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The last edition of the prestigious annual event of Youth of the Year was held by OASI Foundation, last Saturday at Hotel Ta’ Cenc, Sannat, Gozo. Present for this national event were H.E The President of Malta Dr. George Abela, Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Gozo, Giovanna Debono, Members of Parliament and heads of voluntary organisations and various educational and civil departments.

H.E The President of Malta Dr. George Abela, Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Gozo, Giovanna Debono and Fr. Cordina in their address acknowledged publicly the immeasurable amount of voluntary activity done for no personal gain but solely and constantly for philanthropic reasons by many Maltese and Gozitan youths. They all emphasized that a person does voluntary work mainly with one aim in mind and heart – that of helping others in need. “Although there is no material gain, the emotional one cannot be estimated as is it enormous,” said Sarah Borg in her address to those present. Dr. Abela and the Gozo Minister emphasised on the work done by the OASI Foundation in the last 20 years, especially on creating this National Award that highlights the youths in a positive manner.

Fr. Cordina concluded his speech by publicily announcing that the OASI Foundation, voluntarily and out of respect for the hightest civil institution of the country the Presidency of the Republic, as from last Saturday edition of the YOYA Award will cease organising the event through a loyal handover of the Presidential Award for the Volunteers launched earlier this year under the auspicies of the H.E Dr. George Abela, President of Malta.

Four youths, two from Gozo and two from Malta qualified for the final event held last Saturday. The nominations were presented by various organisations around Malta and Gozo. As the tradition requested, the event started with the acknowledgement of all nominees with a certificate and a commemorative trophy presented to each one of the nominees by the Director General of OASI Foundation Fr. Emmanuel Cordina, assisted by last ambassador of Youth of the Year, Ms. Sarah Borg.

Naturally the most exciting moment of the evening was when Public Notary Dr. Enzo Refalo proclaimed the verdict of the Selection Committee. An outbreak of applause greeted the announcement of Maria Pellicano from Siggiewi, Malta as the Youth of the Year 2011. From the detailed report read out to the public present by Notary Enzo Refalo, Chairperson of the Selection Committee, it was evident that the members of this year’s committee had a tough decision on their hands, due to the great amount of initiatives and dedication manifested in all the nominees’ community work.

H.E The President of Malta Dr. George Abela presented Maria Pellicano with the Youth of the Year Shield for 2011.

Maria Pellicano was nominated from the group S.T.A.N.D (Strive towards ability not disability). She did not only assist S.T.A.N.D by supporting the members in their activities but also helped other initiatives whenever time permitted her. In fact Maria also does voluntary work with: Agenzija Appogg – she helps the families that in their daily needs by empowering them through the provision of basic social skills, which are fundamental in the running of a family, Sisters of Madre Tereza – helps in the organization and running up of the summer school and also with the “doposcoula” during the winter time, Faith Alive – helps youths aged from 13 years in their spiritual formation.

The OASI Foundation would like to congratulate Maria Pellicano, and all the other nominees for taking the time to see past the material value of what life offers and help others in need. The Foundation would also like to thank its sponsors who, through their generous donations have made this special event possible: the Department of Customer Care at the Ministry for Gozo, National Youths Council, Malta Community Chest Fund, Hotel Ta’ Cenc, Prostage Sound, CVC Communications, Lorne Cremona Photography, Michael Grech Financial Investment Srvice Ltd. and Lombard Bank Ltd.


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