NDSF approves €1.5m co-funding grants for Caritas

NDSF / artistic impression of the new Caritas Community Centre, Blata l-Bajda

Caritas will benefit from a grant after the board of governors of the National Development and Social Fund approved a social grant of up to €1,540,000 for the co-funding of two major projects.

In a joint statement issued by the NDSF and Caritas Malta explained that the co-funding will be used towards the completion of the Caritas Community Centre, a new and modern centre in Blata l-Bajda and the refurbishment and upgrade of residences that offer drug rehabilitation.

Through the NDSF funds, both projects will be completed. Internal funds and funds from the private sector as well as ERDF funds have also been allocated for the completion of the Caritas Centre.

Caritas is currently housed at the Archbishop’s Curia. However for the past two years, the organisation has been working on setting up a community centre which would see the organisation consolidating its various services under one roof.

Archbishop Charles Scicluna has granted the use of a building which would see all Caritas’ outpatient services and administrative offices in the heart and close to the community, under the title of temporary sub-emphyteusis for 65 years.

NDSF / ongoing construction works at the new Caritas Communtiy Centre at Blata l-Bajda

The building requires major construction works to be transformed into a five-storey building that will have amenities for counselling, seminars, support groups, community events, conferences, administrative offices, a multipurpose hall and a penthouse meant as a relaxation area for its beneficiaries.

NDSF / ongoing construction works at the new Caritas Communtiy Centre at Blata l-Bajda

€540,000 will be used to refurbish and upgrade the residences that offer drug rehabilitation at the San Blas complex and other related amenities namely the San Blas Male Shelter at Haz-Zebbug; Prison Inmates Programme at Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq; After-Care Services at Dar Charles Miceli in Mosta and an overhaul of the IT system and case management software.

Caritas Malta has various social initiatives assisting persons with financial and social problems, the elderly, persons with mental health difficulties and those who are dependent on substances. Each year around 2,000 individuals are assisted. The organisation also carries out work in the prevention field, research and advocacy, as well as coordinates social support work carried out by the parishes.

“The NDSF fund has been instrumental and timely to make the dream of the Caritas Community Centre come true. This has been one of the dreams of Mgr Victor Grech to see Caritas continue to serve individuals and families in need,” Caritas Director Anthony Gatt said, while expressing his heartfelt appreciation,

He added that “funds for the refurbishment and upgrading of premises used for drug rehabilitation have also been timely to address pending structural problems, to give dignity to the persons receiving help through the much needed refurbishment and also undertake the necessary upgrade to have full accessibility and the highest standards set by the Social Care Standards Authority. This support has also made it possible to address the urgent need for an overhaul of its IT infrastructure and its case management software.”

NDSF CEO Raymond Ellul stated that through the grants which non-governmental organisations receive from the NDSF, the well-being of society is improved.

“The upgrading of the various Caritas facilities ensures a more dignified environment for those seeking its assistance and will allow the organisation to increase its outreach in a more efficient and modern manner.”