Launch of Tarxien’s Reach-Out Centre
Through the assistance of SEM, Tarxien Local Council successfully applied for the first call of the Small Grant Scheme, and over the past year has been working to bring to fruition the Tarxien Reach Out Centre.
The project was launched by the Mayor, Joseph Abela Galea, at an event that saw the participation of Local Council officials, SEM officials, the Minister for National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government, José Herrera, the Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister, Carmelo Abela and Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds, Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi.
The Local Council identified a strong wish amongst Tarxien residents for more social opportunities, and to address the varied needs of different groups within the locality, conceptualised a ‘Reach Out Centre’ (community centre).
The project involved the infrastructural upgrades required to create a comfortable and modern venue and furnish it with the necessary equipment to make the Centre a multi-purpose location to be used for different events. Thus, the Centre will now be used to house a number of support activities, as well as the community’s public library.
Through the project, the Local Council will be able to host a number of primary and secondary-level courses in Maltese, English, Maths and ICT, as well as an artisanal course, and physical exercise sessions. Besides these structured courses and sessions, the Council will also hold a variety of other more informal educational, social, and well-being activities and get-togethers for the community. These include for example social gatherings for the elderly, and educational initiatives in collaboration with grassroot NGOs, like anti-bullying sessions.
The Small Grant Scheme
The Small Grant Scheme, supported through the Norwegian Financial Mechanism, aims towards the improvement of the quality of life and sustainable living standards of deprived communities in urban localities. The Local Government Division within the Ministry for National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government has been appointed as the Small Grant Scheme Operator and through these grants, intends to elaborate on a sustainable development strategy for urban localities.
Malta is committed to contribute towards reducing the number of people at risk of poverty or exclusion. According to the statistics on income, social inclusion and living conditions in Malta, poverty is highly predominant among persons living in households with dependent children, persons living in single parent households and unemployed people. Moreover, households with elderly people also present lower income levels. These categories bring together children, youths, elderly, women, people with disabilities, the working poor and the unemployed as the main target groups, which raise particular concerns when it comes to poverty and social exclusion related matters.