College 6th Formers learn about social responsibility
Over 230 St Aloysius’ College first-year Sixth Formers gave a total of 12,000 hours of voluntary service during the past academic year to individuals or groups in government, local council or Church-run establishments as well as with NGOs.
All first-year Sixth Form students at the college are required to offer at least 55 hours of unpaid service during the year as part of the college’s ‘Social responsibility programme’. The programme, now in its sixth year, is part of the Jesuit vision of forming ‘men and women for others’.
Many students not only continue giving service beyond the programme requirements but also seek to take up more demanding responsibilities or join voluntary work experiences abroad at a later stage.
This was the first year that the students were given the opportunity to take part in the 10-hour ‘Springboard – Youth Volunteers Training Programme’ promoted by the Jesuit Youth Network Inygo for students at the University Chaplaincy who carry out voluntary work with the poor abroad in summer.
In the initial session, four former volunteers shared their experiences and insights about the required attitudes, the challenges faced, the impact on one’s life and the spirituality of voluntary work.
The second session was a half-day seminar during which students attended workshops on topics such as ‘Engaging children with challenging behaviour’, ‘Skills and strategies to help children with literacy’, ‘Reaching out to the sick and the elderly’, and ‘Caring for the environment’, delivered by professionals in the respective areas.
At the programme’s final session Martin Bugelli, head of the European Commission Representation in Malta, highlighted the importance of volunteering for the fabric of society. The session helped the students reflect on how they can motivate others to get involved and help people in need.
The organisation of this programme was supported by the Small Initiatives Scheme Voluntary Organisation Fund managed by the Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector.