President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca is urging youngsters who believe that they can contribute on a national and European level to issues influencing their lives to come forward and join the first Children’s and Young Persons’ Consultation Group.
Malta, together with Estonia and Bulgaria, has been chosen by Eurochild asa pilot country to take part in the National Eurochild Forums, which will engage children to participate in a wider consultation process on important matters that affect their rights, well-being and future.
This newly inaugurated consultation group is a wonderful opportunity intended to tap young minds and give them the platform to make the voice of their generation heard—in Malta and in Europe.
“I’m so very proud of the work being done by the Children’s Council and the Young People’s Council within my Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society”, President Coleiro Preca said.
“Through these councils, we are successfully creating inclusive spaces where our younger generations can make their voices heard, on both a national and European level.
“In this way, we’re strengthening democratic processes of active participation, which are essential to the healthy development of society in the Maltese islands and the EU”, she added.
Those youngsters chosen to be part of this consultation group will also have the unique chance of working hand in hand with Eurochild on topical children’s issues. Eurochild is a network of some 170 organisations and individuals working in and across Europe to promote the rights and well-being of children and young people.
Youngsters aged eight to 18 from all over Malta and Gozo who believe strongly in a myriad of subjects influencing their lives—such as children’s rights, sports, mental health, disability, and the environment among others—are being invited to participate in this group.
This consultation group follows up on the success of the Children’s Council and the Young Persons’ Council, which are this week celebrating their first year anniversary.
Set up by the President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society, these two councils are run by children and provide the secure space for them to give root to their dreams and see them grow.
This third entity is intended to widen the net and encourage more children to take part in this process and to work with the Children’s Council and the Young Persons’ Council.
These two councils are very active, and apart from drawing up the last programme of the popular Secret Garden, which recently attracted more than 2,000 children, they also participated in a number of international and European conferences on children’s rights, the environment, and migration.
They are an active platform for children aimed at providing a better understanding in areas such as inclusion, diversity, participation, respect and intercultural dialogue, rights, well-being, and fun.
“When the President of Malta took office, she shared a dream: her vision to create a space for children; a safe space that gives children a voice and which enables them to be effective and active citizens in today’s world, for a better tomorrow”, project coordinator Angie Caruana said.
As these councils celebrate their first anniversary, Ms Caruana reflected on the day when the children first arrived a year ago: “They sat there all quiet, shy, and reserved but still brimming with energy and enthusiasm.
“Now, one year later they know it — their voice is amplified. They know their words are heard and that their words shape projects. Their contributions are priceless, as they are genuine”, she added.
To take part in the Children’s and Young Persons’ Consultation Group, anyone aged eight to 18 is being encouraged to send in their details and motivation behind joining. This can be done through any format, such as a write-up, video, or drawing and should be sent to email@example.com by not later than the end of October.
For more information and details, contact the President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society through email on firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 2148 4662 and ask for Angie Caruana or Lorella Gatt.