Youth in Malta

​Teenagers
Youth in Malta
If you’re in your teens or early 20s and live in Malta or Gozo, then this is the website for you.
 
You’re at an exciting stage in your life, with a sea of opportunities ahead of you – and we want to help you make the most of that.
 
This site will help you to learn more about those opportunities and offer helpful information on community, education, employment and training, Europe, family and relationships, health, housing, justice, money, sport, leisure and travel, and transport in Malta.
 
We’re here to help you, and keen for you to get in contact should you need any guidance. If you want to be in touch, please do so on info.youthmalta@gov.mt.


Family

Whatever your age, your family is a vital part of your life.
 
While it is normal to sometimes feel negative feelings towards your family when you are growing up, developing and becoming more independent, your family is a vital backbone of support for you, offering guidance when you need it most. They are the ones who will be there for you no matter what happens.
 
There will be good days and bad days, but never forget that it was your family that raised you and wants the best for you. At this stage in your life, as you start to enjoy your independence, remember that it can be challenging for the people who love you to understand that you now need them less.
 
So, in return for their support, try to retain some time for them, whether that’s visiting elderly relatives, taking your siblings or cousins out for the afternoon, or just helping out with a family dinner. You may wish that you were out with your friends instead, but will learn that family time can be just as fun and very rewarding. 
 
Of course families go through a lot. Perhaps your parents have decided to separate or get divorced, or maybe a close relative has recently passed away. This is the time when you need your family most, as they will help you to get through it, and you can do the same for them. If you feel that you or your family could benefit from talking about it, then you can read more about Family Therapy Services here.
 
Sadly, however, not all young people can count on a safe, secure family environment at this vital time in their lives. If you feel that you are being mistreated, or that someone you know is being abused, you can seek help here or by calling the support line on 179.  


Relationships & Sexual Health

As you go through your teens and 20s, it is normal to start developing strong feelings for another person and to enter into a relationship. Whether this turns out to be a long-term relationship, or something that last just a short time, there will be plenty for you to think about and look forward to… After all, it could be the start of something really special.  
 
What is important is that you only do what makes you comfortable. You should not feel pressured into doing anything, whether sexually or otherwise, simply because your boyfriend or girlfriend says you should. Remember: no one should have sex if they don’t want it, or aren’t ready for it. Take things slowly, and ask for advice from friends, relatives or other people you can trust if you need to. If you’re not sure whether something is OK, check it out with someone you can confide in.
 
If you do decide to have a sexual relationship, make the right decisions for you and your partner. The law says that you have to be 18 years or older to have sex with someone else, and this is the same whathever your sexuality. Make sure you are safe too, both from getting a sexually transmitted disease and from an unplanned pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about the best contraception for you, as you could consider condoms, the pill or other hormone-based treatments.
 
Remember, you can always speak to your doctor in confidence, and he or she will advise you on what is best. You can also visit the GU Clinic. They will be able to advise you and to offer you free, impartial advice if you think you could have a STD. Click her​e for more information about sexual and reproductive health in Malta.
 

Employment & Money
 
There are so many reasons why you could want a job. Perhaps you want to save up money to go travelling or buy a house, or maybe you want to put your skills to good use. Either way, the first step is to find a job that suits you.
 
Finding the right job can be challenging, but the good news is there is a lot of help out there. In fact, you can find everything you need to know he​re​, on the special Jobsplus website that has been set up to give young people information on career guidance services, workshops and vacancy lists.  You could also find more about finding a job here.
 
Of course, one of the main reasons most of us want to work – aside from job satisfaction – is to earn money.  As you become more independent and earn more money, you’ll also be able to enjoy that more by doing the things that mean most to you, whether that’s shopping, going abroad, attending cultural events or investing in a hobby.
 
Managing your money can be a challenge in itself, as you try to balance your budget between the things your want and need, and amounts you need to save. You can hold a meeting with an advisor at your bank who will inform you of the best accounts available to you, as well as your options should you wish to take a loan for a house, car, computer or anything else. They will also be able to tell you how best to save for the future, and can discuss options for retirement plans, too.
 
It is important to try to avoid going into debt (from overdue payments on loans and credit cards), so it helps to really understand your monthly incomings and outgoings as soon as possible. You should also find out more about whether you need to pay tax and national insurance here, as well as whether you are eligible for any government benefits here


Education
 
We all know that an education is important. Whether you’ve completed secondary school, are studying for your A’ Levels, or are working on your tertiary education at university or college, anything you do now will help in the future.
 
Of course no one said it was going to be easy, and getting an education can be very stressful. Coping with exams and deadlines is a common problem, but it’s important to set goals for yourself, to dedicate enough time to getting the task done, and to ask for help when you need it. If you feel you really are in over your head, then a guidance counsellor within your school or college can help.
 
Whenever possible, try to stick with it. Having the right skills is more important than ever before, as the jobs market is getting more and more competitive. Skills and qualifications could help you to stand out from the crowd of interviewees going for the same job as you, whatever industry you are interested in.
 
There are also many ways to boost your education, with extra courses and workshops to attend. You can find more information here.
 

Sports, Leisure & Entertainment
 
The Maltese Islands may be small – but there’s a lot to keep you busy!
 
You can use the time that you’re not at school or work to engage in a hobby or to enjoy yourself, whether that’s practicing a sport you love, attending a course, or entertaining yourself with friends.
 
Playing sport is a great way of keeping fit and healthy, and there are numerous clubs across a huge number of sports in Malta. Click here for a list of sports played, and find out more about how to join in by accessing the Malta Sports Council. Further information can be found here.
 
Leisure time doesn’t stop at sport. You may prefer other hobbies, such as the arts and culture, cooking, collecting, gardening or enjoying the outdoors. Most hobbies you can think of will have an associated club or association, and you will be able to find out more by searching the Internet or looking on Facebook.
 
There are also plenty of ways to keep yourself and your friends entertained in Malta. You could go to the cinema, bowling, or for a country walk, or could spend the day on the beach, go camping or go clubbing.  


Health
 
Your health is so important. Even at a young age, you should do your best to stay fit and well, to eat healthily, get regular check-ups and to never put yourself in danger if you can avoid it.
 
Of course young people do have health concerns, such as general issues abut day-to-day wellness, eating disorders, sexual health and addictions. You can find out more about each of those here, as well as information on how to become a donor in Malta, first aid, healthy eating and the World Health Organisation.


Housing
 
The way you live and, importantly, where you live, may change quite a lot over the next few years of your life.
 
Right now you may be living with your family but are considering making the move to a home of your own, or you could currently be renting and thinking about buying a house.
 
Either way, there are numerous things to consider. You will find information about the Housing Authority, buying and selling property, schemes and assistance available to first time buyers in Malta, home loans and letting here.  You will also find specific information for schemes available for first time buyers here.
 
If, unfortunately, you have found yourself homeless in Malta, you may be eligible for housing assistance through the housing authority or for help from the YMCA in Valletta. You can find out more here.


Transport
 
Whether you have a car or not, getting around Malta is usually pretty easy.
 
If you plan on using public transport, it is best to familiarise yourself with the bus network so that you can source the closest bus stop to you, wherever you are. You will find all the information you need about public transport on the Malta Public Transport website, including tickets, fares, routes and timetables. If you are thinking of travelling to or from Gozo, you will find information on the ferry timetable here.
 
If you are considering getting your own car, then you will first need to learn to drive. You will find all the information you need here including a list of driving schools and advice on what you need to do before you can take your driving test in Malta.
 
Once you have your licence and a car, there are other things you need to think about, such as road tax, insurance and VRT testing. You can find out all about that here.


Community  
 
Getting involved in your community can be one of the most rewarding things you do as a young person. Aside from helping out in society, you will also make new friends and enjoy exciting experiences, which could help to improve other parts of your life too.
 
There are many community-based clubs that you could choose to participate in, including political clubs, parish youth groups, religious organisations, the National Youth Council, band clubs, the National Youth Parliament, student organisations, trade union youth sections and youth local councils. You can find a full list of these, as well as more information on them, here.
 
You may also choose to volunteer some time to an organisation that you feel passionate about. There are numerous voluntary organisations that regularly need help, both in Malta and overseas. On the other hand, you may feel so passionately about something that you decide you set up your own NGO to raise specific funds and awareness about it. Either way, you will find all the information you need here. 
 
However you decide to get involved, we’d love to hear about it. So please contact us to tell us your stories from recent events or activities, and to share your ideas for ways things could be better in your community. We would absolutely love to hear from you, so send us an email on info.youthmalta@gov.mt and we’ll get in touch!
 
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