Fifth year peer mentors from Colaiste Chluain Meala, Raheen Road, this week, participated in a Meitheal Youth Leadership Programme run by Scala, the Redemptorist/Laity initiative to help support young people.
The Irish word Meitheal describes the Irish tradition where rural communities gathered together on a neighbour’s farm to help save the hay or some other crop. People saw a need locally and tried to respond practically to that need; strong friendships and respect among those involved in the Meitheal.
Through participating in Meitheal training young people learn to identify the needs in their school and to use their own initiatives and talents to respond in a practical way. After the training Meitheal teams are given responsibility in school to create better communities. They learn skills in communication, team work, planning, evaluation and how to effectively run meetings.
The Meitheal Youth Leadership programme is part of the ongoing training that Colaiste Chluain Meala views as important to support the students participating in the Peer Mentoring Programme. This programme is in place to actively support incoming first year students as they make the transition from primary to secondary school. Peer mentors, who are all current fifth year students, are chosen on the basis of being sensible and possessing good communication skills as well as having strong social and leadership skills. Mentors provide support, encouragement and friendship to incoming first years. Peer mentoring is among a range of supports offered at Colaiste Chluain Meala.