Anġela Agius, a deaf person, has been presented with this year’s Premju Dun Mikiel Azzopardi.
In June of this year Angela turned fifty, the same year when Id-Dar tal-Providenza is also celebrating its 50th Anniversary. Id-Dar tal-Providenza was one of the first important steps that Angela took to be what she is today. Angela found people that believed in her, believed in her potential, believed in her dream but most of all believed in the importance of her independence. All this helped her to turn her disability into a positive ability to live a better quality of life in the community.
This was announced by Fr Martin Micallef, Director of Id-Dar tal-Providenza, during a concert by the Armed Forces of Malta at St John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta on the occasion of the International Week of Persons with Disabilities. He said that fifty years ago, Dun Mikiel had the courage to start work on the Dar tal-Providenza that not only offered long and short term residences to various persons but also contributed towards a Maltese society that started to look more positively at persons with disability and from voiceless persons hidden in cellars, they are now looked at like everybody else, living in the heart of our communities and participating in all walks of life. They are what our Archbishop, Mgr Charles J. Scicluna presented to Pope Francis at the Vatican last September: ‘A beautiful flower of the Maltese Church’.
The Concert and presentation of the Dun Mikiel Award was held under the patrponage of H.E. Mrs Marie Louise Coleiro Preca who was represented by her husband Mr Edgar Preca and H.G. the Archbishop of Malta, Mgr Charles J. Scicluna. In a short address, the Archbishop thanked Anġela who although deaf was present and her presence was something beautiful. He added that all those present at St John’s Co-Cathedral were there to witness the gospel of life that says each and every person has a value. He ended by calling for prayers so that the beatification process of Mgr Mikiel Azzopardi moves forward. Mr Oliver Scicluna, Chairperson of the National Commision Persons with Disability (KNPD) was also one of the speakers.
The Dun Mikiel Award is given every year by Id-Dar tal-Providenza in recognition of the voluntary contribution of individuals involved with persons with disability in Malta and Gozo. This Award was first given out twenty years ago to coincide with the 30th Anniversary of the Home. (list of all winners attached).
The Band of the Armed Forces of Malta was under the direction of Mro. Jonathan Borg and with the participation of soprano Claire Caruana and tenor Gunner Georg Zammit, the Coro Bel Canto under the direction of Mro Hermann Farrugia Frantz and the De La Salle College Choir led by Mro Ray Sciberras. Works of Maltese composers Freddie Mizzi, Stephen Decesare, Christopher Muscat, Hermann Farrugia Frantz and Ray Sciberras were amongst those included in the concert programme.
The Concert was organised by RTK4Charity and Id-Dar tal-Providenza courtesy of the St John’s Co-Cathedral Foundation.