A group of young people, Transition Year students, came to Esker, June 9th to 11th, for a school leadership training course. This course is called ‘Meitheal’ and has been run by the Redmptorists in Cork for the past 22 years. The word ‘Meitheal’ was in very common usage in rural Ireland in previous generations, when neighbours would come together to help one another, in saving the hay or cutting the corn. It means a ‘Gathering’, or nowadays it could be called by the fancy name of ‘synergy’!
‘Meitheal’ offers Fourth year students a training in leadership skills so that they have the
confidence and competence to be leaders in their schools and to be pro-active in promoting Anti- Bullying, Justice and mental health initiatives. The inspiration for the course comes from the Prophet Micah who said to ‘Act Justly, love Tenderly and walk humbly with your God‘ . In the course the students focus on how the values of justice, compassion and humility can inform each activity they plan in their school. The students are introduced to Paulo Friere’s method of Planning where they See, Judge and Act. The course was piloted recently here in Esker by 14 students from Gort Community school, Holy Rosary College in Mountbelllew and Presentation Secondary School in Galway. Pictured are Aoife Horkan, Sarah Gavin, Siobhan Callander, Natalia Hyde( Scala, Cork), Pauline Harris, Clara Doran, Niamh Burke, Leah Fitzgerald, Joanne O’Halloran, Connor Cleary, Pa Cotter ( Scala, Cork), Emily Aherne, Nicola Conneely, Lizzie Harrison (Esker), Laura Hegarty, Laura Ryan, Sindel Da Silva. Missing from picture Ruth Ann Kelly.
We in Esker would really appreciate it if you would include this as a possible TY project in the coming year, as the young people involved gave up their holidays to do something important for their school. In our society we cannot underestimate the confidence it gives young people to be involved in serving others. In Esker we hope to develop other programmes which build young people’s resilience and confidence by equipping them with skills to become leaders in their schools, parishes and communities.
Thanks! Warmest Regards. Lizzie Harrison, ( Youth Co-ordinator, Esker)