At youths don’t understand s just general disinterest’
thought that two lawyers had written her speech. When discussing political parties, Eve said that associating with a party doesn’t take away the ability to express constructive criticism. Although she believes more in the values of the Nationalist Party, she feels that the party will not influence who she is as an activist.
For Eve, the Future Leaders Programme was the perfect answer to the Vote 16. She said that the Future Leader’s Programme is not only pushing for further civic education but also for participants to become leaders themselves. She said that she would definitely recommend the programme to other young people, even though many are reluctant to associate themselves with a political party, the initiative is beneficial to everyone who wishes to learn more about civic duties and to make a change.
Apart from this programme, Eve also took part in the National Youth Parliament which was organised by Kunzill Nazzjonali Taz-Zghazagh (KNZ), which has been pushing for better civic education among young people, an admirable initiative.
She remembered that during the Parliament sessions, her party had discussed ‘Vote 16 and Civic Education’, which Eve felt was a bit irresponsible to introduce Vote 16 without having a good basis of civic education, especially since civic education for most Maltese youths comes from their parents. ‘We need to learn that we need to vote for the person and not the party,’ because as a citizen you need to vote whom you think will be best for the country.
Vote 16 and a proper civic education
When discussing whether 16year-olds are influenced by their parents, Eve pointed out that this issue does not exclude young people, as even 30-yearolds are still influenced by their parents. She believes that the only way to avoid this is to introduce a good unbiased system of civic education, through which the history of both political parties are taught in an open and unbiased manner. KNZ is already working to introduce civic education to schools. Eve feels that there is an open policy for discussions in the classroom. She had also brought up the concept of a debating class, which her teachers had liked; however, she said the only problem was the lack of time, especially with MATSEC examinations around the corner.
Vote 16 is a huge step as finally, youth will have a voice and be listened to, but Eve noted with regret that many who do speak up are discouraged and talked down because of their age. Young people should not be afraid of politics, as it is a tool for change which they can take in their stride as future leaders.
When asked what she plans to do after her exams, Eve is full of ideas to keep active; she will continue writing politically mo- tivated articles, to keep finding ways to encourage more young people to be involved in current affairs. After her speech, she was approached by the St Julian’s Local Council to be its Youth Ambassador, and when she turns 18, she will contest the St Julian’s Local Council elections.
Eve has charisma and drive, and hopefully will continue playing an important role to influence many other young people to stand up for the rights of their country.
Eve Borg Bonello