Interview with Scout Association of Malta

MEUSAC assistance has been of great help – Scout Association of Malta

 

Experience in project implementation stems from ‘learning-by-doing’ experience but professional advice sought

 

Scout Association of Malta External Funding Officer Josmar Azzopardi says that a combination of funding and project implementation-related experience by Scout Association representatives combined with MEUSAC’s ongoing support in the EU funding application process led to the successful implementation of a wide array of EU-funded projects by the scouts in Malta, including a great number of youth exchanges that provided an opportunity for interaction with foreign counterparts.

Mr Azzopardi praised MEUSAC officials for their constant support in the EU funding application process and beyond. However, he added that the government would do well in taking up the Scout Association’s advice and to train individuals to support non-governmental organisations (NGOs) with the implementation of the project.

“It’s simple, not all NGOs have the logistical support and project implementation expertise our association is lucky to have and which we garnered over the years.

“Not having volunteers who are geared to take on such a challenge could be a hurdle, hindering certain projects. Fortunately, the Scout Association has implemented a good number of projects over the years, but other organisations tend to struggle at implementation stage.

“MEUSAC’s support in the application process has been very helpful but we need others who would be ready to lend a hand at implementation stage in the same professional manner.

“In our case we used our resources and MEUSAC’s assistance to garner funds and implement projects, one project greater than the other,” Josmar highlighted.

Project funding

All EU funds applied for by the scout groups are done through the Scout Association.

Project ideas are initially discussed between the scout groups involved and the association. MEUSAC plays a vital role at this stage as it helps such groups identify what opportunities are currently available and helps them in creating a proposal according to the priorities of the call they are targeting.

The project proposal is then evaluated by specialists in their fields and each proposal is checked against a list of criteria to see whether the applicants should receive funding for their project. Once the application is deemed successful, the applicant receives the funds for the project.

Timeline of scout-related projects – 2015 and 2018

Year: 2015
Nature of project: Youth Exchange
Project theme: ‘Back in Time’
Beneficiary: Mtarfa Scout Group
Participants: Scouts from Malta and the UK
Funds garnered: €21,400

The idea behind the project was for participants to ‘relive’ the war-time connection between Malta and the United Kingdom, and to exchange knowledge on the then existing migration and security challenges. Participants also discussed today’s pressing issues in relation to migration and security. Participants camped out throughout the exchange.

Year: 2015
Nature of project: Youth Exchange
Project theme: ‘Scouted’
Beneficiary: Victoria Scout Group
Funds garnered: €36,000

The camping activity took the form of workshops and other activities in relation to the European Year for Development 2015. Participants got to experience first-hand food scarcity by having just enough food and drink to survive.

Year: 2015
Nature of project: Youth Exchange
Project theme: ‘Farm to Fork’
Beneficiary: Xagħra Scout Group
Funds garnered: €14,000

Participants got to experience, behind-the-scenes, the food industry process from start to finish. Participants visited farms and food producers keeping in mind the industrial and artisan market sectors.

Year: 2015
Nature of project: Youth Exchange
Project theme: ‘Scouting Superpacks’
Beneficiary: Local and foreign scouts
Funds garnered: €7,600

This project consisted of a number of summer camps held in Malta.

Year: 2015
Nature of project: Youth Exchange
Project theme: ‘EVS Beacon’
Beneficiary: Local and foreign scouts
Funds garnered: €10,600

Coordinators managing EVS projects in a number of European countries had the opportunity to share best practices and look into how they could improve on their practices.

Years: 2015-2017
Nature of project: Youth exchanges
Project theme: ‘Action for Nature’
Beneficiary: BirdLife Malta and Scout Association of Malta
Funds garnered: €34,500

Conducted over a period of two years, all youths involved looked at how best to improve Is-Simar Nature Reserve,  Għadira Nature Reserve and and Foresta 2000.

Year: 2016
Nature of project: Youth Exchange
Project theme: ‘Bridging Cultural Differences’
Beneficiary: St Julian’s Scout Group
Participants: Maltese and Spanish scouts
Funds garnered: €12,000

An adventure camp where participants experienced various aspects of Maltese culture and tradition: from village festas to cooking traditional dishes. Participants also had the opportunity to spend a day with the Armed Forces of Malta.

Year: 2017
Nature of project: Youth Exchange
Project theme: ‘Environmental Scouts’
Beneficiary: 1st Qormi Scout Group
Participants: Maltese, Czech and Lithuanian scouts
Funds garnered: €12,000

An eco-friendly adventure camp where participants were tasked to use solar energy and make their own soaps. The groups also discussed biodiversity.

Year: 2018
Nature of project: Youth Exchange
Project theme: ‘Island Explorer’
Beneficiary:  Sta Venera Scout Group
Participants: Maltese, Czech and Lithuanian scouts
Funds garnered: €40,000

Currently in the process of being implemented, this project, which focuses on civilisation, has participants organising various activities in relation to Malta’s foreign involvement or occupation over the years. For example, Press freedom will be the theme during French Day.

Year: 2018
Nature of project: Youth Exchange
Project theme: ‘Youths Saving Our Seas’
Beneficiary:  Msida Sea Scouts
Participants: European Sea Scouts
Funds garnered: €32,000

A number of scout organisations from various European countries are expected to meet in Malta to help protect life in our oceans. The special focus will be on micro plastic management since plastic is a major pollutant. This follows calls made last year by various key figures during the ‘Our Ocean’ conference held in Malta which focused greatly on the world’s ever-increasing marine pollution.

Years: 2015-2018
Nature of projects: Series of long-term youth exchanges
Project theme: ‘Scouting a Path’; ‘Med.EU.m’
Beneficiary:  European Voluntary Service (EVS)
Participants: Maltese, Bulgarian, Romanian, Lithuanian, Czech scouts
Funds garnered: €149,400

Some of these projects have been or are in the process of being implemented. They are long-term projects where participants get to work and live together for a period of six months to a year.

The project’s culmination will be the Jamboree in August which 2,000 scouts from various European and Mediterranean countries will attend.

Members of the EVS are currently preparing the venue which is set to host the mega event.

The objectives of this year’s project include managing the Għajn Tuffiegħa camp site. The aim of past and present projects is that of supporting national scouting activities and training programmes.

Do you belong to an NGO and have a project idea you’d like to implement? Do you need support in the application process? MEUSAC offers, free of charge, a service of helping you identify the right funding opportunity and supporting you throughout the application process and beyond.

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