This year’s John XXIII Award for Kindness, awarded by the Peace Laboratory, was won by Owen Vassallo.
During the Award ceremony, the President of Malta, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, said Owen is a demonstration of how kind we can be in our everyday life when “we’re genuine in helping others”.
She revealed her admiration for the sincere friendship between Owen and his friend Jake, and how Owen helped Jake feel more welcomed in school. She also said that he made Jake feel that school is a positive experience.
The President said that these kind of friendships show strong leadership qualities. She urged Maltese people to be activists of inclusion, justice, and peace and “to live in an environment where we love each other more and feel truly loved”. This case has also demonstrated confidence in young people, who should be catalysts in positive and respectful initiatives.
She Ended by thanking Fr. Dijonisju Mintoff for his hard work over the years, as a beacon of equality and social justice in Malta.