Watch: Fr Martin recalls how radio programme led to Dar tal-Providenza

30 siegħa maratona b’risq id-Dar tal-Providenza

Posted by 103 on Wednesday, December 30, 2020

The director of the Dar tal-Providenza, Fr Martin Micallef, recalled how the residence itself was born out of a radio programme as he took part in the 30-hour fundraising marathon being organised on 103 Malta’s Heart.

Fr Martin Micallef, who is presently on long leave as he is receiving treatment for a curable form of cancer, participated in the programme via videoconferencing.

On 12 September, 1965, Dun Mikiel Azzopardi was hosting his popular show on the Rediffusion called Is-Siegħa tal-Morda (The Hour of the Sick) when he outlined his dream of building the first residential home for people with disabilities. His appeal prompted a young woman – who wished to remain anonymous – who generously donated Lm100 which she had saved up for a vacation, helping pave the way for the establishment of the Dar tal-Providenza in 1968.

Fr Micallef recalled that at the time, people with disabilities would often live in undignified and unsuitable conditions, including in homes for the elderly, and that Mgr Azzopardi found little encouragement from people who thought his dream was too ambitious.

Since then, Fr Micallef added, the donations never stopped, and the same spirit of providence and generosity continued to keep the Dar in operation.

The Covid-19 pandemic has made 2020 a particularly challenging year for charities, not least the Dar tal-Providenza, as it has forced the cancellation of countless fundraisers. These include the annual volleyball marathon, which would generally have raised around €500,000 in aid of the residence.

At the same time, the home’s expenses have increased in a bid to safeguard the health of residents and staff alike.

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