Maltese Group For Troubled Youths Struggling For Funds
Council funds have dried up for voluntary youth centre in Santa Lucia
A local voluntary group for troubled youths in Santa Lucia is struggling to find funds and a permanent meeting place.
Guzi Farrell, an elderly volunteer, said that a year and a half ago the Santa Lucia council personally asked the Tarxien Youth Centre to branch out to help the disadvantaged youths (aged between 10 and 15) of the neighbouring village.
However, payments from the council recently dried up - attempts by Lovin Malta to contact its mayor Terrence Ellul have failed, but Farrell said the council had told him that it was suffering from a shortage of funds.
The youth group organises fun outings, job training, and education for troubled youths. Yet the lack of money means that their gatherings are confined to parks, bus stops and a tiny room at the Dar Nazareth learning centre. It also means that the youth group is struggling to fork out the minivan costs needed to transport the kids from Santa Lucia to their outing destinations and back - around €40 each time.
They are now relying on the goodwill of people and businesses, like the man who recently let the youths make use of his archery practice centre free of charge.
Yet Farrell is arguing that the local council, the government or the Church should step up and fund the youth centre.
“These children were vandalising benches and street lamps, but vandalism in Santa Lucia has plummeted by around 90% since we arrived,” he said. “Why should we have to beg for money and help from people when we are doing a favour for the village, society and the country?”