Over 200 young people across the diocese, have been selected to undertake the Meitheal Youth Leadership Training programme over the coming months in preparation for the academic year 2010/2011.
What is Meitheal?
Meitheal is a leadership programme which operates in 20 secondary schools in the Kildare and Leighlin diocese. The students, leaders and others educate each other through leadership, taking action, liturgy, reflection and evaluation which helps to build up strong friendships and respect among the people involved.
This training programme covers the areas of personal development, identity, self-esteem, communication skills, listening skills, assertiveness skills, group dynamics, group management and many other skills that are necessary for the students to develop if the programme is to be successful. Our Meitheal programme is designed to educate and empower young people in their schools. It challenges them to look at themselves, to believe that they are worthwhile and that they have a special contribution to make. Meitheal is about looking out for other people and maintaining the spirit of friendship in everyday life with their friends, family and parish.
This year 633 students applied and were interviewed for the 200 training places on our Meitheal programme for this forthcoming academic year. The level of interest in such a programme is a positive endorsement of the willingness and interest of young people across the diocese to becoming involved in their parish/school community.
There are many people involved with the programme in different ways, parents, teachers, students and volunteers who work as leaders each year. This year 72 volunteer leaders will work over four weeks to provide training to the new recruits. Once applicants have been awarded a place on the training programme, Parent Information evenings are held to inform parents about the programme, about what is involved for their child and also invited to attend a special mass at which the candidates are commissioned to be Diocesan Youth Leaders.
After their training the students return to their schools and are given responsibility for a number of incoming first years. Then the task is to ensure the smooth transition of these young people into the school during their first weeks and to be able and available to assist them in any way necessary. After this the Meitheal Leaders work with the junior students, developing a relationship of trust and mutual respect. The hope for the remainder of their first year is that if the junior student should experience difficulties or anxieties of any kind that they can turn to their Meitheal Leaders and find in them understanding, respect, advice and assistance.
This year’s training programme will run over four weeks of the summer months at De La Salle Pastoral Centre, Castletown, Co. Laois.
Contact Robert Norton
Faith Development Services
Cathedral Parish Centre
Tel: (059) 9164084