L-Istorja tad-Dar

Monsinjur Mikiel Azzopardi kien l-Assistent Ekkleżjastiku Ġenerali tal-Azzjoni Kattolika Maltija li għal xi żmien kellu ħolma li jtejjeb il-kwalità tal-ħajja tal-persuni b’diżabilità li għal xi raġuni jew oħra ma setgħux jibqgħu mal-ġenituri tagħhom.

Fit-12 ta’ Settembru 1965 hu xandar din l-idea waqt programm tar-radju – dik li jiftaħ l-ewwel dar residenzjali f’Malta għall-persuni b’diżabilità. Sinjorina żagħżugħa li semgħet il-programm tant ħassitha mqanqla b’din l-idea li hi fittxitu u tagħtu ċekk ta’ mitt lira (madwar €230) – flus li hi kienet ġemgħet biex tmur btala barra minn Malta.

Fil-21 ta’ Jannar 1967 saru l-kuntratti u l-bini u l-art li qabel kienu l-Qrendi Royal Navy Rest Camp formalment għaddew għand l-Azzjoni Kattolika u hekk dan il-bini sar Id-Dar tal-Providenza.

Grazzi għall-kontribuzzjoni ġeneruża ħafna tal-Arċisqof ta’ Malta ta’ dak iż-żmien, Monsinjur Michael Gonzi, saru rinovazzjonijiet estensivi għal dan il-bini, li issa beda jissejjaħ ‘Villa Monsinjur Gonzi’. Dawn saru bi preparazzjoni ħalli dan il-bini jkun jista’ jilqa’ l-ewwel residenti.

Sorijiet mill-kongregazzjoni tal-Ordni ta’ Santa Ġiovanna Antide Thouret bdew joqogħdu hemmhekk mit-12 ta’ Jannar 1968. Huma kienu l-ewwel support workers tad-Dar tal-Providenza mgħejuna minn volontiera u aktar ‘il quddiem minn ħaddiema mħallsa. Is-Sorijiet taw servizz kontinwu minn dakinhar sal-lum. Mill-bidu nett tat-twaqqif tad-Dar, waħda mill-ewwel klawsoli tar-regoli miktuba minn Mons. Mikiel Azzopardi fis-16 ta’ Diċembru 1968 kienet l-integrazzjoni tal-persuni b’diżabilità fis-soċjetà, regola li baqgħet il-ġebla tax-xewka tad-Dar. L-ewwel tliet residenti waslu fid-Dar tal-Providenza fil-11 ta’ Frar 1968. Huma bdew joqogħdu f’Villa Monsinjur Gonzi li kienet għada kif ġiet rinovata. Fl-1999, din il-Villa eventwalment twaqqgħet biex reġgħet inbniet u inawgurata mill-ġdid fis-17 ta’ Lulju 2001.

L-1971 rat il-bidu tal-bini tat-tieni dar iddisinjata biex tospita ħamsin resident u li ġiet imsemmija Villa Papa Giovanni. Din kient inawgurata fid-19 ta’ Marzu 1974. Waqt li x-xogħol kien għadu għaddej fuq Villa Papa Giovanni, beda jinbena t-tieni sular f’Villa Monsinjur Gonzi.

Monsinjur Mikiel Azzopardi miet fit-13 ta’ Mejju 1987. Waqt l-omelija tal-funeral tal-fundatur maħbub tad-Dar tal-Providenza, li sar fil-Konkatidral ta’ San Gwann fl-14 ta’ Marzu 1987, Mons. Ġużeppi Mercieca, l-Arċisqof ta’ Malta ta’ dak iż-żmien, qal: “… Mur moħħok mistrieħ… Kun żgur Dun Mikiel l-inizjattivi kollha mibdija minnek se jkomplu’. Kif inhu xieraq hu midfun fid-Dar tal-Providenza. Mons. Philip Calleja temporanjament ħa t-tmexxija tad-Dar, sakemm fl-1 ta’ Lulju 1987 Mons. Lawrence Gatt intgħażel mill-Arċisqof Ġużeppi Mercieca biex ikun it-tieni Direttur.

Fit-8 ta’ Settembru 1987 kienet inawgurata Villa Papa Luciani. Din ir-residenza kienet iddisinjata biex tkun id-dar ta’ residenti semi-indipendenti u fil-preżent tletin adult u anzjan jgħixu fiha.

Fil-11 ta’ Frar 1997 erba’ residenti bdew joqogħdu f”Żerniq’, dar żgħira fi Triq Mons. Mikiel Azzopardi, fil-villaġġ tas-Siġġiewi biex huma jesperjenzaw ‘għajxien issapportjat’ b’ambjent ta’ dar.

Id-Dar tal-Providenza toffri wkoll faċilitajiet ta’ respite care lill-persuni b’diżabilità li għadhom jgħixu mal-familji tagħhom. Il-fatt li huma jafu li jeżistu dawn il-faċilitajiet jgħin ħafna lil dawn il-familji biex huma jkomplu bil-ħidma tagħhom biex il-membru b’diżabilità tal-familja tagħhom ikompli jgħix magħhom.

Fl-1998, Id-Dar tal-Providenza affiljat ruħha ma’ aġenzija barranija minn Glasgow, l-Iskozja magħrufa bħala SPRED, Special Religious Development jiġifieri Żvilupp Speċjali Reliġjuż. Din hi xibka ta’ servizzi ddisinjati biex jassistu persuni li għandhom diżabilità intellettwali jkunu integrati fl-assemblei parrokkjali ta’ qima fil-proċess edukattiv fil-fidi.

Fl-1 ta’ Ottubru 2008 Dun Martin Micallef inħatar Direttur tad-Dar tal-Providenza wara Mons. Lawrence Gatt, li nħatar Kanċellier tal-Kurja Arċiveskovili.

Il-Viżjoni, il-Missjoni u l-Valuri

Il-Viżjoni

Id-Dar tal-Providenza, li tieħu isimha u l-kariżma tagħha mill-Vanġelu, hi primarjament organizzazzjoni residenzjali kommessa li tagħti s-saħħa lill-persuni b’diżabilità li jemmnu fihom infushom f’ambjent li jixbah il-familja u li jkabbar u jimmassimizza l-abbilitajiet tagħhom biex hekk huma jkunu jistgħu jipparteċipaw b’mod sħiħ fis-soċjetà skont il-Vanġelu u t-tagħlim tal-Knisja Kattolika.

Il-Missjoni

1. Li tipprovdi servizzi residenzjali individwalizzati, fit-tul u għal ftit żmien, lill-persuni b’diżabilità b’rispett sħiħ lejn id-drittijiet u d-dinjità tagħhom.
2. Li tippromovi l-iżvilupp personali olistiku u l-inklużjoni soċjali tal-persuni li jużaw is-servizzi tagħha, inkluż l-awtonomija tagħhom u li jsiru kapaċi jiddeterminaw ħajjithom huma stess.
3. Li tipprovdi opportunitajiet lill-impjegati li jiżviluppaw ħilithom u jkabbru l-valur tax-xogħol tagħhom.
4. Li tipprovdi esperjenza bis-sens lill-volontiera.
5. Li tikkollabora ma’ organizzazzjonijiet oħra li jaħdmu fil-qasam tad-diżabilità biex jissalvagwardjaw id-drittijiet tal-persuni b’diżabilità u tal-familji tagħhom.

Il-Valuri

• Il-valuri tad- Dar tal-Providenza għandhom l-għeruq tagħhom fit-tagħlim tal-Vanġelu. Aħna nemmnu li l-ħajja umana hi sagra u għandha valur ugwali u bla kundizzjonijiet. Aħna nistqarru rispett intrinsiku lejn kull persuna, huma x’inhuma l-aspetti pożittivi u l-abbilitajiet tagħha.
• Aħna għandna fidi fil-Providenza Divina li tidher fil-mod kif naħdmu tant li nassiguraw li nuqqas ta’ risorsi ma għandhomx itellfuna mill-ħidma tagħna.
• Aħna nemmnu li l-familja hi l-pedament tas-soċjetà u għalhekk aħna nipprovdu sapport lill-familja biex il-persuna b’diżabilità tkun tista’ tkompli tgħix fil-familja tiegħu jew tagħha jekk din tkun ix-xewqa tal-persuna b’diżabilità nnifisha.
• Aħna naħdmu biex niżviluppaw spirtu komunitarju li jiġi trasmess fil-mod kif naħdmu ħalli l-persuni b’diżabilità jkunu jistgħu jiddeċiedu għalihom infushom, li jiġi mħares id-dritt tagħhom għall-privatezza u li jkunu jistgħu jiddeterminaw ħajjithom huma stess, li tippromovi l-interdipendenza u li tipprovdi sapport xieraq lill-persuni li jużaw is-servizzi tagħha.

Spiritual Director

Fr Trevor Fairclough is responsible for the spiritual wellbeing of both the residents and staff. He is also incharge of the Symbolic Catechesis, a service given to all our Christian residents.

Sisters of St Joan Antide Thouret at Id-Dar tal-Providenza

When Mgr Michael Azzopardi was preparing to open Villa Mgr Gonzi, the first home for persons with disability in Malta he wrote the Superior General of the Sisters of St Joan Antide Thouret in Rome asking her to give her blessing to the Maltese Provincial to open a community of the Congregation at Id-Dar tal-Providenza. The Superior General accepted his petition and on January 12, 1968, a month before the first residents were welcomed at Villa Mgr Gonzi, a small community of the Sisters of St Joan Antide Thouret,known as The Sisters of Charity was established at Id-Dar tal-Providenza. Since than, this community has supported residents with impressive dedication and care.

Who was Joan Antide Thouret? In 1787 Joan Antide Thouret, the daughter of a tanner, joined the congregation of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. She devoted her life to caring for the sick and the poor, much of it under great adversity and hardship. On the 11th April 1799 she was called to found a school and hospital for her Order – thus the Sisters of Charity came into being. St. Joan Antide Thouret was canonised in 1934 by Pope Pius XI.

A list of the Sisters of Charity who gave their service at Id-Dar tal-Providenza

 

Names

 
 

Sr Aggunta Mallia*

12/01/1968 – 1970

 

Sr Alexandra Delazzaio

12/01/1968 – 1968

 

St Agostina Cutajar

12/01/1968 – 1970

 

Sr Annunziata Cortis*

1970- 1972

1982- 1982

 

Sr Assunta Camilleri

1970 – 1972

 

Sr Castagna Caruana

1970 -1970

 

Sr Pacifica  Micallef

1971 – 1998

 

Sr Caterina D’Alfonso

1971 -1971

 

Sr Maria Vittoria Sciberras

1971-1995

 

Sr Assunta Camilleri

1971-1972

1990 -1992

 

Sr Cecilia Frendo*

1972 – 1972

 

Sr Nicolina  Bonello

1972 – 1973

1985 – 1990

 

Sr Vincenza Briffa

1972 – 1972

 

Sr Bartolomea Bezzina

      1972 1973

      1992-

 

Sr Clara Vella

1973-1973

 

Sr Salvina Bezzina

1973 -1973

 

Sr Gaetana Pace*

1975 – 1982

 

Sr Maria Ersilia Mifsud*

1975 – 1977

 

Sr Maria Concetta Farrugia

1976 – 1977

 

Sr Maria Anna Camilleri

1977 – 1978

1983 – 2000

 

      Sr M’Anna Laferla

      1979 – 1981

 

      Sr Gesuina Mangion

      1979 –

 

      Sr Francesca Farrugia

      1980 – 1985

 

      Sr Concetta Attard

      1981- 1984

 

      Sr Madalena Fava*

      1982 – 1994

 

      Sr Fortunata Fava

      1982 – 1994

 

      Sr Josephine Agius

      1984 – 1985

 

      Sr Anna Theresa Pace

      1987 – 1990

 

      Sr Pauline Busuttil

      1987 – 1988

 

      Sr Emma Zammit

      1988 – 1991

 

      Sr Lucia Gauci

      1990 -1992

 

      Sr Monica Darmanin

      1992 – 1992

 

      Sr Tessie Micallef

      1993 – 1995

 

      Sr Theresa Tonna

      1993 – 1994

 

      Sr Maria Antida Mifsud*

      1994 – 2006

 

      Sr Maris Camilleri

      1995 -1995

 

      Sr Louisa Camilleri

      1996-1996

 

      Sr Anselma Tanti

      1996- 2010

 

      Sr Elena Zammit

      1996 -1999

 

      Sr Bernarda  Buhagiar

      2000-

 

      Sr Theresa Maria Piscopo

      2001- 2005

 

      Sr Lorenza Borg*

      2006 –

* Mother Superiors

The Board

The Board of Id-Dar tal-Providenza was set up by H.G. Mgr Paul Cremona O.P. in March 2011. The present members are as follows:

Chairperson:

Fr Martin Micallef

Vice Chairperson:

Mr Lawrence Zammit

Secretary:

Ms Elvia George

Members:

Dr Joe Bugeja
Mr Jesmond Saliba
Dr Roberta Sammut
Mr Emmanuel Zammit

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.

The Sisters of Charity

When Mgr Michael Azzopardi was preparing to open Villa Mgr Gonzi, the first home for persons with disability in Malta he wrote the Superior General of the Sisters of St Joan Antide Thouret in Rome asking her to give her blessing to the Maltese Provincial to open a community of the Congregation at Id-Dar tal-Providenza. The Superior General accepted his petition and on January 12, 1968, a month before the first residents were welcomed at Villa Mgr Gonzi, a small community of the Sisters of St Joan Antide Thouret,known as The Sisters of Charity was established at Id-Dar tal-Providenza. Since than, this community has supported residents with impressive dedication and care.

Who was Joan Antide Thouret? In 1787 Joan Antide Thouret, the daughter of a tanner, joined the congregation of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. She devoted her life to caring for the sick and the poor, much of it under great adversity and hardship. On the 11th April 1799 she was called to found a school and hospital for her Order – thus the Sisters of Charity came into being. St. Joan Antide Thouret was canonised in 1934 by Pope Pius XI.

A list of the Sisters of Charity who gave their service at Id-Dar tal-Providenza

 

Names

 
 

Sr Aggunta Mallia*

12/01/1968 – 1970

 

Sr Alexandra Delazzaio

12/01/1968 – 1968

 

St Agostina Cutajar

12/01/1968 – 1970

 

Sr Annunziata Cortis*

1970- 1972

1982- 1982

 

Sr Assunta Camilleri

1970 – 1972

 

Sr Castagna Caruana

1970 -1970

 

Sr Pacifica  Micallef

1971 – 1998

 

Sr Caterina D’Alfonso

1971 -1971

 

Sr Maria Vittoria Sciberras

1971-1995

 

Sr Assunta Camilleri

1971-1972

1990 -1992

 

Sr Cecilia Frendo*

1972 – 1972

 

Sr Nicolina  Bonello

1972 – 1973

1985 – 1990

 

Sr Vincenza Briffa

1972 – 1972

 

Sr Bartolomea Bezzina

      1972 1973

      1992-

 

Sr Clara Vella

1973-1973

 

Sr Salvina Bezzina

1973 -1973

 

Sr Gaetana Pace*

1975 – 1982

 

Sr Maria Ersilia Mifsud*

1975 – 1977

 

Sr Maria Concetta Farrugia

1976 – 1977

 

Sr Maria Anna Camilleri

1977 – 1978

1983 – 2000

 

      Sr M’Anna Laferla

      1979 – 1981

 

      Sr Gesuina Mangion

      1979 –

 

      Sr Francesca Farrugia

      1980 – 1985

 

      Sr Concetta Attard

      1981- 1984

 

      Sr Madalena Fava*

      1982 – 1994

 

      Sr Fortunata Fava

      1982 – 1994

 

      Sr Josephine Agius

      1984 – 1985

 

      Sr Anna Theresa Pace

      1987 – 1990

 

      Sr Pauline Busuttil

      1987 – 1988

 

      Sr Emma Zammit

      1988 – 1991

 

      Sr Lucia Gauci

      1990 -1992

 

      Sr Monica Darmanin

      1992 – 1992

 

      Sr Tessie Micallef

      1993 – 1995

 

      Sr Theresa Tonna

      1993 – 1994

 

      Sr Maria Antida Mifsud*

      1994 – 2006

 

      Sr Maris Camilleri

      1995 -1995

 

      Sr Louisa Camilleri

      1996-1996

 

      Sr Anselma Tanti

      1996- 2010

 

      Sr Elena Zammit

      1996 -1999

 

      Sr Bernarda  Buhagiar

      2000-

 

      Sr Theresa Maria Piscopo

      2001- 2005

 

      Sr Lorenza Borg*

      2006 –

* Mother Superiors

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.

Director

Fr Martin Micallef, son of John Micallef and Jane nee Bugeja was born in Luqa on the 10th November 1967.

He studied at Luqa Primary School, the Minor Seminary New Lyceum and the University of Malta where he obtained a Bachelor Degree in Philosophy and Theology and a Licentiate in Pastoral Theology. In September 1987, he entered the Archbishop’s Major Seminary to prepare himself for the priesthood.

He was ordained deacon on the 25th November 1994 at Luqa Parish Church and a priest on the 5th July 1996. He served as vice-parish priest at Tal-Ibraġ parish and later as parish priest at Għaxaq (2000 -2005) and Marsaskala (2005-2008). Since 2004 he has been a member of the National Commission Persons with Disability representing the Church in Malta. He is also a member of the Diocesan Pastoral Commission for Persons with Disability

He was appointed Director of id-Dar tal-Providenza on 1st October 2008. succeeding Mgr. Lawrence Gatt who was appointed Chancellor of the Archbishops Curia.

Email: mmicallef@dartalprovidenza.org