Luigi Zammit, a 13-year-old student at St Ignatius College Secondary School, is the winner of the Premju Papa Ġwanni XXIII għat-Tjubija 2023 as his teachers have been noticing that he is consistently and willingly helping and encouraging another student.
President George Vella presented him with the medal during a ceremony at Sant’Anton Palace.
During the presentation, it was said that both during his time at the Żebbuġ Primary School and also now in secondary school, the teachers and LSE notice that Luigi spends a lot of his time in the company of Andrea, who needs attention. Among others, during the departure and arrival to school, Luigi ensures that Andrea got on the school bus before him, sits next to him, makes sure that Andrea takes care of his health, and helps him carry his bags. Above all, when he notices that his friend is about to give up on something or is about to isolate himself, Luigi utters words of courage and includes him in everything.
President George Vella praised Luigi for embracing the noble values of empathy, friendship and solidarity by being an important support for his friend Andrea. “Luigi serves as a bridge between the difficulties linked to schoolwork and Andrea’s abilities so that he can also enjoy the fruits of learning and playing with friends that we attach to childhood,” stated the President.
“Through his daily actions, Luigi is setting us a clear example of how we should choose dialogue instead of confrontation, love instead of fights and insults. Let us always be a voice, whenever possible, to protect the common good, for the benefit of all,” said President George Vella while encouraging more children to follow Luigi’s example and recognise the good brought by solidarity and generosity.
Father Dijonisju Mintoff, said that Luigi’s words and actions are enlightening humanity and encouraging everyone, especially young children, to follow in his footsteps of kindness and mercy towards others. He added that “in a world that seems to be losing its head, we need more kindness towards everyone and our common mother earth.”
The Peace Laboratory organises this annual Award in memory of Pope John XXIII – the Good Pope.