Details were given on this year’s 19th edition of the 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 and seven 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 three residences: Villa Monsinjur Gonzi, Villa Papa Giovanni, Villa Papa Luciani and three residencies in the community: ‘Dar Zerniq’ in Siggiewi, ‘Akkwarell’ in Qawra and Dar Pirotta in Birkirkara. 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 the demolition and reconstruction of the courtyard portico in front of the chapel which was structurally in bad shape; refurbishing works in two flats in Villa Mons Gonzi with more individualised rooms; a new lighting system in the Belvedere; refurbishing of the kitchen; the installation of two new lifts at Villa Papa Giovanni and the installation of air-conditioners in Dar Pirotta.

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 various projects to be undertaken including the completion of works in the courtyard, a therapeutic pool and the purchase of two new vans. 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.

The last aim, but definitely not the least, is the message that Id-Dar tal-Providenza wants to promulgate: that society needs to respect persons with disabilities, treat them with the dignity they deserve and offer them choices and opportunities that everyone has a right to.

Fr Martin announced that next year is going to be a very special year when Id-Dar tal-Providenza will be celebrating its 50th anniversary. Dun Mikiel has always kept to the date of September 12th 1965 as the foundation day of the Home. The theme chosen for the celebrations is: “Respect, Rights and Dignity”. These are the enshrined values of the Home, values that should continue to inspire the work of the Home in years to come. May these three words, concluded Fr Martin, inspire our society so that persons with disability will be truly treated as equals.

As part of the New Year’s Day fundraising events, there will be the annual Art Auction supported by Obelisk Auctions. This year various local artists have donated one or more pieces of art to be auctioned off. As of Monday December 22nd, anyone wishing to bid online may do so on www.dtpauction.com. It is important that interested bidders register on this website prior to January 1st. 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 of the art works on www.dtpauction.com. They will also be exhibited in the auditorium as from December 22nd.

In order to avoid congestion of traffic on New Year’s day, 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.

For the benefit of those not able to visit id-Dar tal-Providenza, 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. Donations by phone and SMS’s may be made as follows:

€10 Donation – 516 02 012

€15 Donation – 517 02 013

€25 Donation – 518 02 014

SMS €7 Donation – 506 18 922

Other speakers were Mr Karl Wright, Station Manager of Radio RTK, Mr Tonio Bonello, Head of Programmes Radio RTK and Coordinator of the event, Mr Noel McCarthy, Head, Finance & Corporate Strategy APS Bank, the event’s main sponsor and Mrs Nadine Camilleri Cassano, Administrator of Id-Dar tal-Providenza.

15th December 2014