President George Vella and Mrs Miriam Vella visited the Tal-Ibwar Therapeutic Centre for adolescents struggling with substance use (drugs or alcohol). There are currently 26 adolescents benefitting from the services offered at this centre run by Caritas Malta.
At the end of a private meeting with the five adolescents following the residential programme, President Vella reflected on the sense of love that these youths are receiving from the professionals following their progress. He stated that their caregivers are first and foremost respecting their dignity and making these youths realise that they should not be marginalised. “They still have many good qualities, and we must help them regain their self-respect. They can do so once they see the society respecting them”, said the President.
The youths, whose average age is sixteen and a half, explained to the President and Mrs Vella the programmes they are pursuing at the Tal-Ibwar Centre. They also talked about the help they receive from the workers to overcome the difficulties they face, often due to the substance use problem. The President acknowledged the fact that some of the youths, despite their relatively young age, felt the need to ask for help, which they are receiving, at this centre.
Dr Daniel Mercieca, programme coordinator at Tal-Ibwar, said that the residential programme was built on a plan called the “seven challenges” involving various therapeutic and educational interventions.
Since May last year, 44 cases have been referred to the Tal-Ibwar Centre, 25% of which were referred by the Aġenzija Appoġġ. At this centre, Caritas Malta offers a holistic assistance through therapeutic, residential, and day services with the aim of helping youths reaching their full potential. This is done by collaborating with their families and those involved in the lives of these youths.