Comhairle na Gàidhlig teams up with Colaisde na Gàidhlig to support youth language mentorship program
Posted by Margie Beaton / in Featured Posts, News /
Photo: Students take part in recent Na Gaisgich Òga weekend in newly-designated ‘Taigh na Gàidhlig’ or ‘Gaelic House’ at Colaisde na Gàidhlig, St. Ann’s.
L-R, Back: Joe MacMaster (Troy), Mairead Matheson (Antigonish), Sarah MacInnis (Mabou), Abigail MacDonald (St. Andrew’s), Tonya Fry (Comhairle na Gàidhlig), Colin MacDonald (Colaisde na Gàidhlig), Emily MacDonald (Instructor), Archie MacDonald (Emily’s son, Ainslie Glen), Goiridh Dòmhnullach (Gaelic Affairs) Front: Grace Campbell (Sydney), Eilidh Campbell (Mabou), Paige Campbell (Whycocomagh), Mairinn Campbell (Mabou), Mark MacDonald (St. Andrew’s)
After a successful inaugural year for Na Gaisgich Òga | The Young Heroes, a youth mentorship program for Gaelic language and culture, the initiative is back again, this time with support from Comhairle na Gàidhlig | the Gaelic Council of Nova Scotia. With the intention to cover all entry fees for participants, the Council has donated $5,000 to the program.
Comhairle na Gàidhlig is a non-profit organization first established in 1990. With a mission to “lead in creating an environment that makes Nova Scotia a place where Gaelic language, culture, and communities thrive,” the group works to strengthen the community through their means of support. In year 2 of a 5 year restructuring plan, the council is moving in a direction of bringing together leaders with a unified vision, more provincial lobbying and advocacy, while focusing attention on youth.
“Our community is seeing more of the younger generations coming to fluency with the language,” says Tonya Fry, Vice President of the Gaelic Council. “Comhairle na Gàidhlig is interested in assisting in the facilitation of language learning for all young Gaels. The development of language skills will strengthen the connection to the history and culture for these young people. It is an investment in the future of Gaelic Nova Scotia. We are proud to support Colaisde na Gàidhlig in this initiative. Partnerships, such as this, between Gaelic organizations will also strengthen our community and build a stronger future for all Gaels.”
Developed by Colaisde na Gàidhlig | The Gaelic College, with partnered support from Nova Scotia Gaelic Affairs, the Na Gaisgich Òga program is an immersive Gaelic language and culture learning opportunity for Nova Scotian youth ages 10 to 15. After an application-based entry process, 10 youth are paired with a personal language mentor from their respective communities. Throughout the duration of the seven-month program, students work closely with designated mentors and participate in monthly immersion sessions led by Colaisde na Gàidhlig Gaelic Director Colin MacDonald, instructor Emily MacDonald, and GA Gaelic Field Officer, Goiridh Dòmhnullach.
“We’re thrilled that Na Gaisgich Òga participants are now able to take part in the program free of charge, thanks to the support from Comhairle na Gàidhlig,” says Gaelic College CEO Rodney MacDonald. “This is really a unique opportunity for young Gaelic learners, and having support from such organizations is of huge benefit to students.”