Working with Young People

I do not look upon young people as tomorrow’s leaders but as an integral part of what today is all about.

That is what I have always believed. When I set up a national youth movement (4Ts) at the age of 14, I would certainly not like it much simply to hear that I had a future ahead of me! What I really wanted to know was that what I was doing mattered for the present.

I lived up to the same principle when I had the privilege of presiding over the Students’ Representative Council at the University, or when I was President of the Nationalist Party Youth Movement. Already then, I had suggested the holding of annual ‘Youth Parliament’ where young people ‘take over’ Parliament to air their views – and rightly expect to be heard and listened to.

Young people stand for innovation, ideas which are not tainted by simply getting used to doing it differently from the ideals one cherishes at a younger age, as well as for enthusiasm, energy and offering drive to the rest of society.

I also see great synergy between young people and talent – the State must provide all the support required for artistic events, for sports and for other fields of creative expression – we are all the richer when that happens.

Young people also have every right for the entertainment programmes of their own choice. When I was responsible for tourism and culture, I struck an agreement with MTV through which we began to have in Malta the now famous annual event ‘Isle of MTV’. It meant massive investment, but more importantly than that, it meant believing in youth, in making Malta a hub that appeals to young visitors as much as it appeals to elder persons, in having that additional and vibrant choice in our calendar of events that proves that Malta is as youth oriented as it can rightly pride itself for its rich history and cultural heritage.

See my track record in Working with Young People