Wednesday, 6 December 2023
Important issues affecting Marbella's large youth expat community will be discussed today (Thursday, 7 December) at this year's United Nationalities of Marbella Summit (UNMS).
President of United Nationalities of Marbella Nicole King said the event at The Harbour restaurant in the town centre port will help bring awareness to issues that affect many young foreigners living in Marbella and which do not fall under the responsibility of town hall.
"I work in television and get to hear so many people's stories and every year I get a lot of feedback about our community and a lot of issues come up that need fixing that the council isn't necessarily responsible for," she told SUR in English. A lack of social hangout places for international children in the municipality is an issue that repeatedly gets mentioned by expat families in Marbella, she added. "Home is where the heart is unless you can’t get a job and don’t feel you belong. Most of the children who grow up here can’t return 'home' after studying abroad for lack of career opportunities, separating families in the process. That's why they need a space in Marbella because they live here, it's their home."
Attendees will also be treated to an update on the Zero Hero project. The road safety initiative aims to involve restaurants and hotels across Marbella and offer patrons free soft drinks as a reward for their responsibility for being a designated driver. King also said a suicide prevention initiative will be launched during the summit, Happy Helpline, which centralises a multitude of contact details for support in English for young people who may be struggling mentally.
NeduAI, will also be unveiled, an interactive and gamified platform designed to help young people choose a higher education course and plan a career. But parents can get involved too, with tech experts discussing the advantages of the new artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT, and how it can be incorporated into everyday lives.
The event will also be attended by representatives of the British Chamber of Commerce, local schools and colleges, associations, Rotary Club and business owners.
It comes as Marbella this week became the seventh most inhabited municipality in Andalucía after its population grew by 6.7% in the past five years to 150,725 inhabitants. Almost a third of those (51,024) are foreign residents. "Marbella has good schools, great homes, but we're just missing that little bit in the middle that makes a strong tight-knit community," King said.
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