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Children make it better: letters to the elderly
The festive season is hitting a little different this year. Children are being encouraged to write a letter to elderly people who are living alone this Christmas, to help lift their spirits.
The initiative, which is called #postofficenanniet, was rolled out in schools this week to ensure that the 27,000 people over 65 who live on their own in the community will receive a message of love and care.
The idea was born out of a collaboration between the Education Ministry, the Malta Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society (MFWS), Nanniet Malta, a university professor Alexiei Dingli and his team, Stephen Bezzina and Marvic Sciberras.
The festive season can be a tough time for many, a situation that is made worse by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Restrictions relegated older and vulnerable people to their homes and deprived them of human contact and the ability to socialise.
MFSW chair Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca said: “This year, more than ever before, we all got a taste of what it feels like to live alone. Some had to live in isolation, while others had to leave their families and stay in quarantine after contracting the virus. This pandemic also changed the dynamic in relationships and we no longer hug or stay near each other because of the risks. So we hope that the children’s words will be a small beacon in these people’s lives.”
Children living in Malta and Gozo are being encouraged to visit nannietpostoffice.com and write or draw a message that they would like to share with those people who are living alone. Each message will then be printed and delivered to these people through the Archdiocese’s Kummisjoni Djakonija service in every parish. Others will be hand delivered.
“Our elders have built the treasures we enjoy today. This is a gesture to remind them how much they are loved and valued. Together, we can help alleviate the darkness of solitute,” said Coleiro Preca.