President Vella gives special mention to Gozitan volunteering and NGO sector

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President Vella gives special mention to Gozitan volunteering and NGO sectorPresident George Vella, on his first official visit to Gozo, gave a special mention to the Gozo Voluntary Organisation/NGO sector, during a speech he made at the Ministry for Gozo.

The Council of the Gozo NGOs Association said that it would like to express its appreciation at the special mention given.

In his speech, President Vella mentioned what he described as “the particular attributes of Gozo.” Even though Gozo forms an important part of the Maltese archipelago, the President said that “Gozo had distinctive attributes, but also challenges and strengths that are unique to the island.”

The Gozo NGOs Association said that in his impromptu speech, delivered during a meeting with representatives of the Local Councils, Gozo Ministry officials and representatives of Civil Society, President Vella made special mention to the “hardworking and very enterprising Gozitan volunteering and non-governmental sector.”

He said that while forming part of the mother country, “the Gozitan community, through its volunteering and NGO sector, makes Gozo, and consequently Malta, a better place.”

In his speech the President referred back to the theme of “there is no more need for charity” that he had made in his inaugural address.

Amplifying, the President said that while there is ample scope in special instances for charity work to continue, “the state, especially when considering its present state of economic progress, must do all it can it can to provide for, rather than waiting for anyone to beg for what should be by right, their right which should be always respected.”

During his visit in Gozo President Vella was accompanied by his wife Miriam. It was also the President’s first official visit, and it started off with a short ceremony in Independence Square in Victoria.

The Association said that after being welcomed by the Minister for Gozo Justyne Caruana, the President paid homage to Gozitans, who were killed as a consequence of enemy action during World War II, by placing a wreath at the foot of the Christ the King monument in the square.

The Victoria Scout Group, one of the most active organisations within the Gozo NGOs Association, formed a guard of honour during the wreath laying ceremony.

The Council of the Association concluded by saying that it is now looking forward to meeting the newly elected President in person, in order “to further demonstrate how the Association has been instrumental, since its inception in 2003, to provide a means for a more structured dialogue between the sector and other interested parties, including those on a regional, national, and European level.”

Photograph: MGOZ/George Scerri

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