NDSF provides grant for new Caritas Community Centre and Upgrading of its Residential facilities.

Joint Media Release   National Development Social Fund (NDSF) – Fondazzjoni Caritas Malta (VO/1576) Monday 11th May 2020

The Board of Governors of the National Development and Social Fund (NDSF) has approved a social grant to Caritas Malta of up to €1,540,000 towards the co-funding of two major projects. Part of the grant amounting to €1,000,000 will co-fund the completion of the Caritas Community Centre, a new and modern centre in Blata l-Bajda, and €540,000 will go towards the refurbishment and upgrading of residences that offer drug rehabilitation at the San Blas complex and other related amenities.

Throughout its 51 years of existence, Caritas Malta has embarked on numerous social initiatives assisting persons with financial and social problems, the elderly, persons with mental health difficulties and those who are dependent on substances. Every year it directly intervenes in the lives of around 2,000 individuals. Caritas is also engaged in the prevention field, research and advocacy work and also coordinates social support work carried out by parishes.

Caritas Malta’s main offices have for the past years been based within the Archbishops’ Curia in Floriana. For the past two years, Caritas Malta has embarked on the setting up of the Caritas Community Centre. The Centre will allow the Voluntary Organisation to consolidate its various services under one roof by relocating to one building all its outpatient services and administrative offices in the heart and close to the community. The relocation will lead to administrative and service user advantages, improvement of services, added value and increased accessibility to all those in society seeking assistance.

The Archbishop granted this building to Caritas under title of temporary sub- emphyteusis for 65 years.  It 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 Funds will make it possible for the project to be completed. The NDSF grant together with internal funds and funds from the private sector have co-funded this important project which is also benefitting from ERDF funds.

Part of the NDSF grant amounting to five hundred and forty thousand euro (€540,000), will go towards the upgrading and embellishement of various residenital drug rehabilitation facilities 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 Director Anthony Gatt expressed the heartfelt appreciation of Caritas towards NDSF and stated that “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”. Gatt 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 the approved grant to Caritas Malta and other voluntary organisations who will benefit from NDSF funding in the future , are all intended to improve the well-being of society. 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.