In Malta, as in other European countries, we see young people engage and participate in democratic processes to shape the future they want, but many still feel left behind. Young people feel alienated and do not feel supported by their peers. This alienation further deepens with limited opportunities for active citizenship of underrepresented youth.
An ongoing project by Friends of the Earth Malta (FoEM) and Generation (Change?) proposed the creation of a Youth Hub, a non–formal educational place, which can be viewed as a microcosm of society. Every Thursday between 17:00 – 20:00 youths of different backgrounds and abilities, meet up at FoEM’s Green resource centre to socialise and engage with the monthly themes focusing on social or environmental awareness and personal development.
Young people are involved in creating their own agenda, a democratic structure, shaping the space to be inclusive, tackling injustices, intersectional issues within the group and is in itself an experiment in active citizenship.
“We aim to provide a platform for more inclusive democratic and civic youth engagement in decision–making by creating a structure to engage marginalised youth in intersectional cooperation for development of joint actions towards a socially just and ecologically fair future”,
Anne Marie Project Coordinator at Friends of the Earth Malta states.
Chris Mizzi, one of the founder of Generation (Change?) says,
“This project was beneficial as it introduced youth work methodology in an environmental NGO. The youth workers from Generation (Change?) supported the young people throughout the project to enhance their personal development, integrate socially and become more active citizens. The youth hub offered a safe space where young people could meet and be themselves, try new things and encouraged them to think critically about the world around them and the challenges that not only they themselves as young people face but also the wider community”
Currently both organisations along with the involved youths are looking for means to propagate the Youth Hub and exploring ways to reinvent it in its next cycle. We welcome those interested to join and continue following this project.
Find out more about this project, here – https://foemalta.org/projects/yeah/
“The Youth Engagement & Activism Hub (YEAH!) benefits from a € € 25,000.00 grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants. The aim of the project is to provide a platform for more inclusive democratic and civic youth engagement in decision–making by creating a structure to engage marginalised youth in intersectional cooperation for development of joint actions towards a socially just and ecologically fair future.”