This year’s Dun Mikiel Azzopardi Award went to Dar il-Kaptan – The Foundation for Respite Care Services as Id-Dar tal-Providenza’s sign of recognition and appreciation of Dar il-Kaptan’s work and commitment in the community since its inception twenty-five years ago on November 10th, 1991. Mr Marcel Pisani received the award on behalf of Dar il-Kaptan.
This was announced by Fr Martin Micallef, Director of id-Dar tal-Providenza, during a concert that took place at the Mdina Cathedral, by the Band of the Armed Forces of Malta under the distinguished patronage of H.E. the President of the Republic, Marie Louise Coleiro Preca and H.G. the Archbishop, Mgr. Charles J. Scicluna.
The Foundation for Respite Care Services – Dar il-Kaptan allows for families that have a person with disability to have a regular rest. The philosophy behind it is to help these families to continue taking care of the disabled person in a family framework and in the community and thus avoid the need for it to enter an institution. This year, Dar il-Kaptan, was the Maltese choice
for the European Citizen Award. The European Parliament gives this honour to fifty persons or organisations from amongst the twenty-six countries of the EU for their contribution towards cooperation in Europe as well as for their promotion of common values.
Earlier, Fr Martin Micallef highlighted that this year the United Nations is commemorating the tenth anniversary of the Convention for Rights of Persons with Disability. The purpose of this Convention is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity. Malta had ratified and enacted it on 9th November 2012 and is presently in the stage of its incorporation in the Laws of Malta so that the rights of persons with disability will continue to be protected and strengthened in every way possible.
Fr Martin said that notwithstanding that we are on the right track there is still a lot to be done. He mentioned, for example, that persons with disability should have access to the right to choose where and with whom they want to stay; that they should have access to all places of entertainment and culture like everyone else; that society in general should learn to use a language in favour of inclusion and equality and that persons with disability shouold have access to justice like the rest of society. He ended by saying that Id-Dar tal-Providenza will remain committed both in its own work as well as that on a national level so that the Convention will translate into concrete action that will safeguard the rights and inclusion of persons with disability.