Youngstown, Ohio (WKBN) – A group of teens from Northern Ireland arrived in the Youngstown area on Monday. They are participating in a project known as the “Bridge of Peace”.
Students were working with the Salvation Army on Friday. The group was packing boxes in the pantry. Eight of them are from Northern Ireland, known for its split between Protestants and Catholics.
“I’m a Protestant, but I actually live with two Catholics. Now we’re like best friends,” said Lara Petruskina.
Petrushkina’s mother was part of the Ulster Project, which takes Northern Irish students to more than 20 cities across the United States. The idea is to unite the two countries in a conflict-free atmosphere and hopefully end the mistrust that still exists in the country.
“While the problems within Northern Ireland have calmed down, there is still infringement among our communities and without these programs we will not be able to make it happen and move forward and build together. ‘ said Bergine Campbell.
Campbell is your counselor for this trip. She also helped the group make stocking stuffers that were to be saved and distributed by the Salvation Army around Christmas. She took part in the Ulster Project a few years ago, where she cherishes what she learned.
“It defined the next ten years of my life from a leadership standpoint,” she said.
Mark Jenkins, who is also an Ulster county counselor, said the program is focused on future opportunities.
“We teach them to be future leaders, etc. So we hope they can get something out of this and it will lead to opportunities for them in the future.” I am,” he said.
Five Mahoning Valley students are also helping with the three-week project.
The Mahoning Valley Ulster Project accepted its first students from Northern Ireland in 1988. This is his 30th group of teenage students.
“In Northern Ireland it’s more reserved and people are shy about their religion. I feel more open here. You can be more honest about what you believe,” says the Northern Irishman. student Anna Magee said.
The Northern Irish teens will also support Purple Cats and the Zion Lutheran Food Bank during their visit. Additionally, a trip to the Cedar Point and Scrappers games is planned. They will also be watching the Fourth of July parade in Canfield.
https://www.wkbn.com/news/local-news/youngstown-news/project-brings-youth-from-northern-ireland-to-youngstown/ Ulster Project Brings Northern Irish Youth to Youngstown, Ohio for Bridge of Peace