Over €17,000 raised by Infinitely Xara in Charity Dinner in aid of Id-Dar tal-Providenza

€17,390 were raised in the annual dinner in aid of Dar Tal-Providenza organised by Infinitely Xara Co. Ltd, owned by the Zammit Tabona family. Over €98,000 were raised in the four consecutive annual events.

This year, the event which took place on Wednesday 15th July was attended by 80 people from different spheres of life. It was held in the lush pool area of The Xara Lodge, with a stunning backdrop of the Medieval City of Mdina.

This gastronomic experience was attended by various established companies, who generously donated money to support Id-Dar tal-Providenza.

The principal sponsors for the night were Seifert, The Point Shopping Mall, PwWC, Francis J Vassallo, Malta International Airport and Bilom Group. Other sponsors included Marsovin, VJ Salomone, KRS Releasing, Farsons, Il-Qronfla, and General Soft Drinks.

Infinitely Xara treated the guests to an exclusively crafted five-course meal, accompanied by a selection of wines serenading the evening with live jazz by Russu and friends who offered their services free of charge for such a noble cause.

Meanwhile, the Group announced that it will be continuing its support to Dar Tal-Providenza “All our outlets at Infinitely Xara, namely The Xara Palace Hotel, the newly launched Xara Lodge Terrace, The Xara Lodge Pool, the de Mondion Restaurant and Trattoria AD 1530 will be accepting government vouchers and will be donating 10% of the value of the voucher to Dar tal-Providenza.”

‘The Covid-19 pandemic has effected us all in many more ways than one, however some more than others as for Id-Dar tal-Providenza, and this is the reason why we decided to continue with this annual event and host a reduced size dinner. Every little bit helps and can make a difference’ Nicola Paris, Director, said.

Nadine Camilleri Cassano, Administrator of Dar Tal-Providenza thanked the Zammit Tabona Family for their continuous support to Dar Tal-Providenza. Covid-19 led to a situation where the donations from the general public, which is the lifeline of Dar Tal-Providenza plumeted. The support taken by Infinitely Xara Co. Ltd through the event and also the initiative linked to the vouchers is valued and welcome as it helps us alleviate the ongoing expenses to provide our the residents our professional service inspired by dignity.

Infinitely Xara is the collection of The Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux, The Xara Lodge, The One Star Michelin de Mondion Restaurant, Trattoria AD 1530 and The Medina Restaurant. Infinitely Xara also hosts outside catering events. For further information call on +356 2145 0560 or email to events@xaracollection.com

End of an era for the Sisters of Charity

A month before Dun Mikiel Azzopardi opened the Dar tal-Providenza doors on the 12th of January 1968 a number of Sisters of Charity of St Joan Antide de Thouret started living as a communitry in the same Home to help the founder with his new work. They were the first support workers of the Home with a helping hand from volunteers and later on from workers who were specifically taken on board.
The first three residents entered the Home on February 11th 1968. The were all hosted at Villa Monsinjur Gonzi which had just been refurbished.
Ever since then, the Sisters of Charity offered their professional services with a lot of love, dedication and generosity. On January 1st of this year, Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna officially announced that the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity in Malta decided against its wishes that due to age this year the Sisters will terminate their work at Dar tal-Providenza. The official last day was July 15th 2020.
The presence of this religious community was a gift to residents, workers and volunteers of the Home. They were always there for everyone 24 hours a day. Most of them gave their services for a long time. In fact, Sr Gesuina Mangion has been serving at the Home for these last 41 years, Sr Lorenza Borg for the last 13 years whilst Sr Bernarda Buhagiar and Sr Bertha Bezzina were both here for 20 full years.
Fr Martin Micallef, Director of the Home, commented that he was sure that their immense sense of service willl remain a guiding light to all of us working in this Home.
He thanked all the Sisters that worked in the Home during the years but not least Sr Lorenza Borg, Sr Bernarda Buhagiar and Sr Gesuina Mangion who are going to be sorely missed. He also wished them well in their new tasks within their new communities.

Archbishop Scicluna presented with Dar tal-Providenza’s Annual Report for 2019

Archbishop Mgr. Charles J. Scicluna was presented with a copy of Dar tal-Providenza’s Annual Report for 2019. Mrs Nadine Camillleri Cassano, the Administrator of the Home, said that although the report was issued and presented every year, this was the first time that it was printed in colour in Maltese and abridged English. The report highlights the work done in the various sections of the Home in its commitment to continue to offer residential services of the highest order to persons with disability that need to make use of the service. The report may be accessed from the Publications section or by clicking link.

In a short address, Archbishop Scicluna said that in these last years Dar tal-Providenza has gone full circle that was started 55 years ago when Dun Mikiel, the founder of the Home, went around looking for persons with disability that were hidden in cellars or back rooms not to be seen by anyone. He took them in the oasis in Siġġiewi that is Dar tal-Providenza where they were cared for and loved. On February 11th 1997, the process of closing the circle was started with the opening of “Zerniq”, the first community home also in Siġġiewi, followed by “Akkwarell” in Qawra, “Dar Pirotta” in Birkirkara, opened by the Archdiocese in 2007 and passed on to the Home in 2014, “Shalom” in Żurrieq and another home in Balluta that is just about ready for its opening. At the moment, the Home hosts approximately 115 persons between the ages of eight and over eighty years.

The Archbishop took the opportunity to thank the Sisters of Charity who have been living at the Home and giving their services since day one and are now ending their commitment. The presence of this religious community was a gift to residents, workers and volunteers of the Home. They were always there for everyone 24 hours a day. Most of them gave their services for a long time. Mgr. Scicluna requested them that they now change their mission of service to a mission of prayer for Dar tal-Providenza in the communities they will be serving.

At the end of the presentation ceremony, Archbishop Scicluna invited representatives of the Home present to join him in prayer for the needs of Fr Martin Micallef, Director of the Home, who this week has started chemotherapy treatment at Sur Anthony Mamo Oncology Centre for a curable cancer that he was recently diagnosed with.
Archbishop Scicluna has graciously accepted the request made by the Administration of Dar tal-Providenza to celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving of the 55th Anniversary of the Home that falls on Saturday, 12th September. It is planned that the Mass is broadcast live on TV and will be part of a fundraising event for the Home.

‘Sabiħ li Tagħti’ – the joy of giving – Id-Dar tal-Providenza appeals for assistance following substantial investment to safeguard the health of its workers and residents during the pandemic

Id-Dar tal-Providenza is launching a fundraising campaign entitled “Sabiħ li tagħti” – the joy of giving – in order to continue providing its professional services to its residents. Unfortunately, during the past few months, donations have decreased drastically while costs have increased exponentially due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, during which the organisation has had to invest in new structures in order to safeguard its employees and residents.

Ms Nadine Camilleri Cassano, the administrator of the home, explained how during the past few months when our country was afflicted by the coronavirus pandemic, the institution had implemented a number of measures according to the safety protocols issued by the authorities, in order to safeguard its community.

Id-Dar tal-Providenza has purchased a number of smartphones for its homes and the residents’ apartments so that every group could keep in touch with families and friends during the pandemic. This was possible thanks to the heavy investment provided by MITA for the Home’s Wifi system, which was inaugurated by the President of Malta. This upgrade also included modernisation in the technological infrastructure in order to allow teleworking for the administration team.

The institute also invested heavily in protective personal equipment for all the members of staff who are in direct contact with the residents, as well as masks, thermometers and disinfecting materials. The areas more frequently used by the residents and staff were cleaned and disinfected more regularly and rigorously, while secure transport was offered to all the workers. All the health personal working with the residents were given specific training to deal with the situation.

Ms Camilleri Cassano also explained how throughout this period all the residents were confined to their apartments and houses, as all outings were cancelled. The ‘Ability Promoters’ team, led by Ms Margaret Vella organised various activities to keep the residents entertained. These included street music sessions twice a week, as well as arts and crafts activities. The carers regularly took the residents out to enjoy the gardens of the residence.

“Despite all the difficulties, we worked together and did everything possible in order to protect our residents in the best way possible, while ensuring that they enjoy a good quality of life and in an environment which promoted their wellbeing. All these measures translated into an investment of around €60,000,” she concluded.

Mr Manwel Zammit Member of the Board of Directors also explained how this scenario presented a double challenge to the administration team, who had to take into account incurring extra expenses during a period when donations decreased drastically. He remarked that under normal circumstances, the annual volleyball marathon in aid of Dat tal-Providenza would be launched around this period, an event which normally generates around half a million Euro in donations for the residence.

He also explained that “we had to halt all operations from our office in Valletta, while donations from persons who regularly visited the residence also petered out.” This resulted in an extra burden on the resources of the institute.

However, Mr Zammit also expressed his gratitude to the sense of solidarity shown by various organisations and commercial entities that reached out and helped the Home during this difficult time, including donations collected by the Malta Together initiative, cleaning services provided by Bad Boy Cleaners, the Corinthia Group of Companies and Norwex Limited, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Rotary Club for the donation of masks, Siegfried Malta Ltd for the supply of disinfectant, Bitmac for the provision of tarmac and the donation of kitchens for the Balluta residence as well as Dar Pirotta.

Mr Jesmond Saliba, Member of the Board of Directors of Dar tal-Providenza, spoke about the challenges of the past few months, where besides the difficulties from the financial aspect, all the family visits to the residents had to be stopped. He also referred to the fact that all the professional services offered by the House, apart from some exceptions, depend totally on the donations of the Maltese people.

In this regard, he announced the launch of the initiative Sabiħ Li Tagħti – the joy of giving – which goes beyond the Volleyball Marathon, and which will be an umbrella scheme which will include all the fundraising efforts over the coming months, with the aim of keeping the Residence in operation.

One can donate through various ways which can be accessed on www.sabihlitaghti.org

He reminded that the Home requires 5 million Euro every year to run smoothly and cover all the services it offers to its residents, which is all supported by the generosity of the Maltese.

Mr Saliba continued to announce the sad news that Fr Martin Micallef, Director of id-Dar tal-Providenza, would be withdrawing from his responsibilities for an indefinite period of time while receiving treatment for a curable form of cancer.

“Fr Martin will be embarking on a different, more arduous marathon. This is a difficult period for us who work so closely with Fr Martin, as well as his family and the family represented by the Home. The mission of the residence will continue to be carried out in the best possible way, as always, by the Management team, the Board of Directors as well as all the workers of the Residence.”

He asked the public to be generous and make a donation that would not only help the residents, but would also encourage and sustain Fr Martin as he undergoes his treatment, in the hope that next year he will be able to take up his role at the head of this mission once again.

Prof. Charmaine Gauci, the Superintendent for Public Health, had a meeting with the workers at the House, whereby she thanked them for their continuous dedication and the commitment they showed to the residents during the pandemic, while thanking the administration of the House for taking care to implement all the required measures in order to ensure the health and wellbeing of all the employees and residents of the Home.



Dar tal-Providenza office in Valletta to reopen

The office Dar tal-Providenza has in Valletta will reopen its doors on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays between 9.00am and 12.30pm as from July 2nd.

Those who opt to make their donations to the Home at the Valletta office are kindly requested to adhere to established safety measures.

Relatives now able to visit residents at Dar tal-Providenza

The administration of Id-Dar tal-Providenza has introduced new measures to enable visits to residents by their relatives who will be given an appointment. The duration of these visits is not to exceed 15 minutes.

Some visits have already started taking place and it seems the arrangements have been very well received as can be seen by the comment received by one of the relatives.

“A sincere well done for the initiative to allow me to meet my sister after long weeks during which I couldn’t get anywhere near her at Id-Dar tal-Providenza in Siġġiewi because of precautionary measures taken necessarily for the protection and well being of the residents.

Making a smart phone available was already a step in the right direction to establish contact with the residents as best as possible in these extraordinary circumstances. Now the Home’s administration has come up with another improvement making it possible to see our loved ones. I made an appointment and managed to meet up with my sister from behind a perspex. It was for me a truly beautiful moment because we saw each other and were near each other as much as humanly possible as well. Thank you for all that you are doing.”

Visiting hours during the week will be evenings only between 3.45pm and 6.00pm whilst on Saturdays and Sundays visits may happen between 9.30am and 11.00am as well as between 4.00pm and 6.00pm.
Relatives may show their wish to visit residents by calling on 2146 2844 with their details. Someone from administration will be calling back to inform them about the date and time of the booking of their appointment.
One of the first measures that Dar tal-Providenza took to safeguard the residents and the Support workers from the Corona Virus pandemic was to stop the usual visits by family and friends to residents in our homes. For that reason, in the middle of April the Home invested in a number of smart phones to ensure that the residents will still be able to maintain contact with their relatives and friends and vice-versa.

Friends of Providence House NSW donate $16,000 to Id-Dar tal-Providenza.

During the last sixteen months, the sum of $16,000 was raised by the Friends of Providence House NSW who usually present their donation to Id-Dar tal-Providenza at the annual Volleyball Marathon which is held on the first weekend of July at the Home’s parking lot in Siġġiewi.

Due to the COVID-19 Global Pandemic restrictions, the marathon had to be cancelled but the much needed funds have been directly transferred much earlier than planned to Id-Dar tal-Providenza to help keep up with the services it offers to its residents in the various homes.

These funds are the result of many months of hard work during 2019 and 2020 in the Maltese community of Sydney and surrounding areas. They consist of a major sponsorship by George Vella of Breakaway Travel, Blacktown, competitions, donations, raffles and the annual “Festa ta’ Generożità which was held earlier this year, together with a donation of $5,000 by a very generous anonymous benefactor.

Jim Borg, the Coordinator of Friends of Providence House NSW, together with his team, Marisa Previtera (Secretary) and Miriam Friggieri, (Treasurer) stay in regular contact with Fr Martin Micallef, Director, of Id Dar tal-Providenza. Mr Borg said that his group will continue with its fundraising initiatives for what he describes a much respected and beloved institution in Australia as well.

On behalf of the residents, Fr Martin thanked the Friends of Providence House NSW for their continuous support and promised prayers.

13th May 2020 – the 33rd Anniversary of Mgr Mikiel Azzopardi’s death

Fr Martin Micallef, Director of Id-Dar tal-Providenza, today celebrated Holy Mass in the chapel of the Home to commemorate the 33rd anniversary of Mgr Mikiel Azzopardi’s death. Dun Mikiel, as more popularly referred to, was born in Valletta on February 10th, 1910. He founded the Siġġiewi Home in September 1965 and died on May 13th, 1987.

Due to the present COVID-19 situation, the Mass was said in a private manner. Usually, it was attended by members of the Malta Catholic Action, led by the President, Mr Josef Debono, residents and friends of the Home.

Commemorating the 33rd anniversary of the death of Mgr. Mikiel Azzopardi

Today, May 13th 2020, we commemorate the 33rd anniversary of the death of Mgr. Mikiel Azzopardi, who founded Id-Dar tal-Providenza in 1965 and who used to refer to it as “an oasis of Christian charity”. Dun Mikiel, as he was mostly referred to was born in Valletta on the 10th of February 1910 and died on the 13th of May 1987.

Dun Mikiel used to look at every person with great love be it in the sector of education, later at the Malta Catholic Action and finally at Id-Dar tal-Providenza.

The aim of the Home is to offer a haven with a warm and family-like environment for persons with disability, who for some reason or another couldn’t remain living with their natural family.

Throughout these years, this service was only made possible thanks to the continuous support by Maltese and Gozitans alike, throughout as well as financial help.

Today, id-Dar tal-Providenza is made up of three residences: Villa Monsinjur Gonzi, Villa Papa Giovanni, Villa Papa Luciani as well as four homes in the community: ’Żerniq’ in Siġġiewi, ’Akkwarell’ in Qawra, ’Dar Pirotta’ in Birkirkara and ’Shalom’ in Żurrieq. It is hoped that later this year, always depending on how the pandemic COVID-19 will keep evolving, the fifth home will be opened in Balluta.

At the moment, the Home houses 115 residents between the ages of eight and over eighty years. It also offers respite services on a regular basis to families of persons with disabilities, thus offering them support to keep their disabled family member within their natural environment.

Later on today, the Director of Id-Dar tal-Providenza will be offering a Mass for the repose of Mgr. Mikiel Azzopardi in the Home’s chapel.

“Street Music” at id-Dar tal-Providenza

The Ability Promoters at Id-Dar tal-Providenza are a group of workers whose main task is to promote the well-being of the residents through integrated living, healthy choices and self-responsibility. They organise daily activities for residents including sports, workshops in arts and music, education and technology and leisure activities amongst others.
Due to the present circumstances, this year this group had to rethink their schedule of activities as some planned activities, especially those outside the home, had to be cancelled because of possible health risks for the residents. The residents at the moment cannot attend Day Centres and cannot go out and so the Ability Team came up with alternate ideas for activities to make up for this.
One of the new activities is the “Street music” which is being organised twice a week. The music team entertains the residents from the different courtyards nearer to the residents, while still keeping social distancing. The rest of the residents come out to enjoy the show from the balconies overlooking the courtyard. The residents especially those who really love music look forward to this event.
Just after the concert was over, one of the residents said “I know most of the songs being sung and I enjoy singing with them. I also hung the Maltese flag from our balcony.”