15 Maltese voluntary organisations who are making a difference
It’s never too late to stop and think about those people who may be facing a tough time - and reach out to them. Malta has no shortage of charities made of passionate volunteers who dedicate their time and energy to a cause worth supporting from offering care to the sick, poor or lonely, to providing homes to abandoned animals and safeguarding Maltese heritage.
In this article we’re listing a few of these organisations, focusing on those that offer support to people in need. You’ll be able to see a full list of registered charities on the website of the Office of the Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations - tasked with guaranteeing transparency and accountability of the organisations.
Children are amongst the most vulnerable members of our society. Many non-governmental organisations are dedicated to offering support to children from difficult backgrounds or sick kids. While some are more well known than others, all these organisations are carrying out a stellar job. Here are just few:
Bullying affects a high percentage of children, negatively impacting their health and emotional wellbeing. Its repercussions can leave lifelong scars. bBrave is Malta’s anti-bullying NGO. It focuses on increasing education about bullying and its effects.
The Blossom Foundation seeks to help children with challenging backgrounds to grow and thrive. It was set up to undertake a number of projects to assist children who require support to overcome challenges they are encountering in their lives by, for example, providing free school counselling services.
Beating Hearts Malta
This non-profit foundation was established to support the needs of parents whose children are born with a Congenital Heart Defect (CHD). The services of Beating Hearts Malta also cater for adults and include sharing personal experience and knowledge as well as promoting awareness and educating social care professionals, employers, insurers and the general public about the existence and the needs of people with CHD.
Puttinu Cares Foundation
�Puttinu Cares was set up in 2002 to offer holistic care for families with children who have cancer. The foundation, that is the beneficiary of many national fundraising events, provides accommodation for the families of Maltese children receiving medical treatment in the UK. Around 90 Maltese patients travel to the UK with their families every month for medical care.
The Ladybird Foundation was set up to provide joy and relief to terminally, critically or seriously ill children in Malta. Funds collected are used to give these children and their families the opportunity to go on vacation together or spend quality time with each other. It tries to give children the chance to turn their dreams into reality by, for example, going to Disneyland or seeing their favourite football team play.
Karl Vella Foundation
The Karl Vella Foundation was established to offer care and guidance in various forms to children coming from families affected by illness. The foundation is aimed at children between 5 and 17 years of age. Apart from providing psychological support, through qualified psychologists and counsellors, the foundation also provides educational services in the form of assistance with homework and organises social events for the children.
Hospital can be scary and confusing for kids. This is where clown doctors can help. Dr Klown is a non-governmental organisation committed to providing clown doctor services at Mater Dei Hospital. Clown doctors are not real doctors but volunteers from every walk of life that are artistically and psychologically trained to entertain children in hospital.
Inspire is built on the belief that everyone has a right to equality and inclusion, including people with disabilities. The foundation provides individuals and their families with educational, therapeutic and leisure services. Today, Inspire helps over 1000 people with various disabilities ranging from Down Syndrome, Autism, Cerebral Palsy and others. It does this through many services and disability programmes that are offered at a highly subsidised rate or sometimes for free.
Adults too can be vulnerable and in need of help and support. From victims of crime to people who lost a loved one and people with disabilities - several voluntary organisations seek to raise awareness about certain realities and offer help to these people and their families.
Minus One is a support group for the widowed. The group offers help and practical advice on coping to those whose husband or wife passed away. The group meets every Friday and sometimes during the weekends. The group also has a bereavement counsellor and a spiritual director who are always ready to offer voluntary support.
The main functions of the society are to assist the sick and the elderly in every way and to help improve the home facilities available for the safety, welfare, comfort and convenience of the sick and the elderly in Gozo. This is achieved by means of the community care equipment loans service.
Victim Support Malta
�Victim Support Malta provides support and assistance to victims of crime, such as theft and burglary, domestic violence, sexual assault, harassment, discrimination and cybercrime. The services provided include the provision of emotional support to assist victims in overcoming trauma following a crime, legal information about criminal procedures and practical assistance.
Dar Merhba Bik
Dar Merhba Bik offers shelter to victims of domestic violence and their children. Giving them a safe place to stay after leaving an abusive household, helping them establish a way of life which best meets their needs and allowing them to develop their potential away from the trauma and danger of a violent home.
Known to all Maltese, Id-Dar tal-Providenza offers individualised residential services to persons with disabilities in a family-like environment which enhances and maximises their abilities with a view to ensuring their full participation in society. The home hosts about 1115 people between the ages of 14 and over 80. It also offers respite services to families of people with disabilities.
Hospice Malta is another respected and known voluntary organisation. It exists to provide and promote the highest standards of palliative care for people with cancer, motor neurone disease, end of life respiratory, cardiac, renal and liver disease. It also aims to help and support their families.
�Dar Guzeppa Debono
Based in Gozo, this NGO provides a residence, support, and professional help to single mothers, fathers, and their respective families in liaison with other agencies. Dar Guzeppa Debono also organises seminars and pro-life activates in schools and on parish levels.
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