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26/4/2013 - Malta - Young Volunteers become Social Entrepreneurs to fight Youth Unemployment
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(ANS – Sliema) – “Transforming Voluntarism into Social Entrepreneurship” was a 7-day training course organised by Don Bosco Youth-Net, held from the 31st of March till the 7th of April at the Salesian Youth Centre in Sliema, Malta. It aimed at motivating young volunteers in taking initiative to develop their own solutions for problems faced by young people in the EU today.

20 people from Austria, Belgium, Germany, Slovenia, Poland, Spain, Malta, UK, Czech Republic and Italy took part in the Training Course. They discovered the difference between Voluntarism, Social Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurship, through role plays, presentations and active work.

In each session there was an element of theoretical and practical work. The Training Course used project management within “Youth in Action” programmes as a tool for developing entrepreneurial competence: the participants learned how to turn ideas into action, through developing their ability to plan and manage projects in order to achieve social objectives. For this they need to develop both personal and team skills.

The young people took time to look at the Church, in depth, the principles of the Church’s social doctrine, of the common good, of solidarity and of subsidiarity and how they can be applied by Social Entrepreneurs.

The 20 participants were then involved in learning how to create and apply for a project based on ideas that had been collected. There were ideas ranging from arranging a festival to building a hostel, and the young people looked at how to finance a project and how they can apply for funding from the European Union. This led to a day of role play where each project received critical feedback from experts and peers. They also had to design an innovative product to fit the needs of people in modern times.

Finally, they spent some time in the capital city, Valetta, and Medina, the historical heart of the country, and in sunbathing, shopping... There was also a chance to experience each other’s cultures, with two intercultural evenings and many laughs.

The training course fits into the strategy of DBYN to focus strongly on the issue of youth unemployment, which is a daily reality for around 25% of all young people living in the European Union. DBYN promotes Social Entrepreneurship as an option for young people to create their own jobs, working for their local communities.

This project was supported financially by the European Commission through the “Youth in Action” programme.

Published 26/04/2013

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