Francesca Vella in her piece on TMIS (CLIK HERE) describes the research I led:
The results of a study published by OASI Publications show that 39.9 per cent of Gozitans aged 10 to 30 feel that living in Malta to study or work has a positive impact on their quality of life.
The project leader of the study, entitled ‘Young People in Gozo’, explained that a number of young Gozitans enjoy their independence in Malta, but look forward to meeting family and friends in Gozo at the weekend.The research was funded by the scheme for projects by NGOs and voluntary groups contributing towards the implementation of Eco-Gozo short-term measures (2010-2012). Marilyn Clark, Saviour Formosa, Claire Bonello, Mahira Sheikh Mifsud, Dun Manwel Cordina, Andrea Saliba, Daniela Spiteri and Noel Xerri were all involved in the study as project consultants, research assistants and project collaborators.
Anthony E. Azzopardi had carried out another study on young Gozitans in 2000.
The results of the study under review show that young people are very much engaged in their communities. In fact, 35 per cent of 10 to 30-year-olds are involved in NGOs, 64 per cent carry out voluntary work and 52 per cent are interested in current affairs. At the same time, only 8.7 per cent are members of a political party.
Moreover, 80 per cent of young people like their village feast, want to react to injustices and would like their communities to be kept clean (70 per cent believe that Gozo is clean).
When it comes to jobs, 87.3 per cent of 10 to 30-year-olds said there aren’t enough employment opportunities in Gozo. In its recommendations, the authors of the study said there needs to be a wider choice of courses on offer at the Gozo University Centre.
Interestingly, only 60 per cent of 10 to 30-year-olds agree with the tunnel link, but feel there needs to be an improved link to Malta, particularly by increasing the frequency of boat trips and cutting down on waiting time.
The authors of the study said the authorities need to create recovery strategies for young people who are struggling with problems at home (7.5 per cent have consumed illegal substances, 35 per cent consume alcohol, 5.8 per cent drink every day and 1.9 per cent gamble).
Saying that the problem is significant, but still manageable, they called for the immediate establishment of a response unit that draws together experts from the national youth agency, social welfare and social services, the Church, voluntary organisations, as well as health and education services.
Young Gozitans who participated in the study were also asked about their views on people from different cultures and having different backgrounds and experiences.
The study speaks of the need to keep finding ways of integrating minorities in the Gozitan community.
The results show that 82 per cent of 10 to 30-year-olds are tolerant of gay people, 93 per cent are tolerant towards disabled people, but only 53 per cent tolerate prisoners and drug addicts, and only 44 per cent are tolerant towards immigrants.
Interestingly, 98 per cent of the young Gozitans who took part in the study said they are Catholic and 95 per cent believe in God. But the percentage of those who go to Mass once a week goes down to 76 per cent. Almost 39 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds agree with cohabitation and 1.7 per cent of 10 to 30-year-olds approve of abortion, while 9.4 per cent approve of abortion in certain circumstances.
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