2022 Assembly


On International Women’s Day, 2017, the President of Malta visits Dar Merhba Bik Foundation- A Shelter for Domestic Violence Survivors and their Children.



Photo from left to right: Maria Vassallo: Operations Manager; Bernadette Briffa:Therapeutic Programme Manager & Residential Social Worker; Martina Attard: Care Worker, Elaine Pavia: Head of Shelter, Sr. Margaret Gonzi the Director , and Sr Doris Saliba, Local Leader. Front row: Her Excellency Dr. Marie Loiuse Coleiro Preca and Sr. Carmela one of our elderly sisters.
It was a special Women’s Day this year for the Dar Merhba Bik Foundation, a Shelter for Domestic Violence Survivors, their children and the staff as they hosted a visit from the President of Malta, Her Excellency, Dr. Marie Louise Coleiro Preca.
This official, yet very informal visit, made it possible for all concerned to exchange their concerns, future plans and aspirations.
Her Excellency was very emphatic in her address to the residents, their children and the staff (represented by Ms. Elaine Pavia Head of the Shelter), encouraging them to remain optimistic,  notwithstanding their daily challenges. 
President Coleiro Preca expressed her appreciation and gratitude to the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd,  Sr. Doris Saliba, Local Leader and Sr. Margaret Gonzi, Director of Dar Merhba Bik Foundation, whom she said were pioneers in opening the first Domestic Violence Shelter in Malta back in 1980 and which to date, has given shelter and solace to over 3000 clients and their families.
She also thanked the Sisters for being generous and courageous in offering part of their convent, to host and care for a  community of migrants in the Balzan Open Centre through Sr. Agnes Azzopardi, an elderly Sister, and her group of volunteers who support her in her work. 
The President and the Dar Merhba Bik Foundation promised to continue working closely together, in view of assurances of resources and financial support to all concerned through the Malta Community Chest Fund of which Her Excellency is the Patron.
Adapted by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.