonds of friendship between the teens that are formed during the month are often long-lasting and provide an invaluable insight into another culture for many of the teens.
Hosting applications are available here.