Same, Same but Different

More than 20 representatives and youth leaders joined from 9 European countries to discuss the further steps in creating a strong youth network for a long term positive change. The main goal of the meeting was to find a common road where different ideas could be exchanged and reach a common understanding.

After setting the foundations of the network in Romania, March 2015 and starting to develop the new structure in Slovakia, February 2016, the Malteser Youth International Network had its following meeting in Malta 9-13 June.

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Photo: Eitvydas Bingelis

The aims on a long term are to consolidate the network of the Order of Malta Relief Organisations’ Youth structures, to build a network of competences among the members, to facilitate the exchange of good practices, to increase the local impact, and to gain recognition of the Malteser Youth Network internationally.

During the meeting in Malta the objectives were to create a coherent and efficient functional mechanism of the Malteser Youth International Network structure. Earlier this year, at the Bratislava meeting five departments were formed (programs, human resources, representation, resource development and administration): they have been functioning as working groups during and in between the international meetings: setting goals, planning activities and developing new ideas within their topics. After several discussions a board was set up from the speakers of each reviewed departments. This team is going to arrange online meetings on a regular monthly basis to discuss the up-to-date topics and make decisions regarding the network.

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Photo: Eitvydas Bingelis

Another aim of the meeting was to foster group cohesion and to increase a genuine cooperation among the members of the network. Group building energizer games and various free time activities offered the opportunity to share experience, plan further projects and to be able to work together on different fields.

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Photo: Eitvydas Bingelis

Besides the goals for the development of the network, the location of the meeting gave an additional value to the participants. One of the special aims was to have a better understanding of the important heritage and values of the Order of Malta that govern our work. The guided tours in Valletta (in Saint John’s Cathedral and in Casa Rocca Piccola) and the time spent in Mdina, the medieval age capital of Malta, offered an insight to the wide and valuable heritage of the Order and the history of the island connected to it.

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Photo: Eitvydas Bingelis

The next international meeting of the Malteser Youth International Network will take place in Poland, the beginning of November. Until then the World Youth Day in Krakow and summer camps held in the different countries will give the chance for the network members to meet and work together on the common aim that was chosen as the vision of the network, and that they can all stand for: to inspire youth work that matters.

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Réka Szakszon