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Project Children is an American-Northern Irish partnership dedicated to showing Protestant and Catholic children that they have nothing to fear and much to gain from each other. For twenty-seven years, Project Children has provided opportunities for these children to travel across the Atlantic and experience America--its values, culture and the innumerable communities where people live together in peace and cooperation.
Project Children has become a well-known national charity that brings nearly 800 children to the United States each year. The children, who are 10 - 14 years of age, stay with American host families of all backgrounds for a six-week summer holiday. They come from Catholic and Protestant communities where the Troubles have taken an especially heavy toll--Belfast, Armagh, Newry, Derry, and Strabane. Many of their parents are unemployed. Some have been killed, and others have served time in prison for participation in acts of violence or membership in extremist political groups. Project Children allows the children to step outside their daily lives and experience a summertime of relaxed fun in the United States. Project Children has no political agenda. Problems in Northern Ireland are deeply rooted in history. Nevertheless, we hope that it may be possible, one child at a time, to have some impact on the way people relate to one another. The lack of a political agenda has made it possible for Project Children to receive acceptance and support in both the Protestant and Catholic communities.
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