Youths Engage in Senglea - 2011

[G2:6475]In line with the 2011 European Year for Volunteering, Salesian Pastoral Youth Services (SPYS) through YES - Youths Engage in Senglea, organised a two week Summer camp aimed at offering an opportunity for young people to learn through non-formal methods. This project was funded under Action 1.2 of the European Commission's 'Youth in Action' Programme

30 participants, aged between 12 - 14 were divided into the following four teams:

1. All Stars;

2. Party Sheepers;

3. The Shufflers;

4. Kumlilumla

each of which participated in a number of activities including the following:

1. Team building activity, which included choosing a team name and emblem;

2. T-Shirt painting;

3. Water games at the Senglea football pitch;

4. Valletta cultural activity;

5. Funny farm outing, where the participants voluntarily helped feed the horses, helped maintain the farm and as a           reward had a free horse-riding lesson;

6. Healthy lifestyle session, including an explanation of ‘The Food Pyramid', an exercise session and baking a healthy       cake;

7. Cybercrime speech given by the Malta Police Force Cyber Crime Unit, explaining the perils of Facebook;

8. Indoor games tournament;

9. Kite Building;

10. Treasure Hunt in Senglea;

11. Splash and Fun water park outing;

12. Time Management session;

Camp evenings also included an animated mass by the volunteers for the youths, through which the volunteers sought to develop and implement a programme of holistic Christian formation, followed by a trip to the beach or games at the Salesian Oratory depending on the particular day of the week.

Unfortunately, all good things come to an end, and before the volunteers realised the Summer camp ended with a talent show, where friends and family were invited. This was followed by drinks and people in attendance could see crafts made and photos taken throughout the Summer camp.

The YES Summer Camp has given the animators the opportunity to experience friendship and local volunteering at its best, by working in a team, learning how to effectively reach youths that are different in character and upbringing, and helping them develop a healthy, active and positive lifestyle. At the end of the two weeks the leaders could appreciate better Don Bosco's words..."That you are young is enough to make me love you very much...for you I study, for you I work, for you I live, for you I am ready even to give my life."

A positive end to the YES Summer Camp was the approach of a small number of youths indicating to the leaders that they'd like to be personally trained to become the future leaders and volunteers working at the Salesian Oratory in Senglea. This truly confirms Sharon Salzberg's words that "Loving-kindness and compassion are the basis for wise, powerful, sometimes gentle, and sometimes fierce actions that can really make a difference -- in our own lives and those of others".[G2:6472]