Minister Silvio Schembri, H.E. Marie Louise Coleiro Preca & Qormi Mayor walking in Federico Maempel Garden in Qormi and looking at a visual of how the garden will look after refurbishment.
Group photo of H.E. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, Minister Ian Borg and children from the children's council after a day together going around different Progett KomunitArja open spaces.

The United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child also gives importance to: “Environments in which play, and recreational opportunities are available to all children provide the conditions for creativity; opportunities to exercise competence trough self-initiated play enhances motivation, physical activity and skills development; immersion in cultural life enriches playful interactions; rest ensures that children have the necessary energy and motivation to participate in play and creative engagement”. (UNCRC, Article 31, 1989)

The concept underpinning the Progett Komunitarja reflects this fundamental children’s right and is the overarching mission of the Children’s Hub within the Malta Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society.   This project mainly aims to promote and support child participation in the Maltese Islands and beyond.  This project is also motivated by principles drawn from peace education to uphold the value of respect to one another and acknowledge diversity as an opportunity.  It is through inclusion and the building of positive relationship that this project aims to enhance wellbeing.

In 2019, the Team within the Malta Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society, through the Children’s Hub held a series of meetings and consultation sessions with members of the Children, Young Persons, and Interfaith Children’s Councils. During these consultation meetings, children discussed ways and ideas about activities and projects to generate wellbeing at large. The most prominent statement highlighted by the children and the young persons, was the need to create green, open, and safe spaces in the community.

Following further research and consultation with adults, it became apparent that at a wider level, people of all ages feel the need for increased spaces for play and recreational activities for children. Previously, Maltese villages had a strong sense of community life centred on the village “pjazza”, the village square. Although community life is different from one locality to another, communities had a high level of active participation among residents including children. Today, the spirit of the village “pjazza” vanished, leaving little or no physical spaces in which to celebrate the feeling of connection among the community and the development of positive relationships which is central to wellbeing.  

It was the result of this process of child participation and consultations that the Malta Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society created Progett Komunitarja.

Progett Komunitarja focuses on building an inclusive community of learning through active participation. It aims to revive the communal feeling.  A number of fundamental components underpin this community project mainly:  

o the identification of unused land in the heart of the community;

o children are the primary designers, supported by the community (local council and community level NGOs);

  • children’s designs are then translated into professional and technical plans by designers and architects;
  • the support and funding by government authorities and agencies and
  • the involvement of the local council from the outset and in particular to administer and maintain the project sustainably.

Progett Komunitarja aims to create an open, safe, inclusive, and environmentally friendly space, primarily with children and for children. The project also aims to give children and young people the opportunity to play, exercise, share and learn through a programme of non-formal education, which is being developed by the Malta Trust Foundation as a partner to the project in collaboration with the Faculty of Education of The University of Malta.

Through a 3-tier consultation with the participation of over 900 children, the MFWS Children’s Hub drew up a report and designs made by children were presented to the professionals who based the design of open spaces in 7 localities on the outcomes of this child participation and consultation process. Through this process the children’s voices of more than 900 were not just heard but also acted upon.

An accessible/ child friendly version of the report was also drafted by a member of the young persons’ councils. 

Other Projects

One child speaking with other children about their proposals whilst showing plan on a printed paper.

Progett KomunitArja

Children putting up three flags during the Interfaith Harmony Event 2022. UN Flag, Interfaith Flag made by the children, Maltese Flag

Interfaith Children’s Dialogue

HE Marie Louise Coleiro Preca and children from the children's council on a minivan on the way to visit the sites of Progett KomunitArja

The Children’s and Young Persons’ Council