Enhancing our youths’ potential

Enhancing our youths’ potential

In light of the upcoming local and European Parliament elections, it is important to consider the significance of youth engagement both as voters and candidates. Any society’s youth are its future. Their vitality, inventiveness and viewpoints are priceless qualities that can enhance advancement and constructive development.

President Myriam Spiteri Debono, in one of her very first speeches, encouraged young people to “engage in the leadership of the country”.

“Don’t back down, and if you feel that politics has harmed you, take action to make changes,” the president said.

It is essential for youths to participate in decision making for several reasons. They have distinct opinions and views. Their perspectives, shaped by the ever-changing environment we all live in, provide diverse, sometimes unconsidered solutions to challenging issues. Societies can use young people’s ingenuity and forward-thinking perspectives to solve urgent concerns.

As a young person contesting the local elections in Għargħur, I strongly feel that youths’ opinions matter when making decisions and developing long-term plans for the future of our communities.

Notwithstanding the advancements and developments occurring all around us, we must make sure our efforts are focused on protecting and developing our natural resources and cultural legacy. This would also serve as a means of enhancing the community’s quality of life through creative, sustainable projects.

Giving a voice and recognising the abilities of youths not only gives them a real sense of belonging but enhances relevant and effective solutions. This fosters a stronger feeling of responsibility in addition to enhancing confidence and self-esteem. Additionally, involving young people in decision-making encourages diversity, equity and inclusion. Societies can make more just and informed judgements when a variety of viewpoints are given a platform. This promotes social solidarity and aids in the fight against discrimination and systematic injustices.

Youths with leadership qualities are better able to take the initiative, manage initiatives and motivate others to act. Young leaders are essential, together with experienced leaders, to determine the course of society for the future, whether they are directing social movements, leading community projects, or pushing for legislative reform.

Involving young people in decision-making encourages diversity, equity and inclusion– Mariah Meli

Societies can guarantee competent and forward-thinking leaders for the future by investing now in their development. Governments, corporations, academic institutions and civil society groups should all contribute to the creation of young leaders. It is important to have policies in place that support young people’s involvement in decision-making at all levels, from local to global fora.

Educational curricula should include programmes for the development of leadership qualities that will help pave the way for aspiring young leaders.

Engaging young people in decision making, whether in politics, the community or civil society, promotes their civic engagement, increases their sense of inclusion and fortifies their role in the democratic process.

Therefore, encouraging such participation is crucial. Supporting young people to influence decisions in democratic processes, whether at national, regional or local levels, as well as increasing their involvement in the development of inclusive and peaceful societies, is one of the Council of Europe youth sector’s strategic objectives.

Giving young people a platform to express their ideas and concerns make them feel more involved. In January, the government started involving youths directly in decision making through the National Youth Advisory Forum. This is providing youths with an opportunity to propose ideas that might be presented to parliament, thus giving them a central role on the national scene.

Building inclusive, resilient and sustainable communities requires the fostering of young people’s leadership potential and including people in decision making.

I encourage all young people to utilise the country’s democratic representation system in the upcoming local government and European Parliament elections. By enabling youths to reach their full potential and become empowered adults, we create new avenues for wealth and growth for future generations.

Mariah Meli is a Labour Party local council candidate for Għargħur.

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