On May 18th, Loreto Secondary School in Wexford town became Wexford’s 5th Champion School of Sanctuary.
The monitoring visit was the first visit by Ezana, a refugee from Ethiopia living in Rosslare direct provision centre, to a School of Sanctuary, joining five others in the team. Ezana was keen to give back to the community by helping with a programme that helps students of all backgrounds to understand and welcome newcomers. The visit impacted him deeply and at the end of a wonderful day of meetings, testimonies and tours, he said:
“I’ve got immeasurable inspiration from every single student in Loreto, and that all gave me more enlightenment, consciousness, determination and an advanced self-esteem & confidence than I have ever had.”
The school’s sanctuary committee really led the day and drove all the events – from the presentation of the portfolio to the school tour and a very moving event in the library where three refugee students shared their story of fleeing war in their homelands and arriving in Ireland with nothing.
The team included Noma, another Sanctuary Ambassador, Lorraine O Gorman, Director of Wexford Education Centre, Rob Cousins a teacher from Kilrane National School Rosslare (a Champion SoS) and Diarmuid Doolan from Wexford Local Development, and they unanimously voted Loreto to be an outstanding Champion School of Sanctuary. Here are some more comments:
Loreto Secondary School, Wexford has consciously created a safe, inclusive environment for students of all nationalities
The Learning, Action and Sharing was all evident and it was obvious to me that this was a safe and welcoming school with a warm, welcoming atmosphere and enthusiastic, confident students.
There’s an ongoing commitment to making the school a very inclusive place where everyone belongs and they can thrive.