On Sunday 24th June 2018, to commemorate the OASI Foundation’s 27th anniversary from its official opening in 1991, on the occasion of the International Day against Drug Abuse, a Thanksgiving Function was held at the OASI Centre.
In a speech on behalf of the Board of Directors, Mr. Joseph Borg stated that Fr. Emmanuel Cordina has passed the baton to Mr. Noel Xerri, who is now the Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation. Fr. Cordina will continue to be the Chairperson of the Board of Directors. Mr. Borg thanked Fr. Cordina for dedicating his life to the benefit of others. He expressed the trust the Board of Directors has in Mr. Xerri, who will be taking the Foundation forward into a world where problems relating to addiction are becoming more frequent and complex. Mr. Borg stated that talks of recreational use of drugs is muddling the minds of youths and they are feeling disoriented, leaving them more prone to addiction, as expressed by experts in the field during a National Conference held last year. Next Tuesday, OASI will be participating in another National Conference, alongside Sedqa and Caritas, to be held in Parliament, and will be asserting its positions on this National stage, as is our duty. Mr. Borg expects the leaders of the country to take note of this message and act accordingly. He also thanked OASI staff and volunteers for their dedication to the Foundation, the Ministry for the Family, Children’s Rights and Social Solidarity and the Ministry for Gozo for their continuous help, and past and present members of the Board of Directors for their support. Mr. John Magro, another member of the Board of Directors, presented OASI Awards to Lucy Stevenson, Jofy Mainzer and Margaret McMullan for their dedication and hard work throughout the years.
Present were Hon. Dr. Justyne Caruana, Minister for Gozo and Hon. Dr. Chris Said, Opposition spokesperson for Gozo Affairs, who gave short speeches, agreeing that OASI is a Gozitan Foundation providing a national service, expressed their concern regarding the current mentality and drug availability, and showed solidarity with the Foundation’s work and position.
Afterwards a reception was held at the OASI Centre.
Leading up to this event, the OASI Foundation also worked in collaboration with the Ministry for Gozo to organize activities to raise awareness about drug use. These included information sessions and outreach to increase people's awareness of the social realities in Malta and Gozo, as well as the dissemination of informative material. Ministry staff and persons with a disability attending the Santa Marta Centre decorated the Xewkija roundabout with a message against drug abuse.