The project was designed and developed by young people with the support of the YMCA workers during 1995. It grew out of the experience of peer education training with young leaders in local YMCA's throughout Ireland. The peer education method has proved to be effective in working with disadvantaged young people. We are now 18 months into the project funded for a three year period by PSEP and it is proving successful and is continuing to develop in new and innovative ways. Young people, 15-25 years, from all over Ireland are benefiting from the programme.
To date participants have come from Antrim, Ballingcollig, Ballymena, Bandon, Belfast, Carrickfergus, Cork, Dublin, Donegal, Lurgan, Portadown, Newry, Newcastle and Tallaght.
* 75% of participants are from areas of disadvantage
* The programme aims to achieve a balance of male, female, Protestant, Catholic and North, South
* The young people go through an intensive training course of 3 residential weekends (2 in the North and 1 in the South). It goes beyond superficial contact to discussion of contentious issues. The training focuses on prejudice awareness, facilitating political discussion, conflict resolution skills, history and peer education.
* The social and personal development of the participants can be visibly seen in the changes of the participants behaviour during the three residentials and follow-up. Attitudinal changes and knowledge gain is measured through written and verbal feedback, using various evaluations.
At the end of the initial training the young people decide how
they wish to put their training into practise. We support them
to do this by: informal peer education; project work; formal peer
education. Further training and support is offered to all participants.