Catholic and Protestant teens from Portadown share stories of American exchange – Armagh I

Deputy Mayor, Councilman Kyle Savage with the current group of teens from Ulster Project Delaware – also included is Councilwoman Julie Flaherty (right)

Deputy Mayor, Cllr Kyle Savage, was delighted to attend an evening of inspiration and enlightenment at Millennium Court on Tuesday 9th July, where he was introduced to a fantastic group of young people from Ulster Project Delaware.

In this exchange project, a group of 18 Catholic and Protestant teenagers from the Portadown region visit Delaware (United States) for a month. The following year, they receive their American friends.

This project started in 1976 and its core objectives are leadership, service and peace.

During the month of July, Northern Irish teenagers are hosted by American families with teenagers of the same age and gender, and participate in daily activities ranging from day trips to Washington DC and Hershey Park to family picnics, multicultural services and volunteer activities.

During the evening, the deputy mayor was pleased to meet participants from the past and present.

Martin Donnelly, who participated in 1982, joked that he met his wife Catherine on the project and that the friendship he built with his American host, Tom Higley, remains as strong today.

Catherine added that her hostess, Mrs Sweeney, had visited her in Portadown only a few weeks ago.

Given his background as a farmer, Mr Savage was curious to hear how American teenager Safiya Houston had visited a local farm and learned how to drive a tractor, milk cows and even show cows that had won the Balmoral Show!

This project improves the lives of our youth and their families, it encourages cultural respect and cooperation, which can only be good for future generations.

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