Details were given on this year’s Feast of Generosity organised on New Year’s Day by RTK4Charity primarily to raise funds so that Id-Dar tal-Providenza can continue to provide and improve the services it offers. This was announced by Fr Martin Micallef, Director of the Home, who said that this is indeed a wonderful opportunity for the Maltese people to start a new year by showing what it really is: a generous nation that knows how to put solidarity in practice.
Fr Martin mentioned four main reasons for this Feast of Generosity towards id-Dar tal-Providenza. The first one is an opportunity for the public to be able to meet with the residents of the Home who will also be present throughout the day-long entertainment that takes place under the big tent in the carpark of the Home on January 1st. As everyone is aware, id-Dar tal-Providenza provides the best possible ‘family’ environment to one hundred persons with disability who for one reason or another can no longer possibly live with their natural family. Presently, Id-Dar tal-Providenza is made up of five residences: Villa Monsinjur Gonzi, Villa Papa Giovanni, Villa Papa Luciani, ‘Dar Zerniq’ in the heart of Siggiewi and ‘Akkwarell’, in Qawra. Id-Dar tal-Providenza also offers respite service to members of families with persons with disability so that they can continue living in their natural environment, obviously with the support they need.
The second aim is to give the opportunity to the public to see for itself some capital projects that have been completed or are works in progress that are meant to continually improve the quality of life of the residents. These projects include a Multisensory room, a new office in Valletta to bring the Home nearer to the community that supports it, a new lift in Villa Papa Luciani, accessible toilets in the common parts of the Home, widening of doors for safer evacuation of the residents if and when required, new airconditioning in two vans for the comfort of the residents especially during the summer months and a new dynamic and interactive website.
The third aim of this annual activity is to raise funds to ensure that services provided by id-Dar tal-Providenza are maintained and improved upon. Fr Martin mentioned that the Home requires approximately €3.5million a year which translates into about €35,000 annually for each resident. The miracle of Id-Dar tal-Providenza is that the Lord always provides it with all it needs. It is, therefore, the Administration’s duty to ensure that the money so generously donated by the public is well spent on what it was intended for. For this purpose, everyone visiting the Home to donate money or sending donations by mail will be given a receipt for every donation received. The accounts of the Home are audited every year by an established Auditing company.
Fr Martin also referred to public initiatives to help raise funds for id-Dar tal-Providenza. He said that this year €30,000 were raised through donations from couples who are choosing to donate to the Home the money they would have normally spent on wedding souvenirs, anniversaries or graduation parties and other special occasions. This year, the Home had an income of around €81,000 from legacies and estates and €78,000 from employees whose donation is deducted from their monthly pay and, lastly, €53,000 were raised by donations that are made to the Home instead of flowers bought in funerals.
Fr Martin announced that in two years time, Id-Dar tal-Providenza will be celebrating its 50th anniversary and a special group has been set up to organize various activities for this special occasion. Part of this preparation was dedicated to an exercise that came up with the Vision, the Mission and the Values of the Home after wide consultation with the residents, their parents, the workers and volunteers of the Home as well as with experts in the field. A competition has been launched in search of a new logo that reflects this Vision, this Mission and these Values. There were 47 submissions which are in the process of evaluation and the winner will be announced in the first quarter of next year.
As part of the New Year’s Day fundraising events, there will be the annual Art Auction supported by Obelisk Auctions, in aid of Id-Dar tal-Providenza. This year well over sixty local artists have donated one or more pieces of art to be auctioned off. These works of art are currently on display at the Wignacourt Museum in Rabat up to the 27th December. The exhibition is open every day (excluding Christmas Day) between 9.30am and 4.30pm. On New Year’s Day these artworks will then be displayed at Id-Dar tal-Providenza. The auction will be held online at www.dtpauction.com. On New Year’s Day there will also be the possibility to bid by phone or by visiting Id-Dar tal-Providenza in person. One can view a catalogue on www.dtpauction.com
Another speaker was Mr Tonio Bonello, Programmes Manager at Radio RTK and the coordinator of the Feast of Generosity. He said that this is the eighteenth year that RTK4Charity will be organizing this activity at id-Dar tal-Providenza in Siggiewi that is being supported by APS Bank. Anyone visiting id-Dar tal-Providenza on January 1st will have the opportunity to join a guided tour and see the projects both completed or still in progress. These tours will take place from 3.00pm onwards. For the benefit of those not able to visit id-Dar tal-Providenza on New Year’s Day, the Feast of Generosity that ends after midnight will be broadcast ‘live’ on most local TV stations. Donations may be made at id-Dar tal-Providenza in Siggiewi, RTK Studios in Blata l-Bajda as well as by telephone and SMS’s.
In order to avoid congestion of traffic, a Park & Ride service is being made available from Triq San Niklaw (the old airfield) to and from id-Dar tal-Providenza. This service will operate from 2.00pm onwards.
Other speakers were Mr Peter Gatt, Manager Corporate Services APS Bank, the main sponsor of the event and Mr Karl Wright, Station Manager of Radio RTK who emphasised on the station’s commitment to promote a social conscience amongst its listeners.