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Portsmouth (NH) Rotary and Friends Forever receive $45,000 Grant
Launching Uganda Conflict Resolution and  Leadership Training
 
Rotary International’s District 7780 has received a $45,000 Global Grant from the Rotary Foundation to advance a new program in conflict resolution.
 
Portsmouth Rotary’s international service chair, Bob Herold, and Friends Forever executive director, Steve Martineau, made the joint announcement this week.  The program will bring young Uganda leaders to the United States for a “train the trainer” educational program, aimed at mediation and peace building in Uganda. 
 
The program is a partnership among the two Seacoast organizations, the Rotary Club of Kajjansi Uganda, and a non-governmental agency in Uganda, Youth Passionate Organization (YPO).  Friends Forever, based in Durham NH, has been an international leader in community reconciliation programs since 1986.
 
Members of YPO, a non-governmental organization in Uganda whose youth leaders will be trained under the new Rotary District Grant program in partnership with Friends Forever
 
The year-long effort will focus on a slum area of Kampala, Uganda, where youth from different tribes and regions migrate to avoid conflict and try to find peace.  The future trainers will learn, strengthen and then replicate the Friends Forever model, building relationships to further efforts of conflict resolution and peace building in Uganda.    The program is built upon Friends Forever’s successful work in Northern Ireland and in the Middle East.
 
“Youth leaders, accompanied by a representative from the Kajjansi Rotary Club, will spend three weeks in New Hampshire and Maine developing specific skills in community organizing, leadership and conflict resolution” said Martineau.  “They will then return to Uganda and work with Rotarians there to implement the program and train others to advance it.”
 
“Rotary will be partnered with YPO, and will be a catalyst for growing the program in Uganda” said Herold, who recently returned from meetings in Kampala.  “The program includes multiple community service projects, along with music and dance that will attract citizens and deliver messages of sustainable peace.”  
 
Literacy, health issues and tribal differences have been major stresses in Uganda, where nearly two million people have been displaced and tens of thousands of citizens have been killed over the last twenty years.  Programming to re-integrate youth into their communities is scarce. The trainings provided by Friends Forever are designed to lead to community strength and leadership to address local issues without dictating a specific outcome.
 
The partnership ensures fiscal accountability.   Rotary International administers its grants very strictly, and the Rotary Clubs involved assure financial stewardship.  The Rotary Foundation’s District Global Grant allocates resources given by local Rotary members and clubs, and gives YPO and Friends Forever the money they need to train some of Uganda’s future leaders.
 
“We’re excited to begin!” said Martineau, who added that the trainings in New Hampshire and Maine could get underway as soon as this May. 
 
Rotary’s District 7780 Foundation Chair Peter Johnson praised the cooperation of clubs within the district and the partnership with Friends Forever.   “This grant shows how magical Rotary is: great things happen when we work together” noted Johnson.   The District Designated funds within the grant, $15,000, were supplemented by a $5,000 lead donation from the Rotary Club of Portsmouth, along with supporting funds from the clubs of Bath Sunrise, Brunswick Coastal, Freeport, Portland and Sanford-Springvale.  Rotary District 6490 (Eastern Illinois) added funding, and the Rotary Foundation’s World Fund doubled the total to bring the grant amount to $45,250.
 
“Local Rotarians should be proud that their donations to the RI Annual Fund come back into New Hampshire and Maine to do world-wide good in such a powerful way,” said Johnson.  “This project is particularly gratifying, since Portsmouth Rotary was one of the founding organizations in the creation of Friends Forever, nearly thirty years ago.  Rotarians really do make a difference, one person at a time, and service creates new service when we partner with Clubs and NGO’s around the world.”
 
For further information:
 
Portsmouth Rotary Club, Bob Herold, International Chair
www.portsmouthrotary.org
 
Friends Forever, Steve Martineau, Executive Director, smartineau@friendsforeverusa.org
www.friendsforeverusa.org
 
 
 
Here is a link to the complete grant document on our website:
 
 
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