Birth of LAVA

Denis Calleja and Sabrina Tandurella exhibiting the pieces painted by persons with disability during a recent workshop in Siciliy.

A Maltese artist and Sicilian art therapist have set up an association to benefit people with disability in both countries. Denis Calleja and Sabrina Tandurella have called their association LAVA – Living Ability Vivendo Abilita.

“We are looking forward to giving these children incentives to live up to their abilities. Above all we want to give them the courage to understand they can exploit their abilities to the maximum,” Mr Calleja said.

The association will organise activities and then ask for sponsors according to the requirements of the particular activity. Mr Calleja and Ms Tandurella will be volunteer directors, while everyone else who joins will give a helping hand and be on the same level.

One of the association’s first activities will be to take 27 Maltese persons with disability to Sicily for three days with an itinerary of sightseeing, meeting other disabled people, organising workshops and sharing art therapy activities in public places.

Free accommodation on full board basis has been secured for the 27 people who will be chosen from four centres: the Adult Training Centre in Gozo; Dar il-Kaptan; Living Ability Not Disability (LAND) and Dar tal-Providenza.

The association is now hoping that someone will come forward to sponsor the flights. Mr Calleja has already organised a similar activity as a personal initiative with Sicilian persons with disability at Stadio Palo Sport in Catania and was fully supported by the Italian Embassy, Air Malta and Marsovin. His initiative was recently featured in La Sicilia and the article led to numerous offers of help from Sicilians.