Dar tal-Providenza appeals for donations

Dar tal-Providenza, whilst thanking the public for the generosity it has always shown, is appealing for donations especially after it was made known that the amount raised during the January 1, 2021 marathon has to be revised downwards. This after GO p.l.c. announced that a technical fault led to a double registering of donations from the Company’s registered numbers.

As a result of this error, the actual sum raised during the Festa ta’ Ġenerożità marathon is now €1,604,540, a decrease of €427,000 from that originally announced. This downward revision is going to affect the plans that Dar tal-Providenza had for this year and therefore, as it always does, it is going to put its trust in providence and in the generosity of the people of Malta and Gozo.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to Dar tal-Providenza can access information online on www.sabihlitaghti.org.

“Here for you, like Mary” – A Reflection by Fr Martin Micallef

This year, the commemoration of Our Lady of Sorrows, which in Malta we traditionally celebrate with great devotion on the Friday before Holy Week, for me personally, has a much deeper and personal meaning than ever before. Because this year, Mary “standing by the cross of Jesus” (John 19:25) reminds me of how many people stood by me last year when I was going through an excruciating cancer treatment.

Mary standing by her crucified son Jesus becomes a beautiful example for us all, an example that mirrors the merciful heart of the good samaritan who in the words of Pope Francis in his recent Encyclical “Fratelli Tutti” “stopped, approached the man and cared for him personally, even spending his own money to provide for his needs.” (63) The Pope goes on to say, “above all he also gave him something that in our frenetic world we cling to tightly: he gave him his time.” (63). How wonderful it is to give some of your time to someone who is going through illness, solitude or some other form of suffering!

In my own pastoral ministry I have seen the face of suffering of so many sick persons: children, youths, parents who had just lost their son or their daughter at a tender age through sickness or a tragic accident, young adults riddled with drug addiction, among others. Before such situations, I always understood the need to be near these people at such difficult times, and did my very best to be there for them. But having experienced the sheer gift of human support at a time when I most needed it, I have never been more aware than today, that the best gift you can give to a person who is suffering is to give him or her some of your time, to give your presence and, when possible, your helping hand.

To be sick with cancer in hospital during this pandemic, doubled the suffering for me because hospital visits were prohibited. The number of those who could be physically close to me was very limited. But I must say that this shortcoming was truly made up for by the specialists, the doctors, nurses, the friars and other workers at the Haematology Ward. I will never forget their dedication, attention and love with which they treated me. That a doctor, nurse or carer comes into your room with a simple smile or to simply check on whether you need anything meant so much to me. It was a heartwarming experience, and it hit me as if they were constantly telling me: “We are here for you!”… “We are here for you like Mary!” How lovely it is to be like Mary near her suffering son.

Here for you like Mary, were also all those who used to call me to see how I was doing or simply sent me a message of support. In my heart I used to say, “See, He remembered me! She remembered me!”

Here for you like Mary, were members of my family, doctors, nurses, friends and others who knew me and who were always there for me in everything I needed.

Here for you like Mary, were those who during my illness and in solidarity with other cancer patients who were undergoing treatment and needed blood transfusions, chose to donate the much needed blood.

Here for you like Mary, were also all those who supported me with their prayers.

Here for you like Mary, we can all be by doing small gestures of human solidarity towards those who are suffering, who would certainly appreciate it immensely.

Standing by the cross and notwithstanding the helpless situation, Mary’s behaviour was certainly not that of the bitter vinegar of indifference, but rather the stimulant of love, courage, and solidarity. Today, I too wish to offer a word of encouragement and love to all those who are sick as well as those who are presently going through some form of suffering. Today, I can understand you that bit more and like those many who stood by me with their prayers, I promise you that I too will stand by you with my prayers to the good Lord, through the intercession of his mother Mary. Our Lady of Sorrows continuously invites us to act like her and be near those who are suffering because “we cannot be indifferent to suffering; we cannot allow anyone to go through life as an outcast.” (Fratelli Tutti, 68)

Dar tal-Providenza resident dies after testing positive for Covid-19

The 30-year old resident tested positive on February 18th during routine tests that are conducted by Dar tal-Providenza.

The resident was immediately transferred to St Thomas Hospital in line with protocols adopted by the Home. In the meantime, residents and care workers who were in contact with the person who resulted positive were put under preventive quarantine.

The person died yesterday and her funeral is taking place this afternoon at the Siġġiewi Parish Church. Our sincere condolences go to her family and friends.

The Home is in constant contact with the Department of Public Health and is taking all necessary precautionary measures to safeguard the health and wellbeing of all its residents and employees.

In fact, vaccination with the first dose started on Monday 15th February 2021 for the residents as well as for the employees.

Covid-19 Vaccinations for residents and staff of Dar tal-Providenza

This morning, Monday February 15th, Id-Dar tal-Providenza residents and staff started receiving the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. Our thanks go to the Social Care Standards Authority (SCSA) for the collaboration throughout.

Photo shows the first Dar tal-Providenza employee to get the vaccine.

BioArte sanitizers donated to Dar tal-Providenza

Frontliners of Malta’s National Health Service, visitors to its various outlets and a number of local non-governmental organisations have benefited from a donation of thousands of bottles of hand sanitiser gel by The BioArte Limited, which only last year sequenced the Maltese strain of COVID-19 (SARS CoV-2) and continues to do so.

The hand sanitiser gel, in 100 ml and 500 ml bottles, was delivered last week to the Central Procurement and Supplies Unit of the Health Ministry, apart from the Dar tal-Providenza, the Malta Hospice Movement and the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS).

Mr Christian Duchow and Dr Manuele Biazzo, Directors of The BioArte, decided to make the donation to underline their start-up’s commitment to contribute to the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic and follows the start-up’s decision to dedicate resources to the better understanding of the Maltese COVID-19 viral isolates.

“We decided to make these donations for the greater benefit of Maltese society and to underline our commitment to support key stakeholders who are, in their own way, contributing to a better society,” Dr Biazzo said.

There was gratitude from all those who received these generous donations. Ing. Karl Farrugia, Managing Director of the CPSU, said the hand sanitiser is part of the first line of defence that all those in the National Health Service constantly used in the course of their work and for visitors to their various outlets.

Nadine Camilleri Cassano, Administrator of the Dar tal-Providenza, said hand sanitiser was always in demand and thanked The BioArte for their altruistic donation. Anna Frendo, Care Services Manager at the Malta Hospice Movement, welcomed the donation and expressed her gratitude, on behalf of all the service users, for such a useful donation.

Regina Catrambone, co-founder and Director of MOAS, said the donation is highly appreciated and will be distributed among the migrant communities on the island.

The BioArte’s laboratories, based at the Life Sciences Park in San Gwann, were only inaugurated in November and the company, which employs a team of medical laboratory scientists and virologists – many with Ph.D.s, is committed to continue not only to detect SARS CoV-2 viral isolates, but also to perform research in the same field in order to obtain new information that may help the scientific community in the development of new remedies.

Its research of the sequencing of the first virus lineages, for which the funding was totally internal, were published last year by the American Society of Microbiology and the information is freely available on their website.

Among The BioArte’s services, beside the COVID screening services (antigenic and molecular), is the research-based clinical examination of persons, who are referred to the company by their doctors, to obtain a comprehensive outline of all the micro-organisms in their body, correlated with the latest data in research literature worldwide and the implication on their health.

Statement by Dar tal-Providenza

Following the pledge of €500,000 from CATCO Group, Id-Dar tal-Providenza signed a letter of engagement with a local advisory and audit firm to conduct a due diligence exercise. Id-Dar tal-Providenza was informed by the firm that the chairman of the Group did not provide the relevant information requested from him as part of a verification process, and therefore Id-Dar tal-Providenza, while appreciating this kind gesture, is not in a position to receive the donation. The Administrative Secretary of the Archdiocese of Malta was informed about this development.

The final sum of money donated during the Festa ta’ Ġenerożità held on January 1st 2021 has been revised down to €2,031,540.

Id-Dar tal-Providenza remains committed to providing the best services possible to its residents to support them to live their life with the dignity they deserve.

We take the opportunity to thank all those who through their donations and efforts have supported Id-Dar tal-Providenza in its work.

Gordon Hewitt, a dedicated volunteer of Id-Dar tal-Providenza, passes away

It is with deep regret and profound sadness that we announce the passing away of Mr Gordon Hewitt, a dedicated volunteer of Id-Dar tal-Providenza. His funeral will be held on Wednesday 6 January 2021 at Siġġiewi Parish Church at 3.30pm. Eternal rest, grant unto her O Lord.

For Gordon Id-Dar tal-providenza was his second home and used to refer to it as “the happiest place in Malta, where everyone smiles.” Gordon volunteered at the Home working closely with residents with a persistent commitment until his health permitted.

Most of Mr Hewitt’s daily work involved taking out residents around the gardens of Dar tal-Providenza and was very active in various activities organized for residents both inside as well as outside the Siġġiewi Home. We especially mention his involvement in drama and other main activities throughout the year. The last play he took part in with the residents was “Il-Presepju tan-Nannu” that took place at the Catholic Institute in Floriana a year ago. Mr Hewitt was also the one who suggested the name of St. Isidore for the Agricultural Centre at Dar tal-Providenza in Siġġiewi where during the week residents preserved aromatic herbs which were then sold to the general public. Every year, he saw to it that a mass is celebrated in the Home’s chapel on the occasion of the feast of St. Isidore, the patron saint of farmers, when residents who worked at the Centre were invited and participated.
Gordon used to say that the best gift you can give to anyone is to give your time to him or her. This is exactly what Gordon used to do with the residents of Dar tal-Providenza until a few months ago when his health did not permit him to. He built a nice rapport of a sincere friendship with a lot of persons with disability who will surely treasure it throughout their lives.
Last December he recieved the Mgr Azzopardi Award 2020 for his dedicated work as a volunteer.

A great gift of €2,531,540 for Dar tal-Providenza

“I am moved in no small way with the generosity and solidarity shown by the Maltese people that notwithstanding everything that is going on handed a beautiful gift of a record €2,531,540 to Dar tal-Providenza.” This was stated by Fr Martin Micallef, Director of the Home, who from his office in Siġġiewi followed the proceedings, handled incoming telephone calls and made a number of interventions using Skype. He continued to say that notwithstanding the Covid-19 and the uncertainties that followed, the Maltese population has again did big things with Dar tal-Providenza that in the last few months witnessed a substantial drop in revenue due to cancelled fundraising events such as the volleyball marathon. This was indeed a message of hope in a time of disheartenment by this pandemic.

Fr Martin said this at the end of the annual televised marathon to raise funds for the Home so that it can continue to provide the best residential services to a hundred and fifteen persons with disability that live in the Siġġiewi Home or its other community homes. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic situation the country is in, the whole programme as well as the venue for the activity had to be changed. In order to ensure the wellbeing and the security of the residents, which have been a top priority since last March, nothing happened at the Home’s Siġġiewi car park except for a ‘drive-through’ where persons wanting to make a donation did so without getting out of their car.

The important fundraising aspect of “Festa ta’ Ġenerożità” including appeals, telephone and on-line donations were done at the We studios in Qormi between noon and midnight. During the marathon, visitors to the studios included the President of Malta, Dr George Vella and Mrs Vella, Archbishop Charles Scicluna, Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Galea-Curmi, President Emeritus Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca and, through Skype, Gozo Bishop Anton Teuma and the Leader of the Opposition and Mrs Grech. Also present were ministers and members of parliament from both sides of the House, delegations representing the main poplitical parties, various personalities and representatives of constituted bodies who also took time to answer the phones.

Obviously, everything was done according to the protocols in place by the health authorities including the mandatory wearing of masks, social distancing, separation by perspex, etc.

As has now been the custom, various parishes in Malta and Gozo made special collections during church celebrations that were donated to the Home on behalf of the community some of them also using Skype.

The first official visitor was Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna who also celebrated Mass in the Home’s chapel on the feast of Mary, Mother of God. He was assisted by Mgr. Charles Cordina, Episcopal Vicar for Diaconia and Fr Trevor Fairclough, Spiritual Director of the Home. In his homily he emphasised God’s blessings in the quote from the first reading from the Book of Numbers that the Lord will bless us and keep us and give us peace.

The Archbishop said that those who have been to Dar tal-Providenza easily understand that the Lord uses simple people to do big things. He did this when he used Mgr. Mikiel Azzopardi to work on founding a home for persons with disability and for the last fifty-five years the residents found a home that respected their rights and dignity. He thanked all the carers, workers and volunteers who for the last ten pandemic months have been protecting and caring for the residents and keeping them safe as well as their co-workers.

Mgr. Scicluna referred to the pandemic situation and said that taking the vaccine was not obligatory but was also a duty to show that we, as citizens, are capable of taking care of ourselves and of each other.

The day’s activity started at 9.30am with Holy Mass on TVM2 whilst the televised marathon started at noon and continued till around midnight when the final sum was announced. TVM2, ONE TV and NET TV took part for long stretches of the 12-hour broadcast. This included entertainment provided by the top entertainers on the island.

Another effort to help out Dar tal-Providenza – The Archbishhop

Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna this morning appealed for the Maltese to make another effort to help out Dar tal-Providenza during the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic. He emphasised God’s blessings in the quote from the Book of Numbers that the Lord will bless us and keep us and give us peace.
The Archbishop said that those who have been to Dar tal-Providenza easily understand that the Lord uses simple people to do big things. He did this when he used Dun Mikiel Azzopardi to work on founding a home for persons with disability and for the last 55 years the residents found a home that respected their rights and dignity. He thanked all the carers, workers and volunteers who for the last 10 pandemic months have been protecting and caring for the residents and keeping them safe.
Mgr. Scicluna referred to the pandemic situation and said that taking the vaccine was not obligatory but was also a duty as a sign that we, as citizens, are capable of taking care of ourselves and of each other.
The Archbishop celebrated Mass on the feast of Mary, Mother of God at the Home’s Chapel. He was assisted by Mgr. Charles Cordina, Episcopal Vicar for Diaconia and Fr Trevor Fairclough, Spiritual Director of the Home.
Today is another big day for Maltese solidarity with Dar tal-Providenza when “Festa ta’ Ġenerożità” takes centre stage as the major annual fund-raiser for the Home. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic situation we are in, the whole programme as well as the venue for the activity had to be changed. In order to ensure the wellbeing and the security of the residents, which have been a top priority since last March, nothing is happening at the Home’s Siġġiewi car park except for a ‘drive-through’ where persons wanting to make a donation may do so without getting out of their car.
The important fundraising aspect of “Festa ta’ Ġenerożità” including appeals, telephone and on-line donations will be done at the We studios in Qormi between noon and midnight.

103 Malta’s Heart raises €32,441 for Dar tal-Providenza

A record €32,441 were raised for Dar tal-Providenza during a 30-hour music marathon on 103 Malta’s Heart well exceeding last year’s sum of €12,710. The final sum was announced by Fr Martin Micallef, director of Dar tal-Providenza.
The marathon kicked off at 6am on Wednesday 30 December, with Arthur Caruana accompanied by two other well known presenters Ron Briffa and Ian Busuttil Naudi and Jes Saliba.
At various times of the music marathon there were messages of support and appeals for much needed funds. Amongst them were those from Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna, Gozo Bishop Anton Teuma, Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Galea-Curmi, the Superintendent of Public Health, Prof. Charmaine Gauci and Fr Martin Micallef, Director of the Home.
The team expressed their satisfaction at the show of solidarity especially in such a year dominated by the pandemic.
Tomorrow is another big day for Maltese solidarity with Dar tal-Providenza when “Festa ta’ Ġenerożità” takes centre stage as the major annual fund-raiser for the Home. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic situation we are in, the whole programme as well as the venue for the activity had to be changed. In order to ensure the wellbeing and the security of the residents, which have been a top priority since last March, nothing is happening at the Home’s Siġġiewi car park except for a ‘drive-through’ where persons wanting to make a donation may do so without getting out of their car.
The important fundraising aspect of “Festa ta’ Ġenerożità” including appeals, telephone and on-line donations will be done at the We studios in Qormi between noon and midnight.