Friends Forever International - Europe

Friends Forever International empowers leaders to connect, strengthen, and serve communities around the globe by combining their passion to make the world a better place with the skills, experiences, and resources required to do so. ​FFI’s vision is that every individual is supported to change their lives, their communities, and the world. ​FFI's goal is that every person who desires, regardless of ethnicity, religion, and socio-economic status, will have the opportunity to build their leadership skills beyond what they imagined possible before participating in the programme. These leaders will transform the way that they see the world and realise that they can change the world for the better.

The first delegation of FFI leaders, made up of Catholic and Protestant young men from Northern Ireland, travelled to New Hampshire in 1986. For many years, FFI was engaged primarily in the practice of intergroup contact theory. More recently, FFI has evolved its understanding of conflict transformation beyond the status quo of traditional conflict resolution programmes that are focused on large scale geopolitical issues, personalities, and themes into one that emphasises individual leadership and community-level action. We have grown from a grassroots group of volunteers to a global organisation with campuses and leadership programmes on three continents.

FFI currently works with leaders in Belfast, Northern Ireland, for the bulk of our Europe/UK Programme. Since 1986, we have worked with over 1,000 participants from across Northern Ireland. We actively recruit organisations and individuals to have the most significant impact in the short and long term. In recognition of shifting needs, we now work with BAME, immigrant, and other populations.

FFI has pioneered adult programmes in Northern Ireland, adult teams are highly diverse in background and topic, including a group of Belfast mothers, a team focusing on shared goals.


The mission of our European branch is as follows:

  • To re-engage the over 1,500 graduates of our Northern Ireland programme with our current programmes and volunteer opportunities across the region. Our Alumni Movement is geared toward reconnecting alumni, providing mentoring to younger FFI participants, and leveraging their personal and professional skills to lead service projects both large and small that unite all Northern Irish communities (gender, ethnicity, age, religion, etc.).​
  • To continue our innovative programmes in the communities we currently work with and target new ones that can benefit from our work.​
  • To raise our profile and create opportunities for individuals, foundations, and businesses interested in a stable Northern Ireland to support our mission.


In April 2019, Friends Forever Europe officially purchased the FFI Center at Annalong in Northern Ireland, operated by Friends Forever International (FFI). In between Belfast and Dublin and at the base of the gorgeous Mourne Mountains yet on the sea, it’s a perfect location for us to continue to provide leadership development programmes and partner with like-minded organisations around the globe.


Friends Forever International is an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organisation that believes we can all help build a better world by empowering our most underutilised asset: youth. FFI works with communities around the globe to build the leadership abilities of their youth from diverse backgrounds to tackle local and global issues. 
Although FFI started as a youth programme, it became apparent over recent years that a broader-based approach was necessary to achieve our mission. We exist to build passionate, skilled, and empathic leaders who will become vital resources and be part of a global network committed to solving the biggest challenges in their communities. FFI develops multi-year programmes that impact everyone, from kids, youth, adults to seniors in their 70s and 80s. 


Click to view Our Programmes

FFI offers rigorous leadership programmes for individuals and groups in the United States and internationally. We currently work with middle and high school students, senior citizens, professional leadership groups, civic organisations, faith-based organisations, universities, and more. Every programme emphasises elements of team building, leadership development, cultural appreciation, healthy living, and creativity, and the arts. 

Our flexible programmes are highly tailored to meet the specific needs and goals of the participants. Our curriculum has evolved to offer virtual, hybrid, and in-person programming. Applications for our programmes are accepted on a rolling basis and can be started at any time. We encourage everyone to apply regardless of ethnicity, religion, and socio-economic status.


Click to view Our Philosophy & Curriculum

These values guide our programmes and philosophy for curriculum development.


Click to view Who we work with

FFI develops multi-year programmes that impact people, from kids, young people, adults to seniors in their 70s and 80s. We exist to build passionate, skilled, and empathic leaders who will become vital resources and be part of a global network committed to solving the biggest challenges in their communities. Our participants are the vehicle for creating social justice and positive change around the world. Many happen to be youth and working with youth is a higher return on investment, but we are not solely a youth programme. 


Click to Watch & Hear Our Stories

The videos we post will include interviews with our young leaders, group leaders and community members as well as informational videos, interviews, speeches and more.


Click to Meet the FFI Staff & Team

FFI is driven by passionate team members including our staff, board of directors, advisory board and senior volunteers.

FFI has a unique network of community partners that include civic organisations, neighbours, CEOs, family-owned businesses, and local activists. Whether it’s sharing real-world expertise, personal passions, or unique opportunities, connecting our participants and community partners has a reciprocal impact. Together, they practice empathy, share life experiences, and develop lasting friendships.


Click to view our FFI Alumni Movement

Alumni engagement has been a core component of FFI’s success over the last several years. Alumni focus on leading workshops, activities, and guiding participants on their journey. Because of their global perspective, programme experience, ongoing training, and passion for FFI, they are uniquely qualified to help participants navigate the programme.



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Friends Forever International - Europe's Venues

Annalong Conference, Office, and Meeting Rooms

Friends Forever International - Europe

10 Cornmill Quay
Marine Park
BT34 4RH
United Kingdom

Venue Type:
  • Room hire

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NI Charity Number



  • Stephen Martineau