‘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.