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17 persons graduate from Caritas Malta rehabilitation programmes


Prime Minsiter Dr. Lawrence Gonzi today (9th July 2010) presented certificates to 17 persons who have successfully completed a Caritas Malta programme for rehabilitation from drug use.

Presiding over an Evening of Solidarity at San Blas, Dr. Gonzi said that this was a defining event, as it reminded society of people who had faced great difficulty in their lives, and that there were people always ready to offer help to otherswho had faltered.

The Prime Minister said that in spite of disheartening criticism, Caritas Malta had striven in its endeavours over the past 25 years and strengthened its position by investing in expertise, experience and professionality to stand four-square with persons who wanted to retrun to society from drug addiction. Above all, Caritas Malta gave its service with love.

Dr Gonzi added that the success of Caritas Malta in this field was not measured by the number of persons who had completed their programmes with success, but by the many times it had not given up, and took back clients who had interrupted their programmes. Indeed, over these 25 years, Caritas Malta had made a difference in the lives of people who had sought its assistance.

Also addressing the audience, Archbishop Mgr. Paul Cremona commented on the spiritual meaning of such an event. He said that the Biblical story of the deluge showd us that God had chosen not to end the existence of man, but to accept him as he was and accompany him until man found his initial goodness. He said that Caritas Malta and its Director Mgr Victor Grech were like a rainbow which reminded us that, with the grace of God,every person is recoverable, and that when lost, man can rediscover himself .

In reflections he shared with the audience, Caritas Malta Director Mgr. Victor Grech said that the fight against drugs in Malta had been lost. He said said that in the course of last year, 667 persons, 83 per cent of whom were male, had sought treatment at the Caritas rehabilitation centres. This represented an increase of 29 per cent since 2004, with heroin retaining its position as the primary drug in use. Nearly half of the clients at these centres were unemployed.

Mgr. Grech said that for certain young persons convicted of offences connected with drug addiction, attendance in Rehabilitation Centres, or voluntary work in the community were more beneficial than a term at the Corradiono Corrective Facilty.

He emphasised the role of preventive education to stem the increase of young persons who did not know how to seek entertainment without getting high on drugs, and to check the rising numbers of youths seeking treatment for mental illness caused by drug addiction.

Speaking on the therapy and formation given at Caritas Centres, Mgr Grech said that the main aims of the programmes were to enable persons to learn how to make free choices which led to finding meaning in life; learn to live in a community and not alone; and learn to give out to others the love received during a programme.

During the Evening of Solidarity, persons who had completed their programmes and a parent gave their experiences to the audience, while those undergoing programmes performed choreographic arrangements of songs and presented an adaptation of a scene from A Midsummer’s Night Dream.

Posted on Friday, July 9, 2010 by Promotion Unit