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MALTA: Young refugee builds new life

Mamma Margherita Home in Sliema provides food, shelter and education for young refugees

(MissionNewswire) Brhane, a young refugee from Eritrea, is living at the Mamma Margherita Home in Sliema, Malta. Here, youth are provided with their basic needs such as food, medicine and clothing. They also learn English and basic skills to achieve self-sufficiency in their new community.

Father Savio Vella, director of the Mamma Margherita Home, said, “The Salesians are taking care of the most vulnerable and needy young refugees that arrive on our shores. We look after them, we care for them, we show them love, and, with them, we plan their future. We offer them hope.”

Young refugees, like Brhane, are risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean Sea in search of a better life. The young man nearly did not survive his harrowing trip last year from Eritrea with a group of young refugees. Their small boat was caught in rough seas, and they were saved by the crew of a Lebanese cargo ship. When rescued, the refugees suffered from poor health and a lack of food.

When Brhane arrived in Malta, he was thin and scared. Lacking the strength to walk down unaided from the boat, he needed to be carried down by a member of the crew. After a period of care and recovery in the hospital, Brhane started to attend the Salesian day program which is run in conjunction with the Migrant Offshore Aid Station and the Jesuit Refugee Service. From there, he was accepted into the Mamma Margherita Home.

Since 2010, the Mamma Margherita Home and the Osanna Pia Home in Sliema have been offering accommodations and care to young refugees who arrive on the island of Malta. The Salesians support youth in seeking a better and secure future.

According to UNICEF, despite the wealth associated with many countries in the European Union, close to 18 percent of its population lives in poverty in Malta. Youth at risk of poverty or social exclusion are typically found in single parent families, large families, and immigrant and ethnic minority families. With almost 10 percent unemployment, often spanning generations, youth with unemployed or underemployed parents also face a higher risk of poverty. In addition, almost 15 percent of youth leave school without achieving a secondary education.



ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS) 

ANS – Malta – Salesians looking after Young Refugees

Mamma Margherita Home Facebook

Salesian Missions

UNICEF – Malta

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