See other features

Pioneer Artist E.S. Paxson
Butte, Montana: Ireland's Fifth Province
Cool Water Hula by the Berkeley Pit
Basking in the Boulder Batholith
Meanderthals: Flatwater Paddling in Montana

Help from a Couple Dozen Irish Lads
by George Everett

(photo by Eddie McManus)

Butte was built in large measure by Irish hands and, for three weeks in May thanks to Project Children, Irish hands have been busy helping to update that effort.



Project Children is a program that takes Irish children and young adults out of their daily environment of fear and violence and puts them in a more peaceful place thousands of miles away. There, regardless of religion, or other complicating differences they are given tasks that help the local community at the same time they foster cooperation and trust between the participants.

They work hard at the projects assigned to them but they also get a chance to socialize with fellows from their country they may otherwise never meet. At the same time, they learn more about the places where they work by staying with host families.

Habitat for Humanity has a partnership with Project Children that brings young adults who are learning construction trades in Ireland to work together on projects in the United States.
Butte, and, in particular, Habitat for Humanity of Southwest Montana has received the benefit of this year's group who provided great help by bringing their skills and labor of two dozen visiting participants in Project Children. For the second year in a row, the two programs have teamed for their mutual benefit.
(photo by Eddie McManus)
This year, two dozen young men from various backgrounds in Ireland have had the opportunity to see Butte up close and stay with local host families in exchange for using their construction skills to benefit housing projects in Butte.
On the other hand, Butte has received the better end of the deal, benefitting from the fruits of their labor for three weeks. During that time, the lads, most with training in the trades in Ireland, have built a garden wall in the Central Butte Neighborhood, painted a home, and helped to blitz a new Habitat home on the West Side.
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