The Malta Independent 16 June 2019, Sunday

New shelter to open with €800,000 agreement between government, Dar Merhba Bik

Monday, 17 December 2018, 17:34 Last update: about 7 months ago

An agreement worth €800,000 that was signed Monday between the Ministry for the Family, Children’s Rights and Social Solidarity and Sisters of the Good Shepherd will see the opening of a new shelter aimed at helping victims of domestic violence re-integrate in society.

The agreement will cover a period of 3 years, from 2019 until 2021.

Present for the signing at Dar Merhba Bik, a home for women who have suffered domestic abuse, were Malta’s Superior for the Sisters of the Good Shephard, Sister Manuel Dolores Saliba, Director of the Foundation Dar Merhba Bik, Sister Margaret Gonzi, and Director of Services Elaine Pavia.

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Minister for Social Solidarity Michael Falzon was also present for the signing.

The agreement will allow for a new home, Dar Santa Bakhita, to be opened from the coming January. This new home will hold 3 more families that would have gone through the program at Dar Merhba Bik successfully, which will allow them to work on the last few skills to be truly independent.

“No one deserves to be abused or attacked, and we are here to help,” said the sisters.

The sisters do work with refugees, and also in their localities in a decentralized manner with necessities such as clothes, food, and anything else they might need in their daily lives.

“All people need to do is knock at our door or call at any time of the day, and we will accept them with open arms, prepared to offer them our services,” said Elaine Pavia.

She explained how all the requested information is given to the victims, and if the need arises, they are referred to other agencies.

Minister Falzon explained how this kind of commitment is done with a large number of organisations in the social sector, noting that the government currently has about 40 public-social agreements.

The funding for such programs has quadrupled since 2014, increasing from €3 million to €
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