Tista' taqra bil- Malti.
The total sum of €6,220,000 was collected during this year’s edition of l-Istrina. On Facebook, the President of Malta George Vella thanked those who gave their donations.
The Facebook page of l-Istrina also thanked the people who were so kind to donate. They said that for another year the people united and helped those in real need.
Amongst the people who gave a helping hand in the marathon where the Archbishop of Malta Charles Scicluna, the Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and the Opposition Leader Adrian Delia.
The annual telethon, L-Istrina, kicked off at noon. Last year saw €7,134,036 being collected, over a million more than the previous year. €1.5 million in donations were collected by 3.30pm. In 90 minutes, the amount collected shot over to €2.5 million. By 9pm more than €4.3 million were collected in donations.
President George Vella and his wife, along with Henry – the face of this year’s edition – were present for the opening. Former PBS journalist Norma Saliba who now forms part of the Office of the President officially announced the annual telethon open around 12:15pm on Thursday.
Henry required a kidney transplant and received one from his father. His story was shared with the public just after the opening. Mrs Vella said that she was excited to preside over l-Istrina. She likened the ringing of phones to music. Meanwhile, President Vella referred to his Christmas message. He reiterated that l-Istrina aims to help those people who will require help.
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat flanked with a number of government MPs appeared on the annual telethon. Addressing the public, Muscat said that the Malta Community Chest Fund was an “extension” of the state. He explained that taxpayers already fund much of the bills through their taxes, however, the Malta Community Chest Fund, fills in the gap. He further explained that sometimes when medicine were not available on the scheme, the MCCF would pay for them. He also mentioned that companies which donate to l-Istrina benefit from tax exemption. Before heading off, to answering calls, Muscat said that the government was donating €15,000 to this year’s edition of l-Istrina.
The Administrative Secretary of the Archdiocese of Malta, Michael Pace Ross, presented a donation of €1,000 at around 3.15pm.
Opposition Leader Adrian Delia along with a number of Opposition MPs visited the annual telethon. Delia thanked all the volunteers and those involved in the organisation of l-Istrina. He explained that this event is an opportunity for people to unite and assist those in need.
Archbishop Charles Scicluna joined in the telethon at around at 5.15pm. In his message to the public, Archbishop Scicluna thanked those who are helping those receiving treatment in London. He said that today’s event was an investment for the upcoming year.
How can one donate?
- 51902030 – €50
- 51802012 – €25
- SMS: 50619201 – €11.65
- Pledge: 21262626
- BOV Banking 79359565
Last year, according to host Peppi Azzopardi, for the first time in Istrina history, the lines remained open throughout scheduled news bulletins. Azzopardi had said that operators could not afford a break.
This is the first l-Istrina annual telethon for President George Vella since he took office earlier this year. He had said L-Istrina will go on as usual, in reaction to the appeals made by some to postpone or cancel L-Istrina because of the current political crisis.
This year saw multiple initiatives in aid of L-Istrina.