The Kenup Foundation (www.kenup.eu), EDU (medical.edu.mt) and the Malta Council for Science and Technology (mcst.gov.mt) organized a press conference at Esplora on the 14th of April 2022, during which an update was given about their joint ‘Ukrainian Families Adoption’ initiative. The Kalkara offices housing Kenup and EDU staff have been transformed into a residence for ten Ukrainian families fleeing their war-torn country. Employees have been asked to work from home and their desks and chairs were replaced by beds, wardrobes and all that was required to create a ‘home away from home’ for their guests. The families will be allowed to stay on for as long as is necessary and are not being charged for accommodation or all the other services being provided, including regular meals provided by EsploraCafe. The families flew from Warsaw Airport to Malta on free flights which were organized through the support of Captain Charles Pace and other Transport Malta employees. They were met at the airport and taken to quarantine accommodation provided by the DB group.
The offices were converted into bedrooms and living areas with the help of MCST employees and other volunteers. Beds were provided free of charge by Futura Woodworks, mattresses by The Vassallo Group, bedroom furniture by Construct Furniture, appliances by ‘James Caterers’ and ‘Ventura’, bathrooms by Keramit and finishes by Xuereb Installations. ‘Socjeta Muzikali S. Guzepp Hamrun volunteers sponsored most of the other works required to convert the offices. Dr Stephen Spiteri, the local MP and GP, is providing the families with medical services. De La Salle College is providing them with sports facilities. ‘Blue Door English’ and ‘IDEA Academy’ will be providing educational services. ‘Smile Centre’ dental clinic in Zebbug will be providing free dental treatment.
Other sponsors include the Mizzi Organisation, Paramount, the Maltese Indian Community, Tiptoes, FTIAS, Noir et Blanc and Mahoney’s Hair Salons, Qualia Malta, Protrade and Mgarr Primary School. Numerous other individuals provided all the other supplies necessary during a donation drive organized over the past weeks.
In his short intervention during the press event, MCST Executive Chairman and Kenup director Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando said that “ It is truly heartwarming to see our Ukrainian guests happily settled into their home in Malta. Words cannot describe my appreciation for all the help that was forthcoming for this initiative, and especially for the warm welcome given to these families by my team at the Malta Council for Science and Technology.” Kenup Executive Chairman Holm Keller said “I would like to thank all those who helped us provide our guests with a safe haven. I would also like to thank EDU for its support, as well as my Co-Director Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando who was instrumental in the setting up of the residence and providing the families with meals.” EDU COO, Alexandra Cosma said that ‘We at EDU, a Maltese medical institution of higher education, recognise that our mission to provide high quality medical education must expand beyond the usual to help those affected by this war. From the beginning, we’ve been striving to find ways to provide meaningful support to the people of Ukraine. We also applaud our team for contributing together and as individuals through volunteering at the Ukrainian borders to provide emergency care or transportation, for hosting Ukrainian refugees, and offering language integration courses.
The press event was followed by dinner during which MCST, Kenup and EDU staff members had the opportunity to meet up with their Ukrainian guests informally.