An overwhelming €375,000 has been raised by The Children in Need Foundation to fund in-house psychotherapy for Fondazzjoni Sebħ’s children over a two-year process that culminated last week with 1Run 1Childhood, a 200km ultra event in Marsa.
The idea was born two years ago, when two friends, hospitality consultant Claudio Camilleri and philanthropist and businessman Daniel Abela, came together to pursue a common goal: helping provide a better childhood for youngsters in care.
After in-depth conversations with Fondazzjoni Sebħ — an NGO that runs seven apartments in four residential homes, a shelter for women escaping violence and their children, and community social work service — and the Commissioner for Children, they set a goal to raise enough funds to be able to provide consistent therapy for the children.
Camilleri and Abela said: “The support has been heart-warming and gratifying and through this we have built an even stronger bond with Fondazzjoni Sebħ — this is a beautiful sum that will make a tremendous difference to children’s lives.”
While state agencies provide therapy, resources are often stretched making it impossible to offer an immediate service. These kids have had their childhood marred by a myriad of issues, from neglect to parents with addictions, and waiting for weeks to seek support can hinder their progress off balance in coping with such traumatic experiences at a young age.
Over the past two years, Camilleri and Abela have been approaching entities, explaining their vision for this three-year project and to date, more than 50 organisations have either already contributed or committed their support.
The project and donations gained additional momentum last week when Camilleri and Abela ran 200km in under 35 hours around the Matthew Micallef St John Athletics Stadium to raise public awareness.
From the €375,000 committed, €150,000 has already been paid ensuring the project can kick off right away. Through the donations collected, The Children in Need Foundation will employ a team of psychotherapists, and other therapists, that will form a structure to provide a holistic and consistent approach for Fondazzjoni Sebħ to offer this service for at least three years.
Camilleri and Abela said: “We shall continue to work resolutely to ensure that for the next 36 months, 41 children under the care of Fondazzjoni Sebħ will have access to immediate and consistent therapy to better equip them to cope with life ahead.
“We express our deep gratitude to the several companies and numerous individuals who have supported this cause so far. We urge you to continue donating towards this cause — every child deserves a childhood.”
Those corporations or individuals wishing to support this project can visit www.1run.mt or www.childreninneed.org.mt. Every cent collected will be going directly towards offering each child weekly psychotherapy sessions