Saturday 04 February 2023

Coleiro Preca made president of first
Mediterranean Children’s Movement

Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, who heads the Malta Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society, has just been appointed president of the first Mediterranean Children’s Movement.
Made up of children from six founding countries — Malta, Serbia, Tunisia, Cyprus, Slovenia and Croatia — the MCM is geared to pressure governments and civil society to place youngsters and their future at the top of the political agenda.
Accepting the position, Ms Coleiro Preca told the movement’s first general assembly held this month that this was the beginning of a new chapter for the children in the Mediterranean region.
“This is history in the making. Never before has there been such an effort to create the necessary space to bring together children from around the Mediterranean to manifest and celebrate their diversity. To drive change. To build a Mediterranean society based on respect,” she said.
It has long been Ms Coleiro Preca’s dream to bring to bring together the children of the Mediterranean to speak in one voice, and with the commitment of the taskforce, the MCM will be a catalyst to provide a safe space for these voices to be head and given credence.
“The situation in the Mediterranean today is far from reassuring; wars and conflicts continue to divide north and south and tear apart our peoples… Through the creation of this movement, we want to invest in children to build their holistic well-being and gain their rightful dignity,” Ms Coleiro Preca said.
Made up of children from six different countries — Malta is represented by Martina Olivia, 18 — the MCM taskforce wants to demonstrate that a country which fails to listen to 25 per cent of its population under the age of 18, cannot be called democratic nor can it produce responsible citizens.
The MCM hopes it can be instrumental in putting a spotlight on increased inequalities, child poverty in the Mediterranean, children living in conflict areas, developmental well-being, quality education, and the impacts of climate change, among others.
“We want children to become a priority on the Mediterranean agenda,” Ms Coleiro Preca said.
The movement is made up of: Yana Mintoff Bland (Malta) and Neziha Labidi (Tunisia) as vice presidents; Ninetta Kazantz (Cyprus) as general secretary; and Ljiljana Vasic (Serbia) as treasurer.

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