The Malta Independent 24 September 2021, Friday

Elevating the people

Ivan Bartolo Tuesday, 27 July 2021, 07:20 Last update: about 3 months ago

In order to pursue politics that leaves no person behind, we have to introduce policies and practices which, at their core, serve to help the people. To lift people out of poverty, and also elevate those people who have not yet reached their potential in their work, even though they have studied and went through all the necessary education.

The principle here is a simple one: every layer of society should be elevated, including the hardworking citizens, along with those who are in need. These should, in a practical way, benefit from the wealth generated and make a leap forward in their quality of life, according to the advances being made in the country.

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We cannot keep on depending on politicians, or on the intervention of politicians, for the social justice that we long for. This must be natural, it must become the norm, or in a more contemporary term, it must be organic, not forced.

There are many people who are held back from voicing the injustices which they are enduring. Vulnerable people cannot face bureaucracy when they cannot even defend themselves on a dayto-day basis. Having all the information online does not mean that it is accessible to everyone.

Statistical data only gives value to numbers and they do not necessarily show the whole situation that certain individuals are facing. New processes should be taken into consideration to address this situation, new processes that truly reflect and show what the situation in our society is.

That is why we speak about the importance of having the individual at the centre of decisions. This is a basic principle of the Christian Democrat belief, and in recent years, we are realising more and more that this principle is being forgotten. As I said earlier, statistics and measurement results with numbers are not enough to rely on when determining progress. Progress must be achieved and felt by all. Only in this way can we be convinced that the most vulnerable will also be positively affected by the initiatives that are being taken.

We stand in solidarity as a community

In order to reach more people affected by social problems, then there is a very important thing to keep in mind, the importance of involving both the government and the private sector in social initiatives that address marginalisation. Here, we can do much more through the involvement of local councils to bring residents together and enhance the sense of community. There are already a number of voluntary organisations that have the framework to contribute to this, so our politics must be one that engages these organisations and not treat them as competitors.

Voluntary Organisations are a tool to foster social solidarity without political interference. Volunteering is a way to increase the importance of civic duty and foster a greater sense of duty in the community.

There is a need for more commitment to show solidarity with our seniors, especially those who are alone or have mobility problems, by promoting and strengthening further programmes that enable young people to help seniors who face challenges. Social entities should have the resources to address all this and should be more present in the community through their day-today work.

We are proposing the appointment of a Social Ombudsman to investigate cases of social shortcomings and make recommendations to the Social Care Standards Authority as a regulator. This is a way of addressing existing legislative gaps and creating a more social and needs-focused State in the changing complexities of our population.

Civic duty

The current situation may have led to fatigue. Fatigue stems from the fact that we have been deprived of our daily routine for so long.

Here, the civic duty should stand out more; ensuring that the most vulnerable are not suffering. Yes, in the absence of the State, we must be the ones to play this role. We should not fall into the trap of indifference and selfishness that is somewhat infecting the framework of our society. As we know, man is fallible, the state more and more, and we must be aware of this.

It seems that, far more than ever, not every person in authority has their priorities aligned with what their role demands of them.

The more socially responsible we are, the more we can elevate ourselves and those around us. Where the state fails, we must be the ones to do good, or do what is right.

We must be empowered to improve our immediate service, that of our family, and that of the society in which we live. Above all, we must believe that we can achieve a level of social politics that promote social equity and the inclusion of all people at both a local and national level.

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