Chayenne Abela, a 14-year-old student who attends the San Ġorġ Preca College Ħamrun Secondary School, is the winner of the Premju Ġwanni XXIII għat-Tjubija 2022, organised by the Peace Laboratory. Every day, Chayenne Abela supports Szintia Ladocki, who has trouble communicating and expressing herself. Through her help, Szintia can follow and participate with ease in the classroom.
During the ceremony at Sant’Anton Palace, President of Malta George Vella, together with the founder of the award Father Dijonisju Mintoff, presented the medal to Chayenne Abela, and congratulated her for embracing the noble values of friendship and altruism.
President Vella told Chayenne and Szintia that the bond between them reminds us that through empathy and compassion we can overcome all difficulties and achieve goals beyond our imagination. In his speech, the President recalled how the pandemic has taught us to cherish everything that truly brings us joy in our lives. He added that it is a pity that while we had a chance to ponder over what really matters, hoping to start our lives anew, we had to witness an act of hatred and the atrocity of a war that is nothing but a result of greed for power and a fantasy of military and political strength. “Selfishness, indifference and greed only lead to division and destroy the humanity that we missed so much during the pandemic,” said the President.
On behalf of the people of Malta, the President thanked Father Dijonisju Mintoff who was a pioneer in promoting peace and inclusion in our country. His work at the Peace Laboratory, said the President, has been a driving force in fostering kindness and unity. This work was clearly acknowledged by Pope Francis during his visit to the Peace Laboratory.
Founder of the Peace Laboratory Father Dijonisju Mintoff stated that, “Peace is formed on school tables”. He said that education is not about saying things that you have already said, repeating them year after year, but that education is about connecting words to reality, and by practicing what you preach.