KiVa Antibullying programme launches

There was a sense of celebration at the launch of the KiVa Anti-Bullying Programme, with the real stars of the day being the children who took part.

At an event on Monday 20th November 2023, in Scoil Mhuire Junior in Newbridge, the KiVa Anti-Bullying Programme was launched as part of an initiative coordinated and delivered by Archways, with funding support from basis.point, Community Foundation Ireland and the ToyShow Appeal. Archways has collaborated with basis.point since 2014 across a number areas throughout Ireland. This latest stage of that collaboration sees the work focus on Kildare and Meath.

L-R Eimear Collins, Paul Johnston, Joanne Shaw, Katri Sohlman, Annea Margo, Hugh Doogan and Edel O Malley

The KiVa Anti-Bullying Programme builds on the good work schools already do in this area. It’s about creating an ethos where bullying is just not accepted. Developed at the University of Turku in Finland, the KiVa Anti-Bullying Programme is an evidence based programme that is already successfully implemented in 12 countries throughout the world.

Using age appropriate workbooks the programme teaches young people how to deal with uncomfortable situations. Schools are encouraged to be as proactive as possible, to tackle bullying head on using a combination of materials suitable for teachers, pupils and parents and each school is encouraged to nominate a highly visible yard mentor so that students can feel safeguarded.

Edel O’Malley, CEO basis.point commenting on the launch of the new KiVa Anti-Bullying Programme.

We believe that investing in programmes that develop skills to maintain good mental health is key to helping young people navigate their educational journey. The digital era brings new challenges for young people and teaching them soft skills such as empathy and respect will better equip them to flourish.’

Eight schools are already participating in the programme in counties Kildare and Meath. These counties are often overlooked for support since they are perceived as wealthy commuter towns.

Scoil Mhuire Junior, Newbridge, Co Kildare
St. Patrick’s Church of Ireland NS, Newbridge, Co Kildare
St. Oliver Plunkett NS, Killina, Co Kildare
St. Conleth’s NS, Derrinturn, Co Kildare
St. Anne’s Loreto Primary School, Navan, Co Meath
Kilmainhamwood NS, Co Meath
Duleek BNS, Co Meath
Duleek GNS, Co Meath

Speaking at the event were representatives from principals from two of the participating schools, the University of Turku in Finland and Archways. The highlight of the event though was the colourful and joyous input from children in the participating schools.

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