Polifest is a year-long structured dialogue project organised by Aġenzija Żgħażagħ, the EYCA member organisation in Malta. The project is all about creating spaces for young people to engage with policy makers and experts so that their priorities are reflected in policy.
The project features 12 events and is co-designed together with 9 core youth leaders.
Polifest is built on three main pillars:
- The realities of young people in Malta today
- The development of youth policy
- Democratic participation.
Core youth leaders
Nine core youth leaders were involved in the development of the project, joining forces with youth workers to design and facilitate seminars and workshops and moderate discussions. In addition, the core youth leaders help to create the policy recommendations presented to decision makers.
The core youth leaders also promote the project abroad and share their experience. For instance, Polifest was one of the examples of good practice presented in Brussels during an event celebrating the Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018.
Events so far
Launched on International Youth Day, the first Polifest session focused on safe spaces for young people. The aim of this first session was to enable young people to come up with their proposals and guiding principles on designing youth policy. Clifton Grima, Parliamentary Secretary for Youth, Sports and Voluntary Organisations, and Miriam Teuma, the head of Aġenzija Żgħażagħ, were present to listen to and receive the young people's initial proposals.
The second Polifest session took place on the International Day of Democracy on the 15th of September. The session launched the second pillar of the project, focussing on youth and democracy. Youth Organisations were invited to reflect on their work and involvement as an extension of the democratic process and how this can be further enhanced. Policy makers were also present to engage in dialogue with those present.
Discussions on this theme will be resumed during a future event which will be held on the 10th December 2018 – Human Rights Day. Further sessions will follow until May 2019 when the young people participating in the project will present their recommendations to the policy makers.
Polifest is organised with the support of the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.