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The Role of NGOs in Support to Migrants in Malta

Updated: Nov 14, 2023

Photo CC edited by AMAM

NGOs have played a critical role in providing support and services to migrants in Malta. With limited government resources and a lack of comprehensive policies for migrant integration, NGOs have stepped in to fill the gap and provide vital assistance to migrants in need.

One of the key areas in which NGOs support migrants in Malta is through legal aid and advocacy. Many migrants face legal challenges and may not have access to legal representation, which can leave them vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. NGOs such as the Jesuit Refugee Service and Aditus Foundation provide legal aid services and advocate for the rights of migrants in Malta.

NGOs also provide support for basic needs such as housing, food, and healthcare. The Malta Emigrants Commission and MOAS are among the organisations that provide accommodation to migrants and other forms of support to migrants in need. Both run family hosting/ sponsorship projects, Emigrants Commission is also in charge of the housing solutions such as the Balzan Welcoming Centre for women and families and the "Dar Sciberras" for unaccompanied minors.

Additionally, there are NGOs such as Migrants Women Association Malta and Foundation For Shelter and Support to Migrants that develop projects to support migrants who suffer from mental health issues. But the mental health sector is broadly catered for by the government.

NGOs also play a key role in promoting social inclusion and cultural exchange for migrants in Malta. Organisations such as African Media Association Malta organises capacity building activities such as podcasts for inclusion, but also radio literacy workshops.

Blue Door English offers language classes to help migrants integrate into Maltese society and build connections with local communities.

Cross Culture Internal Foundation, Dance Without Borders and AISO Records are at the heart of cultural events that involve migrants.

Despite their important role, NGOs in Malta face significant challenges in their efforts to support migrants. Funding is available, but the administrative red tape can be daunting, and many organisations operate on a volunteer basis. Additionally, there may be a lack of coordination and collaboration between NGOs and the government, which can lead to inefficiencies and duplication of services.

Overall, NGOs play a crucial role in providing support and services to migrants in Malta. Their efforts are critical in promoting the integration and well-being of migrants and in advocating for their rights and needs.

It is worth noting that mental health issues faced by migrants can originate from the hardships that are embedded in their daily realities, but mental health can also be the consequences of a diagnosis of a specific illness that can leave the person totally shaken, such as HIV or any form of cancer.

A useful compilation of common mental health conditions can be found here . They are associated to a form a of cancer called Mesothelioma, but they reflect the extend to which a person can mentally suffer due to illness or social pressure.

Mesothelioma is primarily caused by asbestos exposure.

What Is asbestos?

It is a mineral with tough fibers that can handle heat, electricity and corrosion. Companies used it in building materials, insulation, fireproofing materials, brakes and more because of these properties.

Exposure to asbestos most often happened at industrial, manufacturing and construction job sites. Older building materials contained asbestos for its strength and resistance to heat and electricity.

Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer. It can develop in the thin lining around the lungs, abdomen, heart and teste.

It is well known that migrants make the primary work force in construction job sites. A good knowledge of all risk factors is advisable.

To know more, click here.

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