The Malta Independent 26 February 2024, Monday
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Dar il-Kaptan, the Foundation for Respite Care Services, awarded European Citizen’s Prize

Thursday, 8 September 2016, 10:56 Last update: about 8 years ago

Dar il-Kaptan, the Foundation for Respite Care Services, is the Maltese recipient of the 2016 European Citizen’s Prize. The European Parliament honoured 50 people and organisations from 26 EU countries with this year’s prize for their contribution to European co-operation and the promotion of common values.

The jury, headed by Parliament Vice-President Sylvie Guillaume, selected the 2016 laureates after a consultation of the 79 proposals that made it through to the national juries. The national award ceremony, to be held at the Dar l-Ewropa in Valletta tomorrow evening, will be followed by a central ceremony, to be held next month in the Parliament in Brussels.


Dar il-Kaptan, set up a quarter of a century ago in Mtarfa, enables families who have a person with a disability to have regular breaks. Its philosophy is based on the individual’s right to dignity, respect and privacy. Being a non-profit, non-governmental organisation, the final aim of the Foundation for Respite Care Services is to enable families to continue to care for their disabled person in the family environment and in the community, thus avoiding institutionalisation.

This is done by providing disabled persons with day and residential respite breaks in a healthy and self-fulfilling environment. Such breaks give the primary carer the necessary respite to continue with the support to their disabled family member, thus reducing stress and possible family crisis.

Residential stays are organised so that clients are accommodated in one of six groups, each consisting of 15 clients, which rotate through the year. In this way the Foundation gives each family the opportunity to take a break once every six weeks. Each client’s needs are assessed so that s/he is placed within the group that best fits him/her.

It also provides social work support and individual care plans.

Since 2008, the Parliament has awarded the European Citizen’s Prize every year to projects and initiatives that facilitate cross-border co-operation or promote mutual understanding within the EU. The prize, which has symbolic value, is also intended to acknowledge the work of those who, through their day-to-day activities, promote European values.


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