Gaisce – The President’s Award – has been fostering the talents found in Ireland’s young people since 1985. Now it’s opening its doors, in a bid to become truly life-changing…

With its core values of respect, excellence, empowerment, and inclusion and equality, Gaisce – The President’s Award – has bettered the lives of over 300,000 of Ireland’s young people since the programme began in 1985.

Now, with the launch of a new nationwide integration project called Wavelength, Gaisce is truly embodying its belief in inclusion and equality. Supported by The Coca-Cola Foundation, Wavelength will give those aged 18-25 who’re seeking asylum or have refugee status in Ireland the opportunity to participate in the Gaisce programme.

Gaisce and Coca-Cola Ireland announced the launch of Wavelength at a ceremony on 18 February.

Gaisce is all about providing young people with a platform to nurture their abilities, gain new confidence and realise their full potential. For those who’ve already gone through extreme hardship, and who are looking to build themselves a new life in a new country – with a new language and culture – the Gaisce experience can be a truly life-changing one.

Wavelength was launched by Gaisce and Coca-Cola on 18 February, when it was announced that the project will support the integration of 30 young people through their participation in Gaisce throughout 2019, with a further 45 in 2020.

For Gaisce CEO, Yvonne McKenna, improving the programme’s inclusivity through Wavelength came as a natural move: “Central to the ethos of Gaisce is equality of access and participation to the programme,” she said. “We’re delighted to launch Wavelength, as it’s important to us that every young person in Ireland has the opportunity to take part in the Gaisce programme.”

Wavelength will support 30 young people through their participation in Gaisce throughout 2019.

Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton T.D, was also at the launch, and spoke on the positive community impact Wavelength will cause: “Not only will participation in the programme promote integration and teamwork within the community, it will enable these young people to develop their personal strengths and encourage them to be confident in future endeavours,” he said.

“I commend the collaborative approach taken by Gaisce and The Coca-Cola Foundation in showing corporate social responsibility and leading the way in the integration of young migrants at a grass roots level.”

“We’re looking forward to seeing the programme roll out over coming months,” said Coca-Cola Ireland Country Manager, Petre Sandru, “and hope it can play a positive role in helping young people seeking asylum or refugee status here in Ireland to fulfil their potential.”

Wavelength is now looking for participants for its first intake. Want to learn more? Or maybe take part? Either way, email wavelength@gaisce.ie for more information.