Protestant and Catholic teenagers from Belfast, Northern Ireland, visited Metairie recently during a trip to the Gulf Coast region organized by the Friends Forever organization.

Friends Forever brought the 10 teenagers and two adult leaders to the United States for a two-week retreat allowing them to build bonds of trust and friendship in a neutral environment.

Rotarians provide about 95 percent of the financing for Friends Forever.

Members of the Metairie Rotary Club housed the teenagers during their visit.

Upon returning to Ireland, the teens will remain in the program for a year and have follow-up activities planned with their families and neighbors for continuing the strides toward peace and tolerance.

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