History

Monsignor Michael Azzopardi, Ecclesiastical Assistant General of The Malta Catholic Action had, for some time, nursed a ‘dream’ that would help improve the quality of life of people with disabilities who for one reason or another could not stay any longer with their parents.

On the 12th September 1965 he aired his idea during a radio programme – that of opening the first residential home in Malta for persons with disability. A young lady who heard the programme was so moved by his idea that she sought him out and gave him a cheque for Lm100 (around €230) – money she had saved for a holiday abroad!

On the 21st January 1967 the deeds of the building and land that was formerly the Qrendi Royal Navy Rest Camp were formally signed over to The Malta Catholic Action which now have become the home base of Id-Dar tal-Providenza.

Thanks to a very generous contribution from the then Archbishop of Malta – Monsignor Michael Gonzi, extensive renovations to the building now called ‘Villa Monsignor Gonzi’ were carried out in preparation for receiving the first residents.

Nuns from the Congregation of Sisters of St Jeanne Antide Thouret took up residence on the 12th January 1968. They were Id-Dar tal-Providenza’s first support workers aided by volunteers and subsequently by employed personnel. The Sisters have given full time service since then. From the very beginning of the Homes, one of the clauses in a set of rules written by Mgr Michael Azzopardi on the 16th of December of 1968 has been the cornerstone of the Directorate of the Homes has always been the integration of the disabled into society. The first three residents of Id-Dar tal-Providenza arrived on the 11th of February 1968. They were all housed in the newly refurbished Villa Monsignor Gonzi. In 1999, this villa was eventually demolished and rebuild. It was inaugurated again on the 17th July 2001.

1971 saw the start of the building of a second home designed to accommodate fifty residents. This home, called Villa Papa Giovanni, was inaugurated on the 19th March 1974. Whilst work was in progress on Villa Papa Giovanni, a second floor was added to Villa Monsignor Gonzi.

Monsignor Michael Azzopardi passed away on the 13th May 1987. During the funeral homily of the beloved founder of Id-Dar tal-Providenza at St. John’s Co-Cathedral, Valletta, on the 14th of May 1987, Mgr Joseph Mercieca, the then Archbishop of Malta said: “…Go with your mind at rest…Rest assured, Dun Mikiel, that all initiatives started by you will be continued”. Most appropriately, he is buried at Id-Dar tal-Providenza. Mgr Phillip Calleja, temporarily took over the running of the Homes, until Mgr Lawrence Gatt was chosen by Archbishop Joseph Mercieca to sucdeed him as second Director on the 1st July 1987.

On the 8th September 1987 Villa Papa Luciani was inaugurated. This residence was designed to house semi-independent residents and currently has a complement of thirty senior citizens and young adults.
On the 11th of February of 1997, four residents moved to “Zerniq” a small house in Mons. Mikiel Azzopardi Street, in the village of Siggiewi, to experience “Supported Living” in a homely environment.

Dar tal-Providenza offers respite-care facilities to persons with disability who still live with their families. The knowledge that these facilities are available greatly support these families to continue in their endeavour to enable their family member continue to live with them.

Since 1998 Id-Dar tal-Providenza has been affiliated with a foreign agency from Glasgow (Scotland) called SPRED Special Religious Development which offers a network of services designed to assist persons with intellectual disabilities to become integrated into parish assemblies of worship through the process of education in faith.

On the 1st October 2008, Fr Martin Micallef was appointed Director of id-Dar tal-Providenza succeeding Mgr. Lawrence Gatt who was appointed Chancellor of the Archbishops Curia.

Vision, Mission and Values Statement

VISION

Id-Dar tal-Providenza which takes its name and charism from the Gospel is primarily a residential organisation committed to empowering persons with disabilities in a family-like environment which enhances and maximises their abilities with a view to ensuring their full participation in society in accordance to the Gospel and the teaching of the Catholic Church.

MISSION

1. To provide individualised. long term and respite residential services to persons with disabilities in full respect of their rights and dignity.
2. To promote the holistic personal development and social inclusion of service users, including their autonomy and self-determination.
3. To provide opportunities to employees to develop their skills and to enhance the value of their work.
4. To provided a meaningful experience of volunteering.
5. To collaborate with other organisations active in the field of disability to safeguard the rights of persons with disabilities and of their families.

VALUES

• The values of Id-Dar tal-Providenza are rooted in the Gospel teachings, We believe that human life is sacred, having equal and unconditional value. We profess an intrinsic respect for all persons regardless of their strengths and abilities.
• We have faith in Divine Providence reflected in an approach that ensures that lack of resources shall not impede our work.
• We believe that the family is the foundation of society and therefore we provide support to the family such that the person with disability is enabled to continue living within one’s family should this be the disabled person’s own wish.
• We strive to develop a community spirit, reflected in an approach that seeks to empower persons with disabilities, to uphold their right to privacy and self-determination, to promote interdependence and to provide the appropriate support for service users.

Who we are

Id-Dar tal-Providenza was founded by Mgr. Michael Azzopardi in 1965 with the aim of offering individualised residential services to Persons with Disabilities in a family-like environment which enhances and maximises their abilities with a view to ensuring their full participation in society.

Today Id-Dar tal-Providenza is made up of three residences: Villa Monsinjur Gonzi, Villa Papa Giovanni and Villa Papa Luciani. It also includes four community homes, called Żerniq in Siġġiewi, Akkwarell in Qawra, Dar Pirotta in Birkirkara and Shalom in Zurrieq.

At the moment, Id-Dar hosts approximately hundred and fifteen persons between the ages of fourteen and over eighty years. It also offers respite services on a regular basis to families of persons with disabilities, thus offering them support to enable the disabled family member to continue to live within their family.

A small community of Sisters of St Joan Antide Thouret popularly known as Sisters of Charity have been living and giving their service to the Home since 1968 when the Home hosted the first residents.

Some of the residents spend their day by attending activities outside the Home, namely day centres. A few others have a job within the Home or outside the Home.

These last few years id-Dar tal-Providenza has been affiliated with a foreign agency from Glasgow (Scotland) called SPRED Special Religious Development which offers a network of services designed to assist persons with intellectual disabilities to become integrated into parish assemblies of worship through the process of education in faith.

Id-Dar tal-Providenza is also affiliated with European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities which represents over 15,000 support services for Persons with Disabilities across Europe.

Four and a half million euro per year are required for the running of the Homes.