The President’s Trust, as the name implies, is an initiative spearheaded and headed by the Office of the President of Malta. Its aims can be easily noted from the inaugural speech of Her Excellency the President of Malta, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca.
“It gives me deep satisfaction to see one of my dreams, come into fruition. This is the establishment of an entity that will inspire and support young people in our society, to build a positive life for themselves. The President’s Trust is precisely the entity that will create initiatives that give vulnerable young people the skills and confidence to overcome barriers in their lives.
Since the beginning, this Presidency has endeavoured to seek the wellbeing of all people in our society, including those living in poverty or social exclusion. With this aim in mind, we have established a number of fora that together create harmonization in the chain of structures and initiatives towards making social inclusion a reality.The President's Trust will support young people who are marginalized, excluded from society, without education and without work, or no job prospects, those that had a brush with justice, towards a pathway that can lead for a decent, better life with dignity.
It is precisely this reason why the President's Trust was established, to empower people who, due to their life circumstances, or because of decisions taken, are now experiencing a difficult life, are unemployed, marginalized or at risk of poverty. It is also the intention of the President's Trust to help people with problems of mental health, or who have brushed with the law by providing practical and financial assistance for them to take the first step.
I am proud that we have created a structure that can give support to young people, and empower them to gradually change their lives, and live full, satisfying lives, and to aim for a brighter future. After all, when we invest in our young people, we are investing in the future of our country. The President’s Trust will be helping to break the cycle of poverty, the cycle of social benefits, and the cycle of crime.
Finally, I sincerely hope that more and more young people will enjoy the fruits of the initiatives that the Trust will facilitate, in order to succeed in life and to fulfil their dreams and aspirations.”
The 15th July is World Youth Skills Day which is observed by the United Nations to keep youth unemployment on the international agenda. The UN calls upon Member states to help youth overcome the challenges with regards to employment and skills development. Disadvantaged young people face even more challenges in this respect.
It is in line with this international commitment that on the 15thJuly 2017, The President’s Trust and the Malta Federation of Organisations Persons with Disability (MFOPD) jointly and in coordination with the Malta Association of Supported Employment (MASE) have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on The President’s Trust Employment Initiative which was one of the very first initiatives taken up and developed to support young vulnerable people to enter the world of work. This initiative is now being consolidated through this memorandum of understanding.
Through this collaboration with MFOPD and MASE we will be able to reach more young people coming from a wide array of vulnerable situations. While MFOPD is the national umbrella organisation for the disability sector it worked incessantly to establish MASE with the intention to have a professional supported employment structure in Malta. MASE has a vast wealth of knowledge and experience in supported employment and this will enrich The President’s Trust Employment Initiative.
Supported employment has been shown to be an effective way for disadvantaged young persons to find and retain a job in the open market. It supports both employees, as it focuses on their abilities, and employers. The President’s Trust mentoring system for young people who lack a positive role model and/or who may benefit from one-to-one mentorship remains an important component of this initiative. Through this joint collaboration job-coaching and skills-building may also be provided to young people who may require on-the job training and guidance. All this is determined through an initial assessment and through one-to-one relationship building with the young person and his/her family if required.
Both parties to this memorandum of understanding believe that every young person has a potential and if supported in the right manner can flourish and be an asset to society. It is this principle that brought the parties together, believing that this close synergy can provide sustainable opportunities for young people.
From the moment of signing of the MOU to date, the amount of beneficiaries utilising the services of MFOPD and MASE referred to by The President’s Trust has increased eightfold and is constantly growing.