Youth poverty is a reality in Europe today. Education and employment initiatives can help to address youth poverty but we also know that these are not enough.  The EU, national and local governments need to have a strategy in place to respond to all forms of youth poverty. Providing opportunities to promote empowerment of young people is not to be ignored in fighting youth poverty in Europe.

48 young Salesian past pupils from Malta, Milan, Sicily, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Croatia met in Malta for a four day meeting, consultation and conference on Youth Inclusion: Education, Employment and Empowerment. This project is being organised by the National Federation of Past Pupils and Friends of Don Bosco in Malta and funded by the Erasmus+ EU Programme.

The young people had the opportunity to meet young people and ask them on their views on Youth Inclusion. They met with young people on the streets, in a school, and in a programme for school drop outs. Together, they discussed, in depth, issues related to youth poverty and formulated proposals for policy makers. During the conference, the young past pupils also had the opportunity to meet and share their ideas with politicians, policy makers and members of parliament. This structured dialogue with young people and policy makers will lead to a publication which will outline the findings and recommendations that were made during the whole project.

As an outcome of this project, past pupils will be taking action by implementing projects in their respective countries aimed at young people with fewer opportunities.  These initiatives will respond to the needs of poor young people and contribute to a more inclusive society.

Through this project, more European young past pupils of Don Bosco are engaging in a social dialogue about poor young people and dedicating their energy to address youth poverty through voluntary work.