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.

30-hour Music Marathon on 103 Malta’s Heart for Dar tal-Providenza

As of 6am this morning Arthur Caruana, Ian Busuttil Naudi, Ron Briffa kicked off a 30-hour marathon on 103 Malta’s Heart in aid of Dar tal-Providenza.

For the full 30 hours, Arthur, Ian and Ron will entertain the 103 Malta’s Heart listeners as they will also be accompanied virtually, due to the coronavirus pandemic, by many bands and personalities including the Maltese Bishops.

You can help through various ways

  • You can follow 103 Malta’s Heart LIVE on 103.mt/103-player
  • Donate on https://www.dartalprovidenza.org/make-a-donation/
  • Phone on 5160 2012 and donate €10 (VO 1066)
  • Phone on 5180 2014 and donate €25 (VO 1066)
  • Send an SMS on 5061 8922 to donate €7(VO 1066)

Last year Arthur presented a 30-hour marathon which netted in almost €13,000 for id-Dar tal-Providenza.

Financial contribution from Lidl Malta

Id-Dar tal-Providenza together with Caritas Malta and Hospice Malta received between them a financial contribution of over €10,000 from Lidl Malta. In addition, the Company made a further donation of €6,000 worth of products that was divided between another two entities, The Malta Food Bank Foundation and the Victory Kitchen.

Lidl Malta, the leading retail chain on the Maltese islands, has decided to donate its annual budget allocated to the festive, ‘End of Year Dinner’ to charitable organizations instead. In order to do so, the Company left it up to their team members to decide who to donate their ‘End of Year Dinner’ budget to.

“All workers and a volunteer of Dar tal-Providenza recognised with the Premju Dun Mikiel Azzopardi in this pandemic year”

All workers and volunteer Gordon Hewitt of Dar tal-Providenza were honoured with the Premju Dun Mikiel Azzopardi in recognition for their hard work with and dedication to the residents of the Home during this devastating pandemic year.

During a short ceremony at the Curia in Floriana, Archbishop Mgr Charles J. Scicluna presented the Awards to Nadine Camilleri Cassano, Administrator of the Home and Marieanne Abdilla and Rebecca Theuma who represented all the workers. The Archbishop thanked the Home workers for their dedication and care for the residents. He also found time to call and congratulate volunteer Gordon Hewitt who is at the St. Vincent De Paule Residence. Gordon, who was very emotional talking to the Archbishop, was later received the award from Fr Ivan Scicluna, chaplain of the Residence.

The Dar tal-Providenza employees, total just under 300. These workers are distributed at Villa Monsinjur Gonzi, Villa Papa Giovanni and Villa Papa Luciani in Siġġiewi as well as in homes in the communities of Siġġiewi, Qawra, Birkirkara and Żurrieq.

Dar tal-Providenza employees awarded the Premju Dun Mikiel Azzopardi 2020

This year, as appropriate, the Dun Mikiel Azzopardi Award is to be given to all Dar tal-Providenza employees as a sign of gratitude and recognition for their dedication and extraordinary work done during the past hard months of the Covid-19 pandemic to keep the residents and their colleagues safe from the virus.

The Dun Mikiel Azzopardi Award, that was launched in 1995, recognises the work done by individuals as well as groups in helping out persons with disability as well as shows appreciation towards those that provide voluntary support to the work done at Dar tal-Providenza.

For all the Dar tal-Providenza employees, the year 2020 was neither normal nor easy but rather a year full of great challenges brought about by the pandemic. Who would have thought that the year that started with the Festa ta’ Ġenerożità on January 1st would turn into a year of such a destructive virus. This was really a year of great challenges but also a year that showed the big heart, the determination, the dedication, the creativity and the hard work at the Home. These were, are and will remain the Dar tal-Providenza frontliners and we are all grateful to them.

Since the pandemic broke out in our country, the Home’s Administration right away prepared and implemented contingency measures in agreement with the Social Care Standards Authority (SCSA) and the Health Authorities to ensure the wellbeing of the residents as well as of all the employees of the Home. Both in the first shutdown we experienced from March 9th to the end of May as well as the so-called second wave, our workers gave their all, without any exception, to follow these measures even though a lot of times this meant personal sacrifice more than normal. Thanks to the good will and cooperation shown by the workers even through worrying moments, fear and uncertainty, work carried on to everyone’s benefit. There was no lack of creativity either and employees created new activities for the residents who had their communal outings restricted. An effort was also made so that residents remain in continuous contact with their relatives through the use of technology.

The Dar tal-Providenza employees, that total just under 300, include administration staff, support workers, domestic staff, personnel in security and transport, maintenance, laundry, seamstressing, Ability Promoters, stores and the professionists. These workers are employed at Villa Monsinjur Gonzi, Villa Papa Giovanni and Villa Papa Luciani in Siġġiewi as well as in homes in the communities of Siġġiewi, Żurrieq, Qawra and Birkirkara.

Our heartfelt thanks go to all you workers and we are certain that Divine Providence will reward you more than hundredfold.

Gordon Hewitt, volunteer at id-Dar tal-Providenza and winner of the Dun Mikiel Azzopardi Award 2020

Gordon Hewitt, was born on June 16th 1947 and was brought up in Malta in the 1950’s and 60’s by his father who was in the British Army and his Maltese mother. After moving back to the United Kingdom, Gordon had his education first at St. George’s College run by Roman Catholic priests and then at the Catholic University College of St Mary’s.

On graduating in 1970, Gordon returned to St. George’s College where he taught Geography and the sport of cricket and Rugby Football. He ended up as a first-class cricketer and a Rugby Union international referee.

After 19 years, in 1989 Gordon had to take early retirement to look after his mother Sylvia who was seriously ill.

After she died, Gordon got married to Angie Aronica in 1994 and in the year 2000 they moved to Malta and settled in the village Żebbuġ. Once settled in, Gordon and Angie started volunteering at Dar tal-Providenza that they used to refer to as “our 2nd Home” They used to attend five days a week and used to refer to it as “the happiest place in Malta, where everyone smiles.” Sadly, Angie, died of a tender age, however Gordon volunteered on 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 says 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.

Gordon also used to volunteer his time with the refugees at the Laboratorju tal-Paċi in Ħal Far.