Volleyball Marathon raises €466,688 in aid of id-Dar tal-Providenza

The BOV Volleyball Marathon ended at midnight Sunday but not before raising the sum of €466,688.

Forty players went through fifty-three hours of volleyball in searing hot weather. It officially started at six in the evening on Friday in the presence of the President of Malta, Dr Myriam Spiteri Debono and continued non-stop since then.

Fr Martin Micallef, Director of Id-Dar tal-Providenza, thanked the people of Malta and Gozo, that once again responded with so much generosity to the call for fundraising for the Home through the Volleyball Marathon. He also thanked the players, the volunteers, members of the organising committee, all the sponsors, the main TV stations that relayed the marathon, singers and bands, the members of the police force and all those that in one way or another helped towards the success of this Marathon.

Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna celebrated mass at the Home’s chapel assisted by Fr Martin and emphasised on solidarity with Dar tal-Providenza during the fundraising BOV Volleyball Marathon. Archbishop Scicluna thanked God that Id-Dar tal-Providenza always had good leaders who had a great sense of caring leadership. He urged that leaders in all strata of society and the Church are also good leaders for the good of our community.

Mgr. Scicluna also had the opportunity to meet up with the players taking part in the marathon as well as the volunteers who were helping out throughout the 3 days of the marathon.

Besides the forty players that were the main protagonists of the Marathon, there were around two hundred volunteers. Every evening there was musical entertainment on the main stage, food and drinks and children’s games. The marathon was relayed live on the main local TV stations whilst Vibe Fm was the official radio station.

Photo: Bernard Cachia

Archbishop Charles Scicluna celebrates mass at Dar tal-Providenza chapel

Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna this morning celebrated mass at the Dar tal-Providenza chapel assisted by Fr Martin Micallef, Director of the Home. He appealed that during the day we do an act of solidarity with the Home by making a donation. He spoke about the rest mentioned in today’s gospel and needed in our daily lives and said that it would be good if we rest a bit from the continuous use of the social media especially when we are together in a room or socialising around a table. This way we can give a rest to our mobile and ourselves.

Archbishop Scicluna thanked God that Id-Dar tal-Providenza always had good leaders who had a great sense of caring leadership. He urged that leaders in all strata of society and the Church are also good leaders for the good of our community.

The BOV Volleyball Marathon in aid of id-Dar tal-Providenza gets underway

On Friday 19 July 2024, H.E. Dr Myriam Spiteri Debono, officially inaugurated the 14th edition of the BOV Volleyball Marathon in aid of Id-Dar tal-Providenza.

Forty players, selected from a total of seventy applicants, started the challenge of fifty-three hours of non-stop volleyball not for a noble cause.

In his welcome speech, Fr Martin Micallef while greeting the President of Malta, on her first visit to Dar tal-Providenza, said that the commitment of the players and volunteers sends a positive message to Maltese society that it is rewarding to give.  He added that it is wonderful to see young people filled with a great sense of generosity and altruism, who are ready to commit themselves in favour of initiatives in favour of people who need some kind of support, solidarity, or help. He reminded that Dar tal-Providenza, which this year is on the threshold of its 60th anniversary, needs a lot of funds to continue offering the residential services it offers to people with disabilities. “The help that the Maltese and Gozitan people will be giving through this marathon will continue to fill us with the courage to continue this work in the years to come.”

In her brief address at the opening of the marathon, the President of Malta H.E. Myriam Spiteri Debono mentioned that “by opening the Dar tal-Providenza nearly sixty years ago, Mgr Mikiel Azzopardi filled a significant gap, that existed at the time, in society by providing care and support for people with disabilities and their families.”

She said that this started to raise public awareness about the importance of providing the necessary help to these people so that they have an opportunity to reach their full potential. Above all, so that they avoid unnecessary suffering.

President Myriam Spiteri Debono explained that the costs are substantial and constantly increasing and appealed to the generosity of the people of Malta and Gozo.

Present for the inauguration ceremony were the Hon. Julia Farrugia Portelli, Minister for  Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector, the Hon. Keith Azzopardi Tanti, Parliamentary Secretary for Youth, Research and Innovation, the Hon. David Agius, Deputy Speaker and Shadow Minister for Sports, the Hon. Graziella Galea, spokeswoman of the Opposition for the Inclusion of the Voluntary sector, Mr Kenneth Farrugia, the CEO of the Bank of Valletta the main sponsor of the marathon, and Siġġiewi Mayor Julian Borg.

In the evening during the three days of the marathon there will be live music on the main stage. On Friday evening from 9:00 pm to midnight, the band Zone 5 will be invited, on Saturday the band Kantera and on Sunday the Spiteri Lucas Band.

The marathon will be broadcast on the local TV channels.

The public can help by calling the numbers below, using BOV Mobile Banking or PayPal and Revolut or donating online to Dar’s bank accounts. For more information about this activity you can visit the site: www.sabihlitaghti.org or call one of the numbers below:

€10         5160 2011

€15         5170 2012

€25         5180 2013

€50         5190 2070

€100       5130 2044

Pledge Line: 2146 3686

BOV Mobile  7932 4834

Fr Martin Micallef appointed new Episcopal Vicar for Diaconia

Archbishop Charles Scicluna has appointed Fr Martin Micallef as the new Episcopal Vicar for Diaconia to assist the Archbishop in the Church’s work with persons in need. Fr Micallef is currently the Director of Dar tal-Providenza and he will be retaining this role.

The Archbishop thanked Mgr Charles Cordina for his long term of service as Pastoral Secretary, as well as for his nine years of work with the most needy members of society as the Episcopal Vicar for Diaconia.

Fr Martin Micallef as born on the 10th November 1967. He received his priestly formation at the Archbishop’s Seminary in Tal-Virtù and the Faculty of Theology at the University of Malta from where he graduated with a Licentiate in Pastoral Theology. He was ordained a priest on 5th July 1996. He served as vice parish priest in the parish of Tal-Ibraġ (1996-2000), parish priest in the parish of Ħal Għaxaq (2000-2005) and parish priest of the parish of Marsascala (2005-2008). In 2008, Fr Martin Micallef was appointed as the Director of Dar tal-Providenza.

He is also a member of the council of the Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD) wherein he represents the residential services’ sector for persons with disability.

Pope Francis insists that we cannot turn our face away from anyone poor because reaching out to and working with the poor, and with those on the periphery, is a key factor for the Chistian and for the Christian faith. He encourages solidarity, respect for human dignity and concrete action that addresses poverty and social injustice.

In her mission to be a Church that serves, the local Church also needs to continue responding to the new realities of poverty in our country by being inspired by the values of the Gospel, being of help, support and a voice for the voiceless.

Photo: Ian Noel Pace

The BOV Volleyball Marathon in aid of Id-Dar tal-Providenza is back!

This year’s edition of the BOV volleyball marathon in aid of Id‑Dar tal‑Providenza, was officially launched on Wednesday afternoon by Fr Martin Micallef, the home’s director, and Charles Azzopardi, head CSR at Bank of Valletta, during a press conference held at Pembroke Secondary School within St Clare’s College, where the training and preparation of the players taking part in the marathon is under way.  Every year this volleyball marathon takes place helping to raise the much needed funds for the home.

Id‑Dar tal‑Providenza was founded in 1965, to offer residential services for persons with disabilities.  Today the home hosts 115 persons at its residences in Siġġiewi, Qawra Żurrieq and Birkirkara. More than 7 million euro are needed annually to operate. Since its inception, Id‑Dar tal‑Providenza has relied heavily on the generosity of the community and this is why the Volleyball Marathon is more than just a sporting event.

At the beginning of June approximately 70 athletes started training sessions. This includes athletes from 14 years and above, some first timers and others who have done tens of marathons over the years! A team of coaches assesses each player and grades their overall performance through a point system. 12 hour and 24 hour trials are part of training plan along with training sessions in the scorching summer heat.

The athletes’ performance throughout the training programme will  determine who of them will make the cut for the final 40, who will eventually take part in the 53 hour volleyball marathon. These athletes will be joined by over 100 volunteers who are key to making the marathon happen.

This year’s edition will take place at Id-Dar tal‑Providenza between Friday 19th and Sunday 21st July. The general public is invited to attend, support the players, enjoy the entertainment but most importantly encouraged to donate and help make this year’s edition another success!

The event will be inaugurated by Her Excellency the President of Malta, Myriam Spiteri Debono on Friday 19 July at 6.30pm in the car park of Id‑Dar tal‑Providenza in Siggiewi.

“The BOV Volleyball Marathon is one of our primary annual fundraising events that support our mission to provide and enhance a variety of essential services,” stated Fr. Martin during the press conference.  “This event also promotes volunteering and emphasizes its importance in Maltese society. Additionally, the marathon aims to encourage sports participation and foster a healthier lifestyle. Finally, Id‑Dar tal‑Providenza urges society to always respect individuals with disabilities, treat them with the dignity they deserve, and offer them the same choices and opportunities available to everyone.”

Mr Charles Azzopardi said “Our work with id‑Dar tal‑Providenza goes back years, and this year as part of our Bank’s 50th we are proud to continue building on this relationship. Id‑Dar tal‑Providenza provides a vital service to our community and as BOV we want to continue expanding our work with the community to help all our citizens achieve a better quality of life.”

The 53-hour Volleyball Marathon in aid of Id-Dar tal‑Providenza is supported by Bank of Valletta as its main sponsor together with Pif Paf, PwC, CareMalta, Eurosport, Vibe and PaviPama.

Those who wish to support this event can send a donation on www.sabihlitaghti.org or call one of the numbers below:

€10 ‑ 5160 2011

€15 ‑ 5170 2012

€25 ‑ 5180 2013

€50 ‑ 5190 2070

€100 ‑ 5130 2044

Photo:  danielstudiomalta.com

70 players train for the 2024 Volleyball Marathon in aid of Id-Dar tal-Providenza

70 players started training sessions for the challenge of the Volleyball Marathon in aid of Id-Dar tal‑Providenza which this year will be held between Friday 19th and Sunday 21st July 2024. These players are assisted by 12 coaches.

The seven-weeks training sessions, are taking place in the grounds of Pembroke Secondary School within Santa Clara College. This training will come to an end between Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th June with a trial of 24 hour continuous play. After this trial, the 40 players who will participate in this year’s edition will be selected, according to established criteria. As in previous years, the Marathon will be held at Id‑Dar tal‑Providenza, in Siġġiewi. Bank of Valletta will be the main sponsor of the event.

Those who wish to support this event can send a donation on: www.sabihlitaghti.org

Benefactors of the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in Marsa make donation to Id-Dar tal-Providenza

Mr Joseph Vella, the curator of the Our Lady of Lourdes grotto on December 13th Road in Marsa helped by his son Mario and other volunteers, presented a donation of €1,295 to Fr Martin Micallef, Director of Id-Dar tal-Providenza. The presentation took place at the end of a eucharistic celebration at the Holy Trinity parish church in Marsa.

This sum was raised through offerings made at the grotto during the year by devotees of Our Lady of Lourdes.

This is an annual event that was started in 1981 when Mgr Mikiel Azzopardi, founder of the Siġġiewi Home, celebrated the first Mass at the grotto in a year that was dedicated to persons with disability.

“Dun Mikiel Azzopardi truly had a big heart”

Mgr Frans Abdilla, the Ecclesiastical Assistant of the Malta Catholic Action, celebrated mass in the chapel of Id-Dar tal-Providenza on the occasion of the 37th anniversary of the death of Dun Mikiel Azzopardi, the Home’s founder. Mgr Abdilla was assisted by Fr Martin Micallef, Director of the Home. Amongst those who attended the celebration, together with the residents and employees, were the General President of the Malta Catholic Action, Ms. Marija Cachia, as well as members of its General Directorate and other members.

In his homily, Mgr Abdilla described Dun Mikiel Azzopardi as having a heart bigger than his body. He pointed out how Dun Mikiel started sharing his heart with all the Maltese. Mgr Abdilla reminisced the time when he was still a child  and used to listen to him on Rediffusion relayed in his class every Friday explaining the Sunday’s Gospel. He also remembers his grandmother listening regularly to his ‘Is-Siegħa tal-Morda’ programme every Sunday. Then there was the dream about Id-Dar tal-Providenza and the one who made it happen had a heart bigger than his body, because his heart was full of love and we are still benefitting of this great love called Id-Dar tal-Providenza.

Following the mass, Mgr Abdilla blessed Dun Mikiel’s grave located in the yard of Villa Papa Giovanni.

Dun Mikiel Azzopardi, who for many years was also the Ecclesiastical Assistant of the Malta Catholic Action, founded Id-Dar tal-Providenza in 1965 to offer residency to persons with disability who for some reason needed this service. He died at the Siġġiewi Home on May 13th, 1987.


Auxiliary Bishop tours the renovation works in one of the flats at Id-Dar tal-Providenza

Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Galea-Curmi was invited to see one of the flats in Villa Papa Giovanni at Id-Dar tal-Providenza in Siġġiewi where vast renovations have been done so that residents can have a more dignified living environment. He also had the opportunity to celebrate Mass for the residents and employees of the Home.

Works undertaken included structural changes whereby every resident will now have his own bathroom, a complete overhaul of the electrical system and other works meant to safeguard the health and safety of the residents.

In his homily, Bishop Galea-Curmi said: “Id-Dar tal-Providenza is the light of the Church in Malta because it is truly living the words of Christ, ‘You are the light of the world.’ The Home is also a light for Maltese society because it shows that the life of every person is precious in front of God”.

The Director of the Home, Fr Martin Micallef, said that the renovations being done reflect the Home’s commitment to continue improving its quality of service with an appropriate environment that also respects the residents’ privacy and personal choices. As soon as these renovation works are over, refurbishing will start on another flat and is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Fr Martin thanked all the workers involved in this project, Architect John Papagiorcopulo and Engineer Joseph Cuschieri for their professional services, various other companies that helped supporting this project and not least the Maltese and Gozitan public for their continuous support.

John Micallef, Fr Martin’s father, passes away.

John Baptist Micallef, father of Fr Martin Micallef, Director of Id-Dar tal-Providenza passed away on Wednesday, 27th March 2024. In a Facebook post Fr Martin spoke about his deep sorrow as well as those of his siblings, Mario and Joanne and her husband Joe Mizzi, but at the same time full of hope and gratitude.

On behalf of the administration and residents of the Home we wish to converu our sincere condolences to Fr martin and his family.

Final farewell will be given on Tuesday, 2nd April 2024 at the St. Andrew’s parish church in Luqa at 2.00pm.

Whilst we are encouraged to remember John in our prayers donation to Id-Dar tal-Providenza will be appreciated.

Eternal rest grant unto him o Lord.