Today’s way of life, full of distractions, can easily stop people from thinking of others and drowning in egoism. Today, more than ever, there is a need for Maltese society, particularly youths, to give more importance to service in the community.  

Parents should not hound their children on school and academic work at the expense of other things as excessive study leads to physical and emotional fatigue. Youths should be encouraged to go out into the community and help others. The exams have long been over and soon the results will start coming in. In the meantime, this summer, youths have the opportunity to involve themselves in some activity that will benefit others and themselves. 

Youths have much to gain – academically and emotionally – from volunteering their time to improve their community. When youths involve themselves in community projects, they develop important skills that help them do well at school, at tertiary institutions and, above all, in life. These include leadership skills, problem solving skills, collaboration, time management and communication. 

More importantly, youths learn that the work they do can leave an impact on the community. Involvement in community service, from a young age, helps the individual develop a better perspective of the world they live in. You will find students who finished secondary school and others in post-secondary education helping out at homes for the elderly, orphanages or, even, voluntary work outside Malta. Such voluntary work helps to teach them patience and empathy. 

When youths link what they learn in school to real life issues they take learning much more seriously. Studies show that when students involve themselves in the community, they do much better at school, particularly in mathematics, reading and history. 

Time spent doing voluntary service also helps young students when they come to apply for study funds, particularly those that are designed to reward participation in community service. The relationships that students build with other volunteers also work to their advantage when they come to take up specialised studies or find a job.