Evaluation Sessions

Summer School 2009_1
A team from SPYS has worked together with the organisers, leaders and youngsters in charge of the Sliema Oratory Summer School. The aim of this collaboration was to facilitate an evaluation of the six week Summer School organised and led by around 60 youths. Two separate sessions where held and through game-like activities these youths had the possibility to express themselves and evaluate their own team and their own work carried out.

SPYS Annual Formation Weekend

SPYS Team 2009/2010
The SPYS annual formation weekend in Gozo, happening at the end of September each year, is always very looked forward to by the team members. It gives the group members a chance to re-cap on the past year, give feedback to eachother and prepare for the coming year, all in a teambuilding environment. This years theme was 'Going back to the roots to move forward'. The team felt they needed to review the principles SPYS was orginally built on in order to plan a better upcoming year. The weekend was split into sessions, namely: 'Back to the roots', 'Are we still effective?' and 'The way forward'. During the various stages of the weekend, SPYS members discussed the changes which needed to be made and came up with new ideas which will help the group move forward and reach more youth in an effective way. The new projects and changes show a promising upcoming year for SPYS - a year in which the team will grow and aim at reaching more youth in order to provide them with a holistic formation in a salesian environment.

SPYS @ Boscofest ‘The Festival’

BoscoFest Group photo_2
On the 12th and 13th of September, SPYS were invited to participate in Boscofest ‘The Festival’. This involved 300 youths who came together after a summer of preparation, to express their talents in the performing arts, music, drama, dance and sports, in a Salesian manner.

SPYS set up their own tent to present to the visitors of this event, some information regarding what SPYS is all about. The central tent were people met with the SPYS team was surrounded by a ‘Walkabout’ which showed the four pillars of Don Bosco on one side – Home, Church, School and Playground, as well as how these are interpreted today, the SPYS way Belonging, Meaning, Education, Celebration.

Slovenia EVS... Amazing !!

Slovenia EVS_1
“Slovenia Championne!!!” and it truly was a champion experience. Mark Duca and I worked at the Oratory in Litija with their children for two weeks and certainly none of us will ever forget such an amazing experience.

During most of our first week, we had training course and also a preparation seminar, where we also met the rest of the Slovene Animators, got to know them and prepared the last few things for the Oratory. In the second week of our stay, we had the actual Oratory. Our days at the Oratory were quite straight forward, Morning Prayer, formation session with the children, craft workshops and we end the day with a big game. Our job was an exciting simple one, be with the kids, something Mark and I were trilled to do.

SPYS' Boscofest Camps Games

Boscofest Fun Games_3
SPYS members, along with members of SPYS.int and SPYS & Friends, got together during the first week of September to organise a couple of evenings of games and activities for the children attending the Boscofest Camps at Savio College. The evenings got off to a creative start with the children divided into groups; each group had to come up with a group name, dance, and human statue. Thereafter, it was a case of the groups facing each other in the various games.

AKWAABA! Welcome to Ghana!

Ghana 2009_13
Sunday 2 August, 2009. Location: Malta International Airport. After all the preparations it was finally time to say goodbye to our dearest ones and embark on a four week journey in Ghana. It was a journey in which 6 youths went to the Salesian communities in Ashaiman and Tema New Town to organise Summer camp activities for the local children. To our surprise, 'Summer camp' turned out to not only include songs, crafts and games, but also classroom education; with God's help and a little improvisation, we managed to teach them something!

Vakantiebos 2009

Vakantiebos 2009_2
It all started when about 40 young people from all over Europe swarmed to Rijswijk in Holland ready to spend 4 weeks working with the Salesians and give a great summer to local children. Oliver and I where the 2 Maltese who joined in this adventure.

When we got there we found that the place was amazing. It was a typical Salesian house with large playgrounds where the children could run and have fun. However adjacent to the playground there was the chapel a place where we got together for the mass, to pray and reflect in mornings and evenings.

India, the Volunteering Experience through my Eyes

It’s the home of a colourful culture which brings with it a mixture of emotions. After the excitement that you’ve finally decided to take such a big step, the fear of the unknown grips you to the point that a few hours before you leave you could easily turn back and not go at all. As soon as you arrive in India the overwhelming atmosphere takes over the fear and you can think of nothing else other than the sights and sounds which fill your first few days.

Summer Camp in Spain

Summer Camp Spain_1
My experience at the summer camps in Spain was a great one.

At first it was a bit tough as I was still getting to know many people and making new friends, however it was all worth it in the end. The animators and the children were very welcoming and that helped me to ease into my role at the camp. Although the language was a barrier, we found other means to communicate, especially with facial expressions and sign language. A priest from the Salesian community informed that we were communicating “con la lingua del sorriso”, because he couldn’t speak English and therefore communicated by smiling almost all the time. This experience helped me discover how one can communicate even without knowing the language.

DBYN Training Course: Nice to Meet You(th)

Nice to Meet You(th) Group Photo
Last week, I was given the opportunity to participate as a trainer in the Step 1 training course titled ‘Nice to Meet You(th). This is the first part of a three-step training course organized by the Don Bosco Youth Net (DBYN). In the past, I attended a number of exchanges and training courses but this was my first time as a trainer and I was really keen to take up the challenge.

The course focused on intercultural learning and with a team of participants from the UK, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic and of course Malta (Robert, Jeanine, and Maurizio) the mix was right for a great week together.