Malta – Salesians looking after Young Refugees

09 July 2021

(ANS – Sliema) – Last year, Brhane from Eritrea was with a group of young refugees that were saved by the crew of a Lebanese cargo ship “Talia” which transports livestock.  The refugees were saved as their small boat needed help as it got caught in rough seas with waves of 8 metres high.  Among the refugees, there were young people who were in an awfully bad state of health and nourishment.

When Brhane arrived in Malta, he was thin and scared. His photograph was spread all over the social media in a short time and it was labelled the “Pieta” of the Mediterranean. He did not have the strength to walk down unaided from the boat that saved his life and needed to be carried down by a member of the crew.  After a period of convalescence in hospital, Brhane started to attend the Salesian day programme which is run in conjunction with two NGOS: Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) and Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS). Young refugees, like Brhane, are provided with basic needs such as food, medicine and clothing, they learn English and basic skills to support them in their integration in society.

Brhane is now being looked after by the Salesians of Don Bosco in Malta in Mamma Margherita Home. Fr. Savio Vella, the Director of the Homes, said that “the Salesians are taking care of the most vulnerable and needy young refugees that arrive on our shores. We look after them, we care for them, we show them love, and, with them, we plan their future.  Yes, we offer them hope …”

Young refugees are risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean Sea in search of a better life.  Since 2010, “Mamma Margherita Home” and “Osanna Pia Home” in Sliema have been offering accommodations and care to young refugees who arrive on the island of Malta and support them in seeking a better and secure future.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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