Awareness Raising

Throughout the 1990s, SOS Malta gave talks in schools in Malta and Overseas about its work in Albania and Kosovo, and promoted the concept of volunteerism towards facilitating emergency aid and relief missions, as well as attaining sustainable development within communities.

Since the year 2002, SOS Malta adopted an even stronger role in initiatives aimed at creating awareness about the Millennium Development Goals and development issues

It initially did this through the International organization AMASC. In 2002, the Director of SOS Malta, Ms. Claudia Taylor East addressed the AMASC World Congress in Sydney, Australia presenting the MDGs to 600 particpants representing 35 countires.

SOS Malta was selected in 2004 to form part of and contribute to a field mission to Uganda which was organized by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the Dutch EU Presidency. The field missions were organized to focus on population, reproductive health, poverty and the MDGs and targeted decision-makers from the ten new EU Member States.

In 2005, SOS Malta produced information and imagery cards on each of the eight MDG's and distributed them during the Commonwealth People's Forum held in Malta in November, as well as organized a roundtable focused on the theme of MDG5 and maternal health.

During the same year (2005) the MDG cards were distributed among various local schools in Malta. This complimented SOS Malta's policy of visiting local schools annually and informing and discussing development issues and projects with children.

SOS Malta has always recognized the important role which media and journalists play in development education. To such extent, it has always ensured to have journalists accompany its missions to developing countries. Furthermore, it has sought to assist journalists in receiving appropriate training for social documentaries and reporting. In 2006, it was successful with an application it submitted to ESoDoc - European Social Documentary. ESoDoc was a training initiative offered by the ZeLIG School for Documentary, Television and New Media, in Bolzano, which was also supported by 6 partners from 4 different European countries and the European Union's Media Plus Programme. ESoDoc aimed at bringing together the demands of different players involved in documentary film production: independent documentary film makers and producers; non-governmental and non-profit organizations (NGOs and NPOs), in view of creating new production opportunities for European documentary makers interested in broadcasting films that draw attention to human rights, social justice and environmental protection, particularly in the developing world.

In 2007, SOS Malta organised a Parliamentary Debate focusing on the theme of MDGs and Development Cooperation. The Debate was organised as part of an initiative by the UNDP and the EC to raise awareness and build support for the achievement of the MDGs in the new EU Member States, including Malta. Similar parliamentary debates were organised in the other eleven new Member States. These debates formed part of the efforts by the UN, the EU and other organizations to take stock of the status of achievement of the MDGs at mid-point and promote the European Development Days.  The Parliamentary Debate in Malta was financed by the European Commission and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). It was also supported by the Maltese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The running theme throughout the event: increasing public awareness and ownership of the MDGs and development issues.

SOS Malta is currently implementing a transnational project, entitled 'Media Engagement in Development Issues and Promotion' (MEDIP). This project is being funded by the European Commission within the scope of the thematic programme called ‘Non-state actors and local authorities in development - Public awareness and education for development in Europe'. The overall objective of the project is to enhance the contribution of the participating new Member States towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), by sensitizing specific target groups and the general public in these countries about development issues and the MDGs committed to. The project's focus is on six of the new EU Member States of the European Union (Malta, Cyprus, Romania, Slovenia, Hungary and Estonia). The project aims to sensitize journalists and media within these Member States about development issues and the MDGs, and through them, to create greater consciousness amongst policy makers and the business community, as well as the general public.

SOS Malta is also involved as partner in another transnational project, entitled ‘Save Women's Lives: A campaign to raise awareness on Millennium Development Goal 5 (Improving Maternal Health)'. This project is also being funded by the European Commission within the scope of the thematic programme called ‘Non-state actors and local authorities in development - Public awareness and education for development in Europe'. The lead partner is Stitching WFP (World Population Foundation).