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On Sunday, 24th June 2012, the OASI Foundation organised an Open Day to celebrate the 20th Anniversary from the opening of the Administrative Centre at 5, Wied Sara Street, Victoria.

Visitors to the Centre benefited from a variety of activities organised for all the family, which included a Harley Davidson Motorbike Show, Bouncing Castle, Face painting, Guided tour of the OASI Premises, Ex-Clients’ Sharing, White Elephant Stall and a show by Greenfields. A section was also dedicated to Maltese Arts and a food and drinks stall.

The Minister for Gozo, Giovanna Debono, and the Minister for Justice, Dialogue and the Family, Chris Said, were present to support this important event for the Foundation, and unveiled a commemorative plaque to mark the occasion.

 

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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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The 25th of June is every year a special day for the OASI Foundation especially this year when it celebrated its 20th Anniversary of sterling service by opening officially a new unit in the rehabilitation centre the foundation runs in Victoria, Gozo.

The OASI Foundation was constituted and publicly registered in June 1991 as an NGO, alias a voluntary and autonomous philanthropic organisation, free from any political, religious or sectarian allegiance and with the clear aims of creating a structure for the intervention, treatment and rehabilitation of persons with addiction conditions. Through out these years the OASI Foundation pursued innovative, educational and preventive means and methods that would address all people and human experiences in the field of substances and addiction in the Maltese islands without discrimination

During the inauguration and opening of the new treatment unit in Wied Sara Street, Victoria, Fr. Cordina, the Founder and the actual Director General of the OASI Foundation, emphasized on the various developments that happened within the Foundation throughout the years, always aimed at improving its programmes for the benefit of the service users. Throughout the years society at all its levels assisted constantly the OASI Foundation to continue fulfilling its duty. However and unfortunately certain obstacles persisted. The development of a materialistic liberal and hedonistic society often approved and promoted by the local media encourages a mentality of freedom to do whatever one deems accommodating to the ego of the new age free person. This has promoted the idea that getting stoned and done with the use of entertainment drugs, particularly cocaine is nothing wrong. But these challenges should not discourage OASI from continuing its mission out there among the outcaste members of society.

Mr. Anton Tabone, former and first Minister for Gozo, Giovanna Debono the current Minister for Gozo and Bishop for Gozo H.E Mario Grech all focused on the challenging circumstance that encircle the problem of addiction which unfortunately is on the increase. Awareness is fundamental towards this social issue, but one shall not forget the persons close to the addict, and the social circumstances that affect them directly and indirectly.

Mr. Anton Tabone in the presence of the Minister for Gozo as well as Justyne Caruana and of the many guests officially opened the new premises. The Bishop of Gozo blessed the new premises with a fervent prayer.

THE OASI FOUNDATION

OASI has 4 main objectives:

To educate people through all available educational means and within the various social environments in the community

To dissuade people in distress or crisis situations from experimenting with harmful substances or from indulging in risky behaviours

To assist individuals who acquire the disease of addiction in their process of recovery and social reintegration and

To give assistance and support to their families

Besides its Administration Department OASI offers 4 main service units:

PRIMARY PREVENTION

The eventual success of prevention lies in a community based program where individuals are assisted to live an environment free from stress and clean from the dangers of chemical substances and other human conducts that might lead to a self destructive behaviours. OASI Foundation strives to do exactly this.

In its quest to promote its statement of belief that “Life is Beautiful!” and worth living to its maximum, the Primary Prevention services are all geared to promote a positive living environment.

A description of the activities that the Primary Prevention Team organise during the year includes:

Preventive Education in Schools, in all Gozo schools starting from Primary Schools, continues through with all students at Secondary Level and into Post Secondary Institutions.

Parenting Skills are imparted periodically imparted to parents in schools, religious or other cmmunity centres.

The OASI Kids Club organises monthly activities for children aged 10 to 14, giventhem the opportunity to meet other children and together try out new and fun things, whilst being in a safe and supervised environment.

SOHLE – Summer OASI & HSBC Learning Experience – a 4 day camp based on the concept of “edutainment” is one of such activitoes. Its goal is to offer an opportunity for children to distance themselves from the hectic routine of the schooldays. Through games and cultural activities they are assisted to freely relate to others, relax and enjoy themselves in a pleasant and supervised environment.

Community Outreach is regularly maintained through:

Awareness Talk, at community level on different types of drugs and their effects on our physical, social and psychological self held in Parish Youth Centres or other local community centres.

OASI.com Magazine, OASI Foundation’s half yearly publication, is distributed to every household in Gozo. This publication includes internal news on OASI, articles on drugs, alcohol, life skills and general information that one would enjoy reading.

Local Media is opportunely used by the prevention team. The use of Local Radio Stations in towns and villages in Gozo in order to bring more information into the homes keeps the public continuously aware of what the OASI Foundation can do and is doing to help them in times of crisis and needs.

Riflessi Sajfin a 3 hour music concert held in mid-August in Marsalforn, Gozo is organised to encourage new local talent and simultaneously to promote the OASI Foundation’s preventive messages to the general public in a positive mixture of music, dance and song.

The Youth of the Year Award is annually organised to publicly acknowledge the various, voluntary work done by our youths for the good of our society. An Award Giving Ceremony is held under the patronage of His Excellency, the President of Malta, where all participants are publicly acclaimed for their initiatives. The climax of this event is the declaration of one of the participants as their “ambassador” in society for all the youth volunteers during the following year.

IMMEDIATE INTERVENTION

Intensive awareness campaigns gradually make people seek immediate assistance. OASI was thus out of necessity compelled to activate a service aligned towards crisis intervention, whereby persons at risk are assisted to acquire or strengthen the basic values of life, beauty and happiness as a recovery strategy from their distress.

OASI Secondary Prevention takes notice of and minds any situation that may lead to the use or abuse of harmful substances. Most of our clients come from Gozo but include also clients from Malta and also foreign residents. Issues dealt with include child and youth assistance, parental and communication skills between couple, marriage counseling, remedial therapy to accompany treatment for depression and analytic therapy.

THE ALTERNATIVE ADDICTION TREATMENT PROGRAMME

The aims of the OASI treatment and rehabilitation programs and their related facilities are to aid persons with addiction problems to recover their personal health and to re-establish themselves in their family and social life.

From its outset, OASI Foundation embarked on the development of a treatment and rehabilitation project for addicts and alcoholics with the development of an alternative treatment possibility to complement the existing treatment programmes run in Malta. In fact, a year after the Foundation was instituted a therapeutic program was selected and approved by the Board of Directors. This program based on the 12 Steps of AA as developed in Minnesota, USA was immediately adopted, tailored out for local needs and put in action at the end of 1992 as an out-patients treatment programme. For the first time in Malta a treatment program unit was opened to treat persons with drugs or alcohol problems for both genders within the same treatment program.

Non-Gozo residents addicts and alcoholics encountered various obstacles when they sought treatment in Gozo due to the difficulty to cross over the channel. With the aim to give the latter the opportunity to try the 12 Steps treatment programme, in 1996, OASI started extending its headquarters. In October 1998 OASI opened its doors for a new challenge, a residential treatment unit using its scanty physical facilities existing then to host 7 people with drug and alcohol related problems. This year the new residential unit was officially opened, catering for a maximum of 15 residents at one time.

Residential Treatment Programme is for hard core addicts due to alcoholism, drugs, gambling or other related addictive behaviours. OASI offers an alternative programme from those offered on island Malta, based on the 12 Steps model and endowed with a very intensive therapy. The treatment is supported by another intensive social reintegration programme at the OASI Half Way House.

Out-Patient Treatment Programme is offered minors or persons with initial addiction problems, where clients came to OASI Centre for one-hour one to one counselling sessions on weekly appointments and also to support group therapy.

Family Support Programme helps family members of addicted persons, including play therapy for child to recover from their co-dependency resulting from stress due their close relationship with the disease of addiction in their family environment.

HALF WAY HOUSE

All clients in recovery are made aware of the fact that the transition from the protective residential setting to a mainstream society is a delicate period in their recovery process – another milestone to be reached. Therefore, although at the end of their primary residential treatment at the OASI Treatment & Rehabilitation Unit clients may find a supportive family environment or an understanding employer to return to, for their treatment programme to persist they require more structural support and are expected to spend a period of time in a residential continued care program (RCCP) at the HWH Unit.

The philosophy of the HWH maintains that through abstinence from mind-altering substances, participation in all the Twelve Steps and the practice in self-discipline and honesty, the recovering person can develop the tools necessary towards a long term, contented sobriety in the outside community. Therefore setting of the OASI HWH provides a social environment that can assist residents to develop further the coping mechanisms and skills necessary to re-enter family, work and society with a lifestyle pattern marked by self-discipline and responsibility free from antisocial attitudes.

CONCLUSION

The OASI Foundation Management is in the hand of the Board of Directors. Through the implementation of the above mentioned services and others, OASI Foundation is providing a sterling social work in the caring profession to the benefit of our community. It has been, is and will remain a key factor in keeping our young generations as free as possible from the abuse of substances and hazardous lifestyles.

 

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The 18th edition of the prestigious annual event of Youth of the Year was held by OASI Foundation at Hotel Ta’ Cenc, Sannat. Present for this national event were H.E The President of Malta Dr. George Abela, 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 and Minister for Gozo 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.

The aim of this event, annually organised by the OASI Foundation in collaboration with the Ministry for Gozo and the National Youths Council, is to publicly acknowledge and appraise the voluntary work in society carried out by many Maltese youths. This year was the 18th edition of the Award.

Nine youths, eight from Malta and one from Gozo qualified for the final event. The nominations were presented by various organisations around Malta and Gozo.

H.E The President of Malta Dr. George Abela presented Sarah Borg with the Youth of the Year Shield for 2010. She will keep this shield for the next 12 months until the time comes for her to hand it over to next year’s Youth of the Year.

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The OASI Foundation’s Primary Prevention Team, held the 18th edition of the annual open-air festival Riflessi Sajfin, at the Menqa in Marsalforn, Gozo. The three and a half hour festival was a huge success, with a variety of artists of all ages performing on stage and with hundreds of Maltese, Gozitans and foreigners attending the event.

The festival’s stage, made available by the Culture Department at the Gozo Ministry, was equipped with the latest lighting (by MICHO) and sound (by ProStage Sound) technology. The evening was a thrilling experience for presenters Deborah C and Joseph Xuereb.

The OASI Foundation stages Riflessi Sajfin with three clear aims, primarily to promote local talent as an alternative leisure by providing for prospective young artists an opportunity to exhibit themselves on a professionally equipped stage in front of a big audience. Secondly the events provide a channel through which OASI can promote its preventive messages against alcohol and drug abuse, and thirdly to provide free family-friendly entertainment to the general public in return for its support during the years.

A number of new performers and other established singers and dancers were given the opportunity to perform this year: YADA Dance Academy – Gozo, Centre Stage and Audrey Marie Bartolo. For the first time, during this edition there was a fashion show held by D Elegance – Bridal and Evening Wear.

Fr Emanuel Cordina, Director of OASI told Gozo News, “We would like to take the time to thank all the sponsors for all their support.”

Riflessi Sajfin 2009 took place thanks to the many sponsors backing the event: Satariano, GO, The Farsons Foundation, Bank of Valletta, Debrincat J Ltd, General Soft Drinks Ltd sponsored through Coca-Cola, D Elegance, Spiteri Catering, Meylak Jewellery, Sunrise Pet & Garden Centre, Bliss Footwear, Gozo Business Systems Ltd, Gozo Arts, Dominic Department Store, Island Tech., Vella Service Station, Bellusa Daughters Ltd, Francis Caruana Ltd – Bubbles Bathrooms, Victoria Cycles Shop, Swan Card Gallery, Lorry Spiteri – Carpenter, Roma Shopping Complex, Café Del Corso, United Colors of Benitton &Karapuna, Joe Attard Butcher, Vision Opticians, Downtown, Ramla Bay Resort, Hotel San Andrea, Park Hotel, The Marina Hotel, Tal-Lajku Pizza and Kebab House, Tresor D’Or, Marcelle Boutique, Georgina Beauty Therapist, Vajringa Supermarket, Shoprite Discount Store, Images, Maria’s Hair Salon, Jessica’s Delight, Pebbles Restaurant and Pizzerija, Latini Bar & Restaurant, Smiley’s Bar & Restaurant, Tang Cheng Restaurant, Radiance Skin Centre, D Look Boutique, Scorpion Hair Salon, Kidzland By Marks & Simons, Ta’ Mena Agriculture Ltd., Arkadia, Health & Beauty Co Ltd., Unfading Beauty Salon, Hourglass Wear Time and the Local Councils of Xaghra.

 

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Maria Giuliana Fenech, a Caritas volunteer from Mosta, was recently named Youth of the Year at a ceremony at the Ta' Cenc Hotel.

The event, organised by the OASI Foundation, in collaboration with the Gozo Ministry, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Employment and the National Youth Council, aims to publicly acknowledge the voluntary work carried out by young people. Gozo Minister Giovanna Debono was present.

Eight young people were nominated this year who were presented with a certificate and a commemorative trophy by OASI director-general Fr Emmanuel Cordina and last year's Youth of the Year Jane Mifsud.

The winner of the 14th Youth of the Year title was announced by the representative of the selection committee Edel Cassar. Ms Fenech was presented with the Youth of the Year Shield by President Eddie Fenech Adami, who acknowledged the immeasurable amount of voluntary work carried out by Maltese and Gozitan young people and encouraged them to continue helping others even when faced with difficulties.

Ms Fenech spends much of her free time voluntarily preparing meetings and organising activities for a group called 21+, to which she is very committed.

The Community Chest Fund, the Gozo Ministry's customer care department, Prostage Sound and CVC Communications helped to make the Youth of the Year ceremony possible.

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