Youth FA, FSWS sign MOU to raise awareness about various forms of abuse and addictions among youths

The Youth Football Association and the Foundation for Social Welfare Services (FSWS) have strengthened their collaboration through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding.

The Youth FA and the FSWS, through Aġenzija Sedqa, will be undertaking a series of initiatives and educational sessions focusing on prevention. The sessions are aimed at helping all persons involved to enhance their life skills and promote a healthy lifestyle, in the process raising further awareness about drugs, alcohol, gambling, the problematic use of technology and other behavioural addictions.

The MOU was launched during a press conference at the FSWS offices on Tuesday which was addressed by Norman Darmanin Demajo, President of the Youth FA, and Alfred Grixti, CEO of the FSWS.

Mr Darmanin Demajo, who is also a Board Member of the UEFA Foundation for Children, said: “This MOU reflects the Youth FA’s commitment to the legacy of Fr Hilary (Tagliaferro) to continue being of service to Maltese football and the wider community. The Youth FA is celebrating its 40th anniversary and this collaboration with the FSWS and Aġenzija Sedqa fits perfectly with our social mission to raise awareness about serious problems and behavioural addictions which may have a very negative effect on our children and youths.

“We are here to offer support and assistance and football is an excellent channel to provide help to those in need, potentially reaching out to persons and communities who may otherwise be difficult to get to.”

For his part, Mr Grixti said the MOU will further boost the Foundation’s work among children and youths. “We want to be where the children and youths are,” Mr Grixti said.

“Football is the most popular sport in Malta and the Foundation wants to be part of it to convey a strong message about the importance of living in a safe and healthy environment, while staying away from addictive behaviours.”

The MOU between the Youth FA and the FSWS sets out their shared objectives. The sessions with the nursery administrators are intended to increase their ability to recognise and identify signs of abuse as well as behavioural addictions, including the use of substances and its effects. The interactive sessions for the players in the Under-15 and Under-17 age-groups will prioritise prevention.

The Youth FA was also represented by General Secretary Stephanie Rocco at the signing of the MOU while Jareth Grima, Manager Prevention Services, and Charles Scerri, Operations Director, were also present on behalf of the FSWS and Aġenzija Sedqa.