COMPASS Welcomes Wider Horizons Intern Gareth McAlinden

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COMPASS is happy to welcome Gareth McAlinden, a resident of Ireland, to assist COMPASS School staff in their work with high school aged students. Gareth was one of 21 participants selected for the Wider Horizons Program. He described his placement at COMPASS as a great experience that provided a good opportunity to bond with students through basketball, something that so many of them are good at.


Wider Horizons is a program that targets young adults between the ages of 18 and 28 in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The aim of the program is to promote mutual understanding and reconciliation between the two traditions in Northern Ireland and the Republic. The program is funded by the International Fund for Ireland (IFI) and is run jointly by FAS and the Department for Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland.

The Wider Horizons programme runs for an average period of 20 weeks and includes 21 participants selected equally from the two traditions in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The program involves training and work experience both at home and abroad; overseas locations include Canada, USA, Spain, South Africa and Cyprus. It is designed to provide participants with the personal and practical skills, experiences, and qualifications that will enable them to progress to mainstream training and/or employment.

Projects cover a broad range of industry sectors and include areas such as tourism and hospitality, business administration, multimedia, creative technology and web design, media skills, property management and community development (e.g. youth sports). In addition to the training aspects, all projects address the areas of mutual understanding and peace and reconciliation, which are central principles of the program.

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