Malta Girl Guides

Malta Girl Guides

Investing in our youth

Maltese Guider attends Youth Exchange Leadership Skills TC in Italy

January was an exciting month for Guider Marie Micallef, who participated in the CreativItaly - Youth Exchange Leadership Skills Training Course.

Marie is currently a Guider with Marsascala Girl Guides and also forms part of the Diversity Team and the Mental Health Badge and Campaign team.

Last month, she travelled with another two fellow Maltese young people, Christian Briffa and John Paul Formosa, from the Malta Unesco Youth Association (MUYA). They attended the course held between 20th and 25th January 2019. The course was organised by Coop Madiba and hosted in the picturesque surroundings of Casalpina Don Barra a small hotel in Soucheres-basses, Pragelato, , a small town in the regions of the Metropolitan City of Turin, Italy bordering with France.

The ongoing theme of the project was creativity hence the name CreativItaly, in preparation for a youth exchange bearing the same name. The sending organisation from Malta was Malta Unesco Youth Association (MUYA). The participating countries in this project were Ireland, Italy, Malta, Greece, Romania, Sweden, Latvia and England.
The aims of the training course were for participants to gain leadership skills not only useful for youth exchanges and other international projects, but also leadership skills when it comes to leading any youth group.

The training course explored factors that define the ideal leader before, during and after a youth exchange. It developed the youth leaders’ competencies namely communication both in native and foreign languages, social competences, technology competences and cultural sensitiveness.

Through non-formal education, participants were thought about the preparation and challenges that a youth leader can encounter before going on a youth exchange. Moreover, the trainers also thought the course participants about handling situations that might arise during youth exchanges and what one should do when the young people are back home safely in their respective countries. Apart from this, participants and youth leaders were taught how to be culturally sensitive in an interactive way by literally putting themselves into another person’s shoes. Discussions and experience sharing around the inclusion of all the diverse backgrounds were also held.

Resources and knowledge gained through the YELS course can be applied and adapted for the work done by Malta Girl Guides to continue teaching through non-formal education whilst including everyone from all diverse backgrounds.

Apart from this, YELS TC has given the skills, knowledge and attitudes that a youth leader needs to take young people, even ones from a disadvantaged background, abroad and give them opportunities for learning and growth.

Marie’s participation in this project was possible thanks to funding by the European Commission’s Erasmus+ Programme.