September 13, 2017

The Malta Independent 12-09-17

Two projects valued at €1.5 million from the European Social Fund aimed at helping vulnerable people have been announced.

Parliamentary Secretary for EU Funds and Social Dialogue Aaron Farrugia and Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Silvio Schembri made the announcement today. €500,000 was allotted to the Malta Communications Authority for the project “Star Kids. Reaching Out: Improving the life chances of vulnerable children,” which shall reach about 850 vulnerable boys and girls. Through this programme, ICT equipment will be purchased for homes and community centers and dedicated training programmes will be developed and implemented for various age groups and according to the level of the children’s knowledge.

The second project, “TAKE ACTION: Against Problem Gambling in Malta,” which was allotted €1 million, aims to implement a holistic plan on improving care and social services in the field of gambling problems and addictions. The project, which shall reach about 500 individuals shall also raise awareness on responsible gambling and protect people with gambling disorders in Malta and Gozo. This will be done by providing a specialized training programme to key stakeholders.

“It is high time that in light of the record level of prosperity and economic growth Malta is experiencing, European Funds are also diverted directly to help vulnerable people” held Parliamentary Secretary Aaron Farrugia.

Farrugia noted that “it is vital for future generations and the long term well-being of our nation that we don’t become an unequal country and society as a consequence of economic growth.”  Farrugia affirmed that the government is determined that this latest round of EU funds will benefit everyone in Malta.

Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Schembri said that in view of Malta’s economic growth, this government is working hard to address the social aspect. He explained that Star Kids project is aimed at reaching and improving the lives of vulnerable children and help them familiarise themselves with technology. “This means that we are strengthening our human resource whilst at the same time, the government will have a clear picture of the backgrounds these children come from by means of a research study that will be carried out during the project.”

With regards to Take Action, Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Schembri emphasized on the need to train persons who are involved with the gaming industry in order to better help those at risk of becoming victims of gambling.

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