Meitheal Leaders from all over County Wexford were presented with their Certificates of Achievement at a ceremony in the County Hall, Carricklawn, Wexford on 25.04.17.
Minister Paul Kehoe was in attendance and congratulated the Leaders on their huge and committed role in creating a safe and secure environment for in-coming first years.
Jacinta Kitt, author and academic was the guest speaker and paid tribute to the programme for promoting well being and community and fostering leadership in young people.
Meitheal is a mentoring and anti-bullying programme which has been in Co Wexford post-primary schools for 17 years now.
Leaders are a friendly face for first years and provide invaluable support during the difficult transition phase from primary to secondary school. However it does not end there; Leaders meet with their first years on a regular basis throughout the academic year and are a trusted source of practical help and advice during that difficult first year in secondary school.
To prepare for their role Leaders attend a two day residential training programme during their summer break.
Every school has an in-school coordinator; a teacher who oversees the day to day running of the programme and offers advice and support to the Meitheal team, their support is vital to the success of the programme.
Although taking a pro-active stance regarding bullying the Meitheal leaders face numerous challenges throughout the year. Often younger students will confide in their leader with quite serious issues, the leaders have received training on what to do if such disclosures are made and in the past have acted promptly and with a maturity beyond their years.
The Meitheal Programme is operated by Wexford Local Development as part of their Education programme.