Posted by Liam O'Kennedy November 30, 2012 10:00 AM
The following was submitted by Friends Forever:
Bob Raiche of Danvers was nominated by a congressional leader of Massachusetts for a Nobel Peace Prize for his role in founding Friends Forever in 1986.
The first Nobel Peace Prize was given in 1901 to its first recipient Henry Dunant, founder of the Red Cross. The Noble Peace Prize continues to award innovative work in the areas of advocacy of human rights, arms control, and mediation of international conflicts.
Raiche believed there was a need for a program like Friends Forever after reading the countless newspaper articles covering the conflict in Northern Ireland. His discoveries led him to develop the innovative Life Raft Formula that is the foundation of Friends Forever’s work. “If you really want to know someone, take the seat next to him or her in a life raft,” said Bob.
Friends Forever’s first group, comprised of 5 Catholic and 5 Protestant young men from Northern Ireland, traveled to the New Hampshire seacoast in the fall of 1986. The organization has since then expanded to Israel to work with Arab and Jewish youth, and has applied its simple, yet innovative group work theory to more than 1,000 youth around the world.
Based in Portsmouth, NH, Friends Forever’s mission is to promote trust, empathy, and friendships among cultures in conflict by working with international and local youth leaders. Serving as a liaison between U.S and international communities, Friends Forever allows people of all backgrounds to participate first hand in the international peace process.
On October 12, 2012 the Nobel Committee awarded The European Union with the Nobel Peace Prize for its decades of work dedicated to reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe, and the advancement of peace. While Bob Raiche did not receive the award the organization regards its founder’s nomination as a great honor. “It is great to recognize the impact that Bob has had on generations of youth around the world,” says Steve Martineau, Executive Director of Friends Forever.
Raiche continues to inspire and is a visionary member of the organization’s Board of Directors, volunteering regularly with the youth.
For more information regarding Friends Forever, please visit their website, www.friendsforeverusa.org, or contact Chelsea Fitton, Communications Director at 603.433.7607.