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Culture high on agenda in Valletta summer school

The parish of St Augustine in Valletta and YMCA Homeless have for the second year running teamed up to organise healthy and creative recreation for the city's children.

The parish has made its centre available for the use of the 60 or so children taking part in this year's programme, which is directed towards the promotion of values, culture and environment awareness.

The parish centre is a hub of activity in which groups of children were kept busy through various forms of self-expression. More than one activity happens simultaneously: some are engaged with arts and crafts such as painting and drawing, making paper-animals and collage work, while others attend talks related to a wide variety of topics.

However, the spectrum of activities organised for the Valletta children are multi-faceted, incorporating both indoor and outdoor events. Culture is high on the agenda, and several of the organised events relate to the visiting of museums.

Heritage Malta has made its sites available for the children and teenagers free of charge. Mario Saliba, YMCA coordinator, stressed the importance of networking among organisations. He also said that, through this programme, YMCA hopes to set an example to other NGOs.

The participating children are under the constant supervision of a number of volunteers who have been appointed by St Augustine's parish and the YMCA. There are also a number of Higher Secondary students helping out with the summer school, as part of the syllabus of their Systems of Knowledge project.

A number of children with special needs are also attending. Fr Saviour Grima, St Augustine's chaplain, said there are a number of children suffering from personal traumas or disabilities. For this purpose, a psychologist is available to see to their needs.

The summer school is aimed at children aged four to 13.

The summer school is active three times a week - on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings - between July and September.

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