“Dar tal-Providenza a monument of mercy”

During a Thanksgiving Mass on the occasion of the 55th Anniversary of the founding of Dar tal-Providenza, Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna decribed the Siġġiewi Home as a “monument of mercy”. He added that its founder, Dun Mikiel, greeted the first residents at the Home mercifully not because they were pitiful but because he wanted the loving care for the residents to mirror the loving care that God has for mankind.

It was on the 12th September 1965 that Dun Mikiel, had shared with his programme listeners on Rediffusion his desire to open the first residential home in Malta for persons with disability. Later that evening a lady met up with him and gave him the first donation to kickstart the realisation of his dream in a concrete way which in fact he went on to do. Dun Mikiel fixed this date as the Foundation Day of Id-Dar tal-Providenza which then opened its doors on February 11th 1968.

This anniversary, of fifty-five years of a labour of love, dedication and service for persons with disability needing a residential service, was commemorated on Sunday 13th with a thanksgiving Mass at the chapel of the Home in Siġġiewi. The celebrant was Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna who was assisted by Fr Trevor Fairclough and Fr Lino Cardona SJ.

Archbishop Scicluna thanked the President of Malta, Dr George Vella and Mrs Vella for their presence and solidarity as well as for the support that the State provides to those who need it. Also present were the Parliamentary Secretary for Active Ageing and Persons with Disability, Silvio Parnis, Mrs Maria Deguara, Opposition spokesperson for Persons with Disability and the Commissioner for Mental Health, Dr John M. Cachia.

However, this 55th Anniversary will not be easily forgotten because of the pandemic circumstances Malta and indeed the whole world are living in. COVID-19 has strained the Home’s resources both in human and financial terms. In order to safeguard the safety and wellbeing of our residents as well as of our workers the Home adhered to all the protocols adopted by the Health Authorities. Residents, relatives and workers had to get used to security arrangements that were put in place in various measures since last March. At the end of the Mass, Archbishop Scicluna appealed for donations to various organisations in need such as Dar tal-Providenza and the Community Chest Fund.
The aim of id-Dar tal-Providenza has always been to provide homes with a warm and family-like environment for persons with disability who for some reason or another couldn’t live with their natural family. Throughout these years, this service that saw to their respect, dignity and rights was only made possible thanks to the continuous support of Maltese and Gozitans alike, through voluntary work as well as financial help.

Today, fifty-five years later, id-Dar tal-Providenza is made up of three main residences: Villa Monsinjur Gonzi, Villa Papa Giovanni and Villa Papa Luciani as well as another four small homes in the communities of Siġġiewi, Qawra, Birkirkara and Żurrieq with another one in Balluta which will be inaugurated in thhe coming months. Currently, in all seven residences, the Home houses a hundred-and-fifteen residents, all with various forms of disability and ages varying between eight and over eighty years. It also provides respite services on a regular basis. The annual running expenses of id-Dar tal-Providenza are now running at around five million Euro.

Curia employees prepare 20,000 diaries to raise funds for Id-Dar tal-Providenza

50 employees at the Archbishop’s Curia have prepared 20,000 diaries for distribution to Maltese households with the aim of raising funds for Id-Dar tal-Providenza.

In a statement, the Archdiocese of Malta said that the event was in line with its corporate social responsibility. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the activity took place at the employees’ respective offices, rather than at the Dar tal-Providenza. The employees also raised €800 in donations to the Siġġiewi residence for people with disabilities.

The Archdiocese’s human resources manager Rebecca Gatt emphasised that the pandemic would not stop Curia employees from helping those in need.

As has been the case with other charities, Id-Dar tal-Providenza has struggled to raise funds this year, not least through the cancellation of many fundraising activities. The cancellation of this year’s edition of the popular volleyball marathon alone meant the loss of some €500,000 in donations, while precautions related to Covid-19 have increased its costs.

Eden Leisure Group in solidarity with Dar tal-Providenza

Every month, Eden Leisure Group employees have been donating a small portion of their salary to Dar tal-Providenza that, as everyone knows, for the last 55 years (the Home turns 55 this September 13th) has and will always rely on donations from benefactors and the general public to be able to operate.

In time for the International Day of Charity, Eden Leisure Group CEO, Simon De Cesare presented a cheque to Dr George Grech, the Home’s Medical Doctor and Ms Remona Cuschieri, the Home’s Services Coordinator.

Eden Leisure Group encourages its employees and other companies alike to join this initiative. Just a tiny bit of kindness from everyone goes a long way for those in need.
Employers can get more information, if necessary by sending an email to info@dartalprovidenza.org or calling on 2146 2844.
Employees who would like to join this scheme should contact their HR manager. If their workplace is not yet part of this scheme they should encourage their employer to do so.

Minister Michael Falzon launches appeal for financial help towards Dar tal-Providenza

During a visit he made at the Siġġiewi Home, Dr Michael Falzon, Minister for the Family, Children’s Rights and Social Solidarity, appealed for financial help for Dar tal-Providenza however small the amount might be. He said that the residents at the Home are amongst the most vulnerable in our society and they need support especially at this time when the COVID-19 pandemic has taken over the world including Malta. “I assure you,” the Minister said, “that the satisfaction you get when giving is by far a lot more greater than when receving.”
Dr Falzon praised and thanked those that give of their free time to help persons with disabillity. He also found time to meet representatives of the workers at the Home.
On behalf of his Ministry, Dr Falzon made a donation of €1,000. The Administrator of Dar tal-Providenza, Nadine Camilleri Cassano thanked the Minister for the donation and his support of solidarity that he has shown towards the Home.

Craft & Coffee in aid of Id-Dar tal-Providenza

The very talented ‘Happy Hookers’ of Craft & Coffee for Charity have reached out to Dar tal-Providenza. They presented the Siġġiewi Home with a bag of beautifully handmade items which are now for sale at the Home’s bazaar.
Thanks to the Craft & Coffee for Charity group you can now see the colourfully crafted items for yourselves by visiting the bazaar which is open every Tuesday between 8:00am and noon.

John Paris, Volunteer at Dar tal-Providenza – An appreciation

Dar tal-Providenza wishes to express its gratitude and appreciation to the legacy left behind by Mr John Paris, one of its volunteers, who on Monday 24th August 2020 went to join his Lord and Master in heaven.

John, together with his wife Ġemma, has been doing voluntary work at Dar tal-Providenza since 2012. They never missed their appointment twice, sometimes three times a week.
John spent his time doing voluntary work with the maintenance section of the Home. As soon as someone asked for help on some repair job you would see John coming with his tool box and a smile on his face to see what needed to be done.

Whenever there was a huge activity or a residents’ outing, John and his wife Ġemma would always be there to give a helping hand. On their own initiative during the past few years, they started organising on a regular basis a day’s outing for residents to the site the Boy Scouts have in Rinella Bay.

When talking to John you would immediately see how close to his heart Dar tal-Providenza was and how willingly and and so much generosity he used to do his voluntary work without any funfares. For John Dar tal-Providenza was his second family.

Last year, John and his wife Ġemma were nominated for the Active Ageing Award.

Details of his funeral will be annouced later.

Thank you, John.

May you rest in peace.

€5,730 raised in aid of Id-Dar tal-Providenza

A total of €5,730 was raised by Pierre Vella Petroni and Anne Marie Xuereb in aid of Id-Dar tal-Providenza. Every year, for the last seven years, Pierre and Anne Marie organised a BBQ for Pierre’s friends and all the monies collected went to the Siġġiewi Home. This year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the BBQ did not take place however donations were collected in aid of the Home.
The sum of €5,730 was presented by Pierre Vella Petroni and Anne Marie Xuereb to Nadine Camilleri Cassano, Administrator of Dar tal-Providenza, who on behalf of the Director, Fr Martin Micallef, who is indisposed, the residents and Administration of the Home thanked all those who made a donation.

More than €560,000 in funds for Dar tal-Providenza

Dar tal-Providenza has received more than €560,000 in funds under the Operational Assistance Scheme. This scheme was announced by the government last June as part of its plan for economic regeneration. This donation will help the Home to soften the impact of workers’ wages and also compensate for the severe dwindling in donations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Youth, Sport and Voluntary Organisations, Clifton Grima said that the government is clearly showing how important voluntary organisations are for the country. He said that voluntary organisations, through various initiatives they uphold, contribute towards Maltese society.

The Parliamentary Secretary said: “Nowadays, we have a number of organisations that employ professionals in various fields, which is in tune with what the government is doing in the social sector. This is why their recurrent expenditure is considerable. It is through such financial assistance that we are helping out Dar tal-Providenza in its operations.”

The Parliamentary Secretary said that this scheme is the biggest direct investment ever made in the voluntary sector.

The Chairman of the Maltese Council for the Voluntary Sector, Noel Camilleri, said that through the work of the Council and with the appropriate intervention of the Parliamentary Secretary Clifton Grima, these funds were released to assist workers in the voluntary sector.

The Administrator of Dar tal-Providenza, Nadine Camilleri Cassano, explained that the pandemic meant that the Home had an increase in costs in order to safeguard the wellbeing and security of its residents as well as that of its employees. At the same time, the pandemic also led to a shrinking in donations, particularly those that come from fundraising activities organised by the Home and by other organisations. She said that nevertheless, the Home wanted to ensure the highest level of service so that its residents in the Siġġiewi Home as well as in homes in the community live in the dignlty they deserve.

On his part, Jesmond Saliba thanked Mr Mauro Pace Parascandalo, the Parliamentary Secretary Clifton Grima and all those involved who were instrumental that the financial help materialises at a time when once again, in the light of the risks and increased pandemic cases, planned fundraising activities had to be cancelled.

This fund is administered by the Maltese Council for the Voluntary Sector with the aim of ensuring the existence of these organisations and giving them a breath of life to continue their precious work, work that was affected negatively both in their operations as well as in their fundraising.

Evolve by RS Group donate food to Dar tal-Providenza

Today a variety of party food items were delivered to Dar tal-Providenza. The items were part of a 10 years’ anniversary celebration that was being organised by Evolve RS Group for its staff. However, following the spike in local cases of positive results for Covid 19, the company felt it was not the right moment to be celebrating, and decided not to put anyone at risk by cancelling the event. For this reason, Evolve by RS Group decided to donate the food to Dar tal-Providenza, who rely mainly on donations for their day to day running of the centre.

This is not the first time that Evolve by RS Group have donated to various causes, including educational books to various educational institutes for children with special needs, paint products and gypsum material, as well as other finishing products, where houses or centres for people with special needs were being built, and monetary donations to different causes on a yearly basis.

Whilst at Dar tal-Providenza, the Directors of Evolve by RS Group, as well as staff members of the company who were present distributing the food, Nadine Camilleri Cassano of Dar tal-Providenza gave them a tour of the premises and of the kitchen where over 100 meals are cooked twice a day for the residents and the staff members. Dar tal-Providenza relies heavily on funding from charity and donations. Those interested in helping fund this charity, especially during such delicate times, can also do so through the website www.sabihlitaghti.org.

Evolve by RS group is a company that specialises in the importation and installation of finishing material for home and industrial projects. www.evolve.com.mt

Steward Health Care US donates 50,000 face masks to Id-Dar tal-Providenza

Steward Health Care’s headquarters in the Unites States has donated over 50,000 disposable face masks to Id-Dar tal-Providenza to support the efforts made by the Home to contain the spread of the virus and protect its residents and employees.

This was part of a larger donation of 100,000 face masks to be used in the Gozitan and Maltese communities, especially by vulnerable people, so as to help in the prevention of the spread of COVID-19.

The masks were donated during an event held at Steward Health Care Malta’s offices which was presided by Dr Nadine Delicata, Executive Director and President of Steward Health Care Malta.

Dr Delicata said that this donation from Steward US underpins the importance of the message that, while restrictions have been lifted, everyone needs to remain vigilant and observe public health measures in our efforts to keep the number of COVID-19 cases in the community as low as possible. She said that the donation confirms Steward’s commitment to the communities that it serves.

Present during the event were the Minister for Gozo, Hon. Clint Camilleri, the US Chargé d’Affaires, Mark Schapiro, the Superintendent of Public Health, Prof. Charmaine Gauci, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry for Gozo, John Borg, and the Administrator of id-Dar tal-Providenza, Nadine Camilleri Cassano.