2018-19 Annual Report

Order of Malta Volunteers in Gozo   Report 2018-2019

The Order of Malta Volunteers in Gozo continued to provide its services in Gozo under the umbrella of MASMOM

Committee and Fundraising

Dr John B Pace and Chris Galea continued to serve as President and Director respectively. Mr Aaron Formosa is Secretary while Ms Manolita Farrugia is Treasurer. Fr Geoffrey G Attard carried on with his work nurturing the spirituality of the volunteers who were also requested to attend the regular retreats organised by MASMOM.

Unfortunately in August 2018, the OMVG was asked to hand back the premises lent to it by St George’s Basilica as the Parish needed to use it for one of their projects. All furniture and other items used by the Volunteers in Gozo are being stored in an office used by the Friends of the Sick & Elderly in Gozo. The volunteers led by Chris Galea did their utmost to acquire a small office, requests were also made to the Diocese in Gozo; however no adequate place has been found.

Ta’ Pinu Shrine Pilgrims Project

The OMVG continued with the Pilgrims Service at Ta’ Pinu Shrine. Our assistance to sick and disabled who visited the shrine was greatly appreciated as several pilgrims would otherwise not have been able to make the long walk to visit the miraculous chapel inside the Shrine.

Ta’ Pinu Shrine also allocated a room where the elderly pilgrims could rest.

Wheelchair Transport Service

The Gozo Volunteers also pressed on with the main project of providing a special ambulance service for wheelchair cases on the island. The Order of Malta vehicle which was donated in August 2010 is used regularly for the benefit of the community. Various elderly persons attending hospital sessions, elderly in Victoria and residents at Church homes were regular users of this service. Other persons were also provided with the service which permitted them to go to medical facilities to receive treatment. Furthermore elderly persons at Church homes were taken out for excursions on a regular basis. Many persons could be taken out on special feasts and pilgrimages, which they would otherwise have been excluded from.

It should be mentioned that the Order of Malta in Gozo badly needs another small wheelchair-transport car which would be able to convey sick persons more efficiently. The wheelchair minibus we currently also use, is too big to be driven by the other Gozo volunteers and it should be mentioned that sometimes the Order of Malta is not able to cope with requests. It is also high time to have the current vehicle completely sprayed.

On Good Friday, apart from the transports of elderly persons to visit churches, the Order of Malta corps also provided a First Aid post during the Procession organised in Victoria. The first aiders with the Maltese Cross armbends assisted various chain-bearers and pilgrims who participated in this religious activity.

Visiting the Elderly

One of the main aims of the Order of Malta Volunteers in Gozo is to visit the sick and elderly. A visit was organised every month to a different hospital or home on a rotating basis. Several gifts were also purchased by the volunteers themselves to be distributed to Our Lords the Sick. Special thanks goes to  those who provided scarves, small statues and oranges to be given as gifts to the elderly residents.

Relief aid abroad

The Order of Malta Volunteers in Gozo helped collect tons of material including good-quality clothes and shoes for missions in Ghana. The Gozo-based initiative of Ghanaians residing in Gozo was assisted logistically by the OMVG. Since last year five containers have already been sent to the African country.

In September 2019 three large boxes of scarves and woollen hats were sent to the mission run by Dr Oleg Siliyanov in Tula, Russia. The items were distributed by the Order of Sisters of St. Elizabeth in the same city. These nuns assist orphans and needy families.


Assisting needy families and refugees

Every week the OMVG also distributed food supplies to other families in need including sick persons who live by themselves. The OMVG also thanks the Anglican Community in Gozo for donating food supplies on a regular basis. With the collaboration of MASMOM, the Gozo Volunteers also provided food hampers to another 25 deprived families. The Gozo Crafty Ladies an organisation of volunteers also donated a large amount of food supplies and woollen blankets