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A press release was issued by 23 organisations including OASI Foundation appealing for urgent need for regulating the ' free for all' use of Cannabis.

To read the press release in English you can read here.

To read the press release in Maltese you can read here.

 

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Press Release

The eighth edition of the OASI Cup Run & Fun Walk was held on Sunday 2nd of October 2022. The event was organised by the OASI Foundation. Sport is scientifically proven to be a healthy way to improve mental health, to relax, to improve self-confidence and socialise. The OASI Foundation strongly believes that this, in turn, enhances the probability of keeping substance use at bay while promoting addiction recovery.

The OASI Chief Executive Noel Xerri stressed that rather than competing with others, it is more important that one challenges himself and strives to be better than he was. He also emphasised the need to help others improve as there is where true satisfaction lies. The Hon. Minister for Gozo Clint Camilleri, Hon. Dr Alex Borg and Hon. Abigail Camilleri participated in the event. All of them passed on positive messages to those present by commenting on the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, whilst thanking the OASI Foundation for contributing toward social awareness. The message “prevention is better than cure” was also highlighted.

This 8th edition of the OASI Cup Run and Fun Walk was successful and it was well received  having 180 participants  who participated in the 10K run, 4.5K walk, and three children’s runs which covered children aged between four to fifteen 

This event could not have been successful without the guidance of the Athletic AC Gozo and Trigozo and the contribution of the Ministry for Gozo, HOG, Galea General Service, H2Only,Dr Juice, J&J Zammit Limited, Silhouette, Magri Cycles, the Victoria Scout Group and the Victoria Girl Guides. The Duke Boutique Hotel and Ta’ Maria offered their support as well.

Additionally, the OASI Cup Run & Fun Walk would also like to thank Mr Paul Scicluna, as well as all the OASI volunteers and staff for their dedication and endless support throughout the process of organising this event.

The timings of the 4 runs can be found here.

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The ninth edition of Youths4Youths was held today Thursday 15th of September 2022. The event as per pervious years has been organised by the OASI Foundation in collaboration with HSBC foundation.

The OASI Foundation main focus is the overall well-being of citizens in Malta and Gozo. Keeping children healthy and exposing them to healthy activities through nonformal education such as today’s event, is crucial for their development. Such exposure is directly linked to better mental health, to relax, improve self-confidence and socialise.

27 young participants joined this event whose ages ranged from 8 to 12. Youths toured around the Dwejra Marine Environmental Education Centre which provided edutainment including insight into the fauna and flora found around Dwejra. Thereafter, the youths also had a boat ride around the caves that connects the Inland Sea to the Open Mediterranean Sea. The boat trip gives one a view of the towering cliffs and caves.

Back at OASI, a session was delivered by ERRC. This consisted of very insightful information presented by Andre Bonnici. The children engaged and asked many questions, which were all answered in due course.

As the children set around the table, a gratitude prayer was said, and soon after they had their lunch. Children had the opportunity to evaluate the learning experience through a visual feedback sheet.

The OASI Foundation would like to thank HSBC Malta Foundation for the sponsorship along the years, as without its help, such an activity would not be possible. Furthermore, through this press release the OASI Foundation wants to show their appreciation towards the Dwejra boat ride organisers who have generously offered the youngsters with an eventful and insightful Dwejra ride. Last but not least the OASI foundation thanks deeply the volunteers whom without them this event would not be possible.

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Eating disorders are complex mental health conditions characterized by disturbances in eating behaviours and thoughts about food and weight. Eating disorders are not simply a diet or a lifestyle choice, they are serious illnesses that impair psychosocial functioning and physical health. On the 5th and 6th of July 2022 Dar Kenn għal Saħħtek in collaboration with OASI Foundation held a two-day training seminar at OASI Foundation covering this subject.

With an introduction from Prof Anton Grech from Malta and with the following speakers from Italy Prof Laura Dalla Ragione, Dr Costanzo Panacc, and Dr Camilla Borganzoni, gave further insight about this subject. During this event History and evolution of Eating Disorders, Eating Disorder and Drug Addiction, the Mental Image of Body and Alteration of Body Image and Body Schema in Eating Disorders, and Nutritional Rehabilitation for Eating Disorders to name a few of the topics.

This training seminar was well attended with participants from Gozo and Malta, hailing from different professions mostly in the field of health care.

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OASI Foundation

31 Years of Continuous Activity

What is happening in Europe is happening at our doorstep. This was the message of OASI Foundation Chief Executive on the 31st anniversary of the Foundation.

The 26th of June is the International Day against Drugs, but this same date is also a special day for the OASI Foundation in Gozo. This year OASI celebrates its 31st Anniversary if its institution. To commemorate, on Saturday 25th June, a thanksgiving ceremony was held at the OASI Centre. Mr Noel Xerri, Chief Executive of OASI Foundation, and Mr Joe Borg from the Board of Directors awarded Mr Carmel Debono the OASI Foundation award, for his years of service towards OASI and society.

Mr Xerri, opened up this event remarking that throughout the past years a decrease in heroin use was noted followed by an increase of people being dependent on using cocaine. Additionally, an increase in females who seek help due to a dependency on alcohol was seen. Mr Xerri also mentioned that it is visible that there is no difference between Malta and Gozo and Malta and Europe and that the problem is real. Mr Xerri mentioned that also an additional therapy service offered by OASI Foundation for families consists of giving them the necessary skills as addiction also impacts the family. Mr Xerri made also reference to the fact that our society has a mentality that we only do what is good for us and this could lead to more problems. Mr Xerri closed his message by thanking all the entities, staff, and directors for their help and thanked all the beneficiaries that make use of this service.

Mr Joseph Borg, from the Board of Directors, talked about the journey that OASI Foundation went through these 31 years. He added that although it was not an easy journey thanks to the unity and trust between every staff member, volunteer, and the directors this was a success. He remarked about the importance of voluntary work and how this work helped and is vital for this sector. He also mentioned that voluntary work is one of the main things that gives him energy and satisfaction. Mr Borg also mentioned that voluntary work also gives hope and courage to those that are going through addiction and it is thanks to this collective work that a change is seen from a person who seeks help at OASI Foundation. He added that this is what helps the person be more resilient to face everyday challenges. He concluded by saying that as a country voluntary work should be given more importance and is more acknowledged. He concluded by thanking the staff and volunteers for their work.

Hon. Dr Michael Falzon, Minister for Social Policy and Children’s Rights in his message which was read by Mr. Joe Gerada remarked that resilience, commitment, and determinations are a few of the values which are seen in NGOs that help them keep on going. Hon. Dr Falzon also congratulated OASI Foundation on their anniversary and emphasized the fact that they not only offer support to people who are dependent but also are a ray of light and hope to their families.

Gozo Bishop Mons. Anton Teuma referred to Freudian studies to explain that people start to experience difficulties due to a lack of attachment which can then be seen in different ways. He also stated that although this is so and is considered a crisis in society no one should be trapped in a net where we put the blame and responsibilities on others. He also thanked Fr. Emmanuel Cordina for his initiative in opening OASI Foundation and thanked the staff that is now continuing on this initiative.

Hon. Dr Alex Borg commenced his message by questioning what are we doing as citizens to help fight against drug dependency. Furthermore, Dr Borg mentioned that more education is required to address this problem. He also remarked about the legalization of cannabis and that one shouldn’t refer to the usage of such a drug as recreational as it would lead to more problems.

Hon. Clint Camilleri, Minister for Gozo, mentioned the growth which OASI Foundation has made since it started operating and also remarked on the fact that as a Foundation it is dynamic and continued to develop. He also remarked that individual egoism in society is a problem that is visibly noted and that social media is impacting society. Hon. Camilleri closed this ceremony by congratulating OASI for their services.

Hon. Abigail Camillieri was also present for this ceremony.

Read full address by Mr Noel Xerri

Read full address by Mr Joe Borg 

Read poem by Dr Alfred Grech read during this ceremony

Media posts by speakers addressing the audience:

Mr Joe Gerada

Hon. Clint Camilleri

Hon. Dr Alex Borg

 

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Nhar it-18 ta' Mejju waqt il-Konferenza Nazzjonali; 'Ix-Xogħol...u l-Addiction?', waqt id-diskors tiegħu, il-Kap Eżekuttiv tal-Fondazzjoni OASI, Is-Sur Noel Xerri għamel referenza għall-statistika li ħarget minn informazzjoni demografika minn dawk il-persuni li għamlu kuntatt mal-Fondazzjoni fl-2021 fejn turi b'mod ċar li l-addiction qiegħda fl-istrata kollha tas-soċjeta tagħna.

Għad-diskors kollu li intqal mill-Kap Eżekuttiv, wieħed jista jagħfas hawn.

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We should be working more towards an inclusive society, where no one should be left behind, whether with addiction or any other social problem, said the President of Malta, H.E. George Vella, during a conference today, the 18th of May. The OASI Foundation, together with the Northern Region, organized a National Conference under the Distinct Patronage of H.E Dr George Vella, President of Malta, with the title ‘ Work…and Addiction? The conference was held at Dolmen Hotel and was moderated by Mr Peppi Azzopardi.

Hon. Dr Michael Falzon, Minister for Social Policy and Children’s Rights, mentioned that everyone deserves a second chance in his video message. He remarked about the reality of the problem of substance abuse in Malta and mentioned that there are two things one could do with this reality; ignore or have the courage to deal with these issues. He encouraged everyone to deal with the issues related to addiction and instead of being judgmental, serve as a helping hand. He highlighted the importance of Work, adding that it gives personal dignity.

Hon. David Agius, Deputy Minister for Inclusion and Quality of Life, thanked OASI for organizing such an event and emphasized talking about addiction issues. He added that working together on policies regarding this matter is essential.

In a video message, Mr. Clifford Galea, President of the Northern Region, spoke about how essential it is to discuss different aspects related to addiction. Ms Anne Marie Fenech Adami, Vice President of the Northern Region, thanked OASI for this conference to discuss matter of addiction and remarked that both the employee and employer are affected in such cases.

In the first part of the conference, Mr Matthew Degiorgio and Charlie Mifsud, on behalf of RISe Foundation, Mr Anthony Camilleri representing YMCA and Ms Miriam Agius, a Senior S

ocial Worker at Mount Carmel Hospital discussed the barriers that could interfere with employment. They gave recommendations to help build an inclusive workforce, homelessness statistics in Malta, and the importance of work as it allows one to connect and be socially involved. They all emphasized the importance of opening doors of opportunity for people who have a problem and seek a job.

In the second part of the conference, Dr Manwel Debono, a Senior Lecturer at the Centre of Labour Studies, emphasized that people working in HR should recognize that the place of Work could hinder or start the addiction problem awareness is essential. Mr Ivan Refalo, on behalf of the Malta Employers Association, remarked about the importance that employers should be informed and encourage and help the employee seek professional help if needed. Dr Roselyn Borg Knight, a lawyer, commented on the significance of prevention before the problem got worse and remarked on the importance

of polices and collective agreement at Work between the employer and employee.

Mr Noel Xerri, Chief Executive of OASI, emphasized that from statistical information gathered from people who contacted OASI in the previous year, addiction is present in all strata of society, which is due to the process known as ‘the normalization of substance use .’He stressed the importance of having the person as the focus of any operation, and that persons with addiction should be approached with a helping hand. He remarked one should look at what policies are in place at Work and whether these policies help people with a problem or indirectly enable addiction. He also stated the importance of having local studies done to show the best practices to be adopted at Work to help both the individual and the employer.

H.E. Dr George Vella, President of Malta, closed the conference by saying it was a well-needed conference. He stated that in the past, addiction was more considered taboo. He remarked that dependency is a complex phenomenon and that no one should be excluded from working. He emphasized that it is crucial to help dependent people and that empathy and reciprocal respect are essential tools to help fight the stigma associated with dependency. Dr Vella also said this is something of concern, and to defend society, it is necessary to invest in education as children will absorb these messages and keep them in mind. He closed his message by remarking that every story is different, and we should never condemn people who have a dependency but respect and understand them.

The audience was an active participant in the National Conference and included representatives from different fields, including government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and persons working in HR.

 

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