5.6 Supporting youth organisations
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There is no legal or policy framework specifically designed for youth organisations.
Just like other non-governmental voluntary organisations, youth organisations may apply to become enrolled with the Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations. Once enrolled such youth organisations become subject to the observance of applicable provisions and regulations of the Voluntary Organisations Act and enjoy its privileges. These include grants, sponsorships or other financial aid from the Government, any entity controlled by the Government or the Voluntary Organisations Fund; be the beneficiary of any policies supporting voluntary action; benefit from exemptions, privileges or other entitlements in terms of any law; and be a party to contracts and other engagements, whether against remuneration or not, for the carrying out of services for the achievement of its social purpose at the request of the Government or any entity controlled by the Government. As of 2018, with the amendments to the Voluntary Organisations Act, the permissible registration age with the Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations was lowered from 18 to 16, making it possible for young people at the age of 16 years to form, mange and run youth organisations that qualify for all the benefits and regulations found in the Voluntary Organisations Act.
Aġenzija Żgħażagħ has two funding schemes developed specifically for youth organisations
Youth organisations/groups who are registered with Aġenzija Żgħażagħ and are enrolled and compliant with the Office of the Commissioner of Voluntary Organisations to be eligible to apply for support through Assistance4You - A4U scheme. This scheme provides financial support, of a maximum of €1,500 to help youth organisations/groups develop and increase resources, improve premises and facilities and develop and deliver training for their current and prospective leaders.
Youth organisations/groups who are registered with Aġenzija Żgħażagħ and are enrolled and compliant with the Office of the Commissioner of Voluntary Organisations to be eligible to apply for support through The Be Active scheme. This fund aims primarily to provide youth organisations/groups with financial support, of a maximum of €2,000 to develop projects/initiatives for their respective service users and the community in general. Organisations/groups are invited to develop a project in connection to a set of priority areas.
Youth organizations, that are either run by young people or that provide services to young people are entitled to register as members of Aġenzija Żgħażagħ. Registered organisations can benefit from the following advantages. Registered organisations may hire equipment against a fully refundable deposit. The deposit will be fully refunded once that the equipment is returned in time, fully functional and in the same condition that was handed over to the organization.
Registered organisations are also entitled to a subsidised rate when making use of the facilities available at the Marsaxlokk Youth Activity Centre and Villa Psaigon. Aġenzija Żgħażagħ also support activities that are organised by registered organisations through free publicity on its Facebook page and website.
There are also a number of funding schemes that are not exclusive to youth organisation but are still tapped quite frequently by youth organisations, amongst which are:
The Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector issues the Small Initiatives Scheme that supports small initiatives by Voluntary Organisations. Funding is awarded to initiatives particularly related to encourage projects in areas such as training courses for volunteers or the public, events such as exhibitions, festivals, websites, publications and other initiatives related to the voluntary sector.
The Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector issues the Civil society fund provides financial assistance for the purpose of facilitating affiliation with and participation in European groupings, associations, federations, confederation networks, and training related to EU Policy/Programmes. The objectives of the Civil Society Fund (CSF) are to assist CSOs to keep abreast with the developments occurring at an EU level; to enable CSOs to better educate their members on EU matters related to their respective fields of competence; and to enable CSOs to participate effectively in the decision-making process at a European level. Interested youth organisations may apply so as to first, to receive assistance with affiliation of their organisation to European umbrella organisations, grouping, federations, confederations or networks. Secondly, to facilitate their attendance at conferences, seminars and meetings abroad in relation to affiliations in European umbrella organisations, groupings, federations, confederations or networks and participation in Training Abroad related to EU Policy or Programmes.
The Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector issues the Training Initiatives Scheme (TIS). The main objectives of this scheme are to offer support for individual volunteers who form part of a Voluntary Organisation in one’s training which will be beneficial both to oneself, one’s Voluntary Organisation, to other Voluntary Organisations and to the community at large. The scheme also supports Voluntary Organisations in the organisation of training initiatives which are beneficial both to the same organisation, to other Voluntary Organisations and to the community at large.
Arts Council Malta issues the Creative Communities programme that enables voluntary organisations to carry out projects related to culture and the arts in local communities. The funding can include informal training and development programmes; research or events, productions and/or exhibitions.
The President’s Award for Creativity is a fund support to organisations, especially those working with vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, to engage these groups in creativity and arts-driven projects and thereby increase their level of integration and engagement in society.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion issues the Official Development Assistance Fund for voluntary organisations offering humanitarian and development assistance to developing countries with the aim of supporting economic and social progress based on the notion of ‘eradicating poverty through development’, in the light of the 2030 Agenda.
The Ministry for Gozo issues the Gozo NGO Scheme designed to provide support and facilitate the realisation of small projects, activities and initiatives on the Island of Gozo by Voluntary Organisations. The objectives of this scheme are to enhance the social, cultural, economic and ecological fabric of the Gozitan society; promote and encourage a culture of volunteering and the participation in volunteer activities amongst the Gozitan society; stimulate co-operation and networking between Voluntary Organisations; foster co-operation between Voluntary Organisations and the Ministry for Gozo through collaborative initiatives.
The Ministry for the Environment, Sustainable Development, and Climate Change issues the Sustainable Development Fund Support Scheme for Voluntary Organisations is aimed to support non-Government, non-profit voluntary organisations to undertake tangible sustainable development projects and initiatives that have the potential to cover activities and initiatives in line with the Sustainable Development Goals
There are no large-scale initiatives aiming to increase the diversity of young people participating in youth organisations.