The Malta Independent 20 September 2020, Sunday

12 people graduate from Caritas Malta rehabilitation programme

Karl Azzopardi Monday, 3 August 2020, 16:37 Last update: about 3 months ago

12 people, 11 men and one woman, celebrated their graduation from Caritas Malta’s rehabilitation programme this year.

"Your challenges begin today after a journey that takes at least a year and a half, now you will touch on the realities and start applying those tools that the program gives you," Director of Caritas Anthony Gatt said while wishing the graduates well and encouraging them to stay in touch through Charles Miceli House. 

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The graduation ceremony took place on Friday 31 July which will be remembered in the Caritas Malta Graduation Calendar with a difference, a post on Caritas’ Facebook page stated.

It was originally planned for June 26, the International Day Against Drug Abuse, however, when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, Caritas had to change its plans and in observance of the measures indicated by the health authorities. 

"We wanted the Graduation experience to be a success for those who completed the program with success and lifelong experience. We saw who those people are most dear to them and up to four people they chose were invited "said Gatt while continuing to explain that the current residents in Caritas Malta households were able to follow the ceremony from home.

The ceremony took place at the Good Council church in Paceville, St. Julian's. Mass led by Monsignor Victor Grech together with Monsignor Charles Cordina and Fr Hilary Tagliaferro. 

Monsignor Grech expressed that graduation and the awarding of certificates do not change anything in the person who made this trip: "it is important to understand that we must continue to change every day and be able to do so by recognizing that we are weak," he concluded.

The Graduates also had the chance to share with those present what this day meant to them and that graduation marks a new, demanding and challenging phase.

One of the graduates put it this way: “While thanking my staff and those of my family, I can't help but mention my mother who has always been behind me and suffered immensely, today I am very happy to say that she will I will continue to work ”.

Another graduate said: "I have to understand and accept that I still have a long way to go and that I have yet to climb another step. Thanks to everyone, I got where I was, but it always stays that way. I know that with the love of the Caritas staff I will be able to understand how beautiful life is and I will see that I stay grounded and apply those skills that you have given me with so much dedication and love while walking in the program.”

Caritas Malta continued to see a substantial number of people approach them for rehabilitation.

In 2019, 732 people with drug abuse problems approached, of which 186 were new clients and 15% were women. The most common age was 33 years, the youngest 14 years old and the oldest 64. For the second year in a row, the largest proportion of customers (41%) had a primary problem. using cocaine. In the second category, 30% were those who came to the aid doing so due to heroin addiction. In 2019, Caritas Malta saw the highest percentage of people call for aid due to Cannabis (24%).

 
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