At youths don’t un­der­stand s just gen­eral dis­in­ter­est’

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - NEWS -

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

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