Mission: The Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh is dedicated to promoting mutual understanding, reconciliation between the Catholic and Protestant traditions of Northern Ireland and to assist in the economic development of Northern Ireland. The Institute fulfills its mission by providing programs which incorporate training, personal development, reconciliation and cultural exchange.
The Ireland Institute brings groups of unemployed youth from Ireland and Northern Ireland to Pittsburgh for a two-month training program and internship experience as part of the International Fund for Ireland Wider Horizons Program. The participants receive on-the-job training, personal development, exposure to American culture, and new insights into the “Troubles” of Northern Ireland through conflict resolution. Upon completion of the Pittsburgh program, participants return to Ireland, hopeful of securing employment and living in peace.
To date over 600 employers have opened their doors to help these young people understand the American work environment and gain the skills necessary to rejoin the workforce at home. The internships are non-paid and take place from Monday – Thursday. Fridays are spent at Duquesne University where participants engage in conflict resolution classes. Students live with host families who provide them with room and board as well as a support system and a window into American culture. They dive into city life, taking the bus to and from their placements and cultural events.