Ulster Project

...Of Massillon/Canton, Ohio

How the Project Works

                                       
                                                                               

    Every summer, a group of Protestant and Catholic teens from the Greater Belfast area of Northern Ireland travel to Stark County, Ohio. Along with their American Host Teens, they experience an incredible month of friendship, fun, and peace-making. We plan a full schedule of social, service, spiritual and community-building activities for them.

     One day might find them at a community-building retreat. The next day, they might enjoy a day in Amish Country. They attend church together on Sundays and serve the local community at soup kitchens, working with the developmentally-disabled, and building houses for the disadvantaged. Cedar Point, a formal dance, a tour of City Hall, family cookouts, and so much more are on the schedule. We do more in four weeks than most teens do all summer!

   This is all designed to foster friendships and community. Needless to say, it's a great way to make new friendships, have new experiences, and learn peacemaking and leadership skills that will serve them for the rest of their lives.

Video - See The Good In The Ulster Project

Building Friendship

 

    The Project is all about building friendship and community between Catholics and Protestants, American and Northern Ireland teens. Toward this goal, we provide great opportunities to gather and grow together. Our teens look forward to each new day, as they enjoy many new and fun experiences. Field trips, house parties, dances, swimming, Cedar Point, camping, or just hanging out, they truly have the time of their lives.

    So many life-long friendships have been made in the Project. Our Guest Teens from Northern Ireland become part of the family. And they build new friendships across the sectarian lines that divide people in their homeland. Many have told us they never had a Protestant or Catholic friend, until they joined the Ulster Project. That's what this Project is all about - bringing people together.

Service


    In the Ulster Project, we believe peace is more than simply the absence of violence. If we want peace, we must work for justice. A more peaceful world starts with each of us, working to make our community a better place to live. Our teens devote time, each week, lending a hand to disadvantaged people in the Stark County area. We try to give our teens a variety of service experiences, from painting a home for Hammer and Nails, to spending time with developmentally-disabled children, visiting the elderly at a nursing home, serving the hungry at a soup kitchen, or doing yard work for an inner-city mission.

   Service experiences help our teens look beyond their own every-day world, and teaches them that one must become personally involved in the solution to problems, such as poverty, violence and injustice. We can't just hope for peace, we must work for it. By the way, all hours that our teens spend in the Project are usually applicable to service hour requirements at their own schools or churches.



Spirituality






  The Ulster Project is an intra-faith Christian mission for peace. Our vision is to carry out the command of Christ to become peace-makers for the world. We rely upon God's help to make our human efforts fruitful in the long run. Every Sunday, our teens pray together at a Catholic or Protestant church service, alternating between the denominations, each week. In Northern Ireland, it is rare for people to enter a church on the other side of the religious divide. For most of our Northern Ireland Guest Teens, this is a new experience. They get to see, for themselves, that Protestants and Catholics worship the same God, and that both faith groups have much more in common than they might have previously thought.