Sale­sian Or­a­tory of Sliema com­mit­ted to youth projects

Malta Independent - - LIFESTYLE & CULTURE -

The main ob­jec­tive of the Or­a­tory, bet­ter known as ‘Sales­jani’ in Sliema is to carry out ac­tiv­i­ties aimed at pro­mot­ing holis­tic ed­u­ca­tion of the young. All mem­bers are helped to un­der­stand that they be­long to a fam­ily in which they are wel­come and to which they have a pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion to make. Through­out the years, the Or­a­tory has been able to reach out and an­i­mate var­i­ous young peo­ple and help them to de­velop and im­ple­ment new ideas by cre­at­ing new op­por­tu­ni­ties for them. The Or­a­tory which was founded back in 1908 em­braces sev­eral sub groups, each with its own spe­cial­i­sa­tion to em­power young mem­bers to be­come lead­ers.

Like the pre­vi­ous years, 2016 was no ex­cep­tion with var­i­ous in­for­mal ac­tiv­i­ties. Through­out this year, 70 young peo­ple are lucky enough to have the op­por­tu­nity to be pre­pared and meet on a weekly ba­sis for for­ma­tion ses­sions to be­come good lead­ers in var­i­ous projects of the Or­a­tory. One of th­ese projects, is the Bosco Sum­mer School which has been go­ing on for the last 18 years. For six weeks, from mid-July to the end of Au­gust, th­ese young lead­ers will be pre­pared for 230 chil­dren be­tween the ages of 6-13years to help them be cre­ative. This year’s theme was “I’m Go­ing Where He’s Go­ing”, and this ed­u­ca­tional jour­ney ended up with a great and colour­ful, Evening of Awards, where all the chil­dren and young lead­ers per­formed in style and cre­ativ­ity, an evening to re­mem­ber un­der the pa­tron­age of her Ex­cel­lency, the Pres­i­dent of Malta, Marie Louise Coleiro Preca and her hus­band and also by Chris Aguis, the Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary for Re­search, In­no­va­tion, Youth and Sport.

The Sale­sian Or­a­tory in Sliema also hosts projects funded by EU, Agen­z­ija Żgħażagħ, Malta Arts Fund, the Malta Com­mu­nity Chest Fund and the Small Ini­tia­tive Scheme. Mainly th­ese funds are pro­vided to en­cour­age more chil­dren and young peo­ple to have var­i­ous op­por­tu­ni­ties to gain more skills and com­pe­tences. Last Easter the Sale­sian Or­a­tory hosted 2 coun­tries, Lithua­nia and Czech Repub­lic for an Eras­mus+ Youth Ex­change with the theme, ‘EQ in In­ter­cul­tural Sen­si­tiv­ity: The dif­fer­ence that makes the dif­fer­ence’.

Through in­for­mal work­shops, the in­ter­cul­tural evenings and team build­ing, 30 young par­tic­i­pants con­trib­uted to­wards strength­en­ing so­cial ties among com­mu­ni­ties and thereby nur­tured in­di­vid­ual as well as or­gan­i­sa­tional self-es­teem and ul­ti­mately their well be­ing.

An­other project which just fin­ished and funded by Agen­z­ija Zg­haz­agh“Renov8 + Cre8”, was the up­grade of the al­ready ex­ist­ing Band Room, which is an­other ed­u­ca­tional spot that the Sale­sian Or­a­tory is pro­vid­ing to var­i­ous young peo­ple who love mu­sic. The Sale­sian Or­a­tory strongly be­lieves in: pro­vid­ing both chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties to many young peo­ple, in the em­pow­er­ment al­ready men­tioned above, the re­spect, in­te­gra­tion and in­clu­sion ef­forts to en­sure greater im­pact in sup­port­ing the de­vel­op­ment of young peo­ple and in help­ing them to re­alise their full po­ten­tial.

Through “Renov8 + Cre8” and also on a daily ba­sis all year round, the Sale­sian Or­a­tory re­sponds to the needs and con­cerns of many young peo­ple from all walks of life, and act in their best in­ter­ests with a view to max­imis­ing their hu­man po­ten­tial, and by pro­vid­ing user-friendly ac­cess to qual­ity ser­vices and equal­ity of op­por­tu­nity with the aim of en­sur­ing their ac­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion in so­ci­ety.

Funds from the Com­mu­nity Chest Fund were also pro­vided to up­grade the roof of the Or­a­tory for safety rea­sons. The Sale­sian Or­a­tory strongly be­lieves that both chil­dren and young peo­ple need to have a safe and mod­ern en­vi­ron­ment to keep up with their needs. The Sale­sian Bri­gade which is also part of the Sale­sian Or­a­tory in Sliema, also gained funds from the Com­mu­nity Chest Fund to ren­o­vate a semi-con­struc­tion site at the Ghajn Tuffieha Up­per Bar­racks, which was passed to the Sale­sian Bri­gade by the gov­ern­ment in 2010, and will be soon turned into an ed­u­ca­tional and re­cre­ation cen­tre. This fa­cil­ity, with camp­ing space, spa­cious live-in and sleepover area, for mem­bers of the Bri­gade, mem­bers of the Or­a­tory or any NGO, will of­fer an ‘away from it all’ pris­tine lo­ca­tion and will give the op­por­tu­nity to young peo­ple to fur­ther ex­plore their knowl­edge and skills.

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