“Although a huge advancement has been made during the years to improve the lives of persons with disability there is still more to be done and, as in the case of refugees, we have to move on from words to action.” Leader of the Opposition and of the Nationalist Party, Dr Simon Busuttil was responding to a welcome speech by Fr Martin Micallef, Director of Id-Dar tal-Providenza at the start of an official visit on the occasion of the Home’s 50th Anniversary. He reiterated that he would support any government action that will continue to improve the lives of persons with disability.
Dr Busuttil said that fifty years ago, Dun Mikiel Azzopardi sowed the seed of inclusion and now, fifty years later, we are reaping the fruits of his actions even though, as Fr Martin said, there is still a lot to be done for persons with disabillity to feel really equal. Making a reference to the present refugee migration issue Dr Busuttil said that he fully supports the initiatives announced these last few days by European Union President, Jean Paul Juncker and Pope Francis for equitable and effective solidarity.
In his welcome address, Fr Martin said that notwithstanding the positive laws that have been enacted, there is still discrimination, knowingly or unknowingly in various sectors of Maltese society including the labour and employment sector. He insisted that we need to continue building wisely and improve upon what Dun Mikiel started fifty years ago so that persons with disability will truly enjoy ‘respect, dignity and rights’.
Accompanying Dr Busuttil were Mrs Paula Mifsud Bonnici, Shadow Minister for Social Policy and Nationalist Party candidates Graziella Schembri and Dr Albert Buttigieg.
Dr Busuttil met the residents and support workers as well as administration officials and was later taken around various areas intended for the use of the residents.