Climate Changes As Fast As Fashion, Youth Exchange; MALTA

Taking a wider meaning of the term “Fashion” it is my observation that the fashion Maltese teenagers spend their summer holidays has changed along these past three decades. Back in the seventies, it was the norm for sixth formers to participate in some sort of social or cultural philanthropic activity. Not so anymore. Today, most college students (16-18) are working hard at all sorts of part-time jobs and then they spend their money on excessive leisure activities; branded clothing and accessories; and cutting-edge electronic equipment.

It has become exceptional to find youngsters who are willing to spend much of their time and energy working on a project, just as these eight participants, making them both special and precious. They are special because to my great satisfaction I can watch them develop in several aspects (academic; social; personal) while they are working on this project, making them stand out as different and I dare say better than those who prefer to flow with the modern trend. They are precious, because they are not keeping their special qualities to themselves; instead they are striving to design posters that would stir the rest of the world so that together we may make a change to the better.

To ensure the accuracy of the material tackled in the posters, we attended two, two-hour lectures by Mr Carmel Hili, Senior Lecturer at the Environmental Science Department. [Mr Hili is also a leader of the Maltese team.] By making use of a questionnaire, which we had worked before the lectures, we elicited the common misconceptions about climate change in our group. Thus, Andrew and Elizabeth designed an interactive poster aiming at correcting any inaccurate information the general public may hold about this topic. So come over to Platres Camp and take the challenge of checking your knowledge!

Alexia and Mariah focused on passing the same information, but this time, to primary school children, in the hope that thus the parents would be involved also. These participants prepared a workbook, emphasising the practical ways of reducing global warming and hence reducing the ill-effects of climate change.

Elisa and Gertrude, did research on the consequences of global warming on the Maltese Islands and the surrounding sea. Being biology students, they focused on the biological aspect. After having consulted with Dr Noel Aquilina, senior lecturer in Physics at the Faculty of Science; Dr Alan Deidun, senior lecturer at the International Ocean Institute; and Professor Patrick Schembri at the Biology Department of the Faculty of Science; the two students gleaned the most appropriate information and discussed their work with Mr Hili.

On the other hand, Alison and Samuel focused more on the data of the climate of the Maltese Islands along the past three decades. From this data they generated secondary data by, for example, working out averages for the same month of a whole decade and then expressed these data in graphs. From the graphs they could draw conclusions about general trends that may be due to global warming.

Apart from the academic aspect, other activities are being carried out to encourage team building, such as helping eachother with the posters, thus becoming acquanted with different software; having a swim and a cook-out together; students teaching the teachers the steps for the traditional Maltese Folk Dance and much more. Most of this team did not know eachother at all before May, but very quickly, we have become great friends.

We are now finalising the details of how we can share with the other countries the blessings of living on our beloved island. We look forward to exchange both the different and common elements of the seven different countries, while enjoying the Troodos mountains. Finally, we would like to thank our Cypriot friends who are striving so hard to make this a wonderful experience for all of us. THANK YOU J

Myriam Soler

Leader for the Maltese team