The YOUTH programme reaches youths outside their educational institutions and aims at increasing cooperation in youth-related matters. The target audience are youths between the ages of 15 and 25 and it's open to a total of 30 countries. The YOUTH programme sets out to contribute to the education of young people, particularly through exchange activities and European Voluntary service.
YOUTH is managed on a decentralised basis in the countries taking part in the programme, through the National Agencies. The National Agency in Malta is at the Ministry of Education (Rm 215)
Action 1 - Youth Exchanges
A youth exchange brings together groups of young people from different backgrounds from two or more countries, providing them with an opportunity to discuss and confront various themes, whilst learning about each other's countries and cultures.
Exchanges between Programme countries can be bilateral, trilateral or multilateral. They must take place in one of the partner countries involved in the project. Exchanges do not necessarily imply reciprocity, i.e. the sending group need not become the host group in a second phase of the project. If it does, a separate application must be submitted for the second phase.
Action 2 - European Voluntary Service
An EVS project allows a young person to be a volunteer in another country for a specified period, normally between 6 and 12 months. Voluntary service activities can take place, for example, in the field of the environment, arts and culture, activities with children, young people or the elderly, heritage, or sports and leisure.
Volunteers will participate in activities that comply with the following general principles. Activities must:
• take place in a country other than where the volunteer lives,
• be non-profit-making and unpaid,
• bring an added value to the local community,
• not involve job substitution,
• last for a limited period (maximum 12 months)
Action 3 - Youth Initiatives
A Group Initiative is a project created and run by a group of young people. Such projects can represent innovative examples of the contributions that young people want to make to their local community.
The duration of such projects is between three months and one year.
Action 4 - Joint Actions
Joint Actions aim to promote a "Europe of knowledge" and focus on themes that, by their very nature, are not limited to one field alone, i.e. education, training or youth policy. They call for reinforced cooperation between actors from various sectors and fields of knowledge. The EU programmes SOCRATES, LEONARDO DA VINCI and YOUTH are complementary instruments that aim to create European-level conditions under which learners of all ages are able to acquire the experience, knowledge and skills they need to live, work and actively participate in society. Joint Actions are included in all three Programmes and give concrete form to complementarity by implementing initiatives that extend beyond the scope of a single Programme. Joint Actions may also be extended to other fields, for example culture.
Action 5 - Support Measures
Support Measures are instruments aimed at helping all those involved in youth activities or interested in youth matters to prepare and develop projects and initiatives within the context of the YOUTH programme. For further information concerning training activities, please consult www.training-youth.net and www.SALTO-YOUTH.net
How can MCAST students benefit from the YOUTH programme?
MCAST students, as young persons, can make good use of the YOUTH programme. Exchanges are an excellent way of travelling; making new friends outside your country and it's definitely an alternative activity to do if you're a member of a youth group. You need to be part of a youth group, culture group or sports group to apply for YOUTH activities. Those of you who are youth leaders can contact the YOUTH National Agency and inform themselves further on how to organise a YOUTH project.
How can MCAST staff benefit from the YOUTH programme?
MCAST staff who is still under the age of 25 can use the YOUTH programme like any other youth. Those of you who are over the age of 25 and are active in their local youth centre, a religious organisation or any sort of organised group that brings together youths between the ages of 15 and 25 can organise YOUTH activities. These are a great way to get to know other youth leaders who eventually will become your own international network of friends.
Youth leaders can also attend training courses (Action 5). More information about forthcoming activities can be obtained from the YOUTH Malta webpage or by contacting the agency.
More detailed information is available from the following web sites:
YOUTH Malta Web Site
EU YOUTH Web Site