It has been nine years since the inception of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) office in Malta. Nine years of restoring hope and rebuilding the lives of Christians who have lost everything to war, poverty and persecution; of being the hope and lifeline of Christian families and communities in the face of emergencies; and of ensuring that children do not go to bed hungry but have the food they need to grow. Nine years of safeguarding and rescuing Christian girls from forced conversion and marriage, kidnapping and abuse; and of supporting Maltese and Gozitan missionaries in their challenging work in underdeveloped countries. Throughout this time, ACN (Malta) has been fulfilling the mission of helping persecuted and oppressed Christians in several other countries.
ACN (Malta) is a Malta-registered voluntary organisation (VO/2777)of the 75-year old international pontifical foundation, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). The Malta office was set up on 13th May 2014.
ACN (Malta) looks back at these years with gratitude to benefactors and promoters who have enabled the organisation to provide a life-saving mission and continue to empower it to make a positive difference in the lives of poor, vulnerable Christians who look up to ACN as their only source of hope and help.
Over these nine years, ACN (Malta) has joined the efforts of the 23 other national offices of this international foundation to fund over 5,000 projects in more than 140 countries yearly. Every day, many Christian families, children, young people and missionaries are given a chance to hope and live. Through its work, ACN has become the hope that they look up to and the reason they can dare to keep on living true to their belief in spite of the serious threats that assail them.
More recent and ongoing projects include emergency aid for Ukraine by providing food, shelter and essential needs for displaced people both inside the Ukraine and in neighbouring countries, as well as working with ACN’s long-established partners in Syria to provide emergency support for victims of the recent earthquake with food, fresh water, blankets, medicine, basic items and shelter.
The influx of refugees into Lebanon coupled with the current worsening economic crisis in that country have plunged 70 percent of Lebanese into real poverty. ACN is working with Church partners on the ground to help those in most need by providing food parcels, medicine, fuel, rent and keeping Catholic schools open through the provision of school supplies, hot meals for children and emergency financial assistance for teachers because they are not receiving their due salaries.
In addition to projects, ACN (Malta) is a voice for persecuted Christians, telling their stories through its publications, such as the weekly e-newsletter, a weekly radio programme on Radju Marija, weekly page in “Il-Leħen” newspaper, talks and video presentations in parishes, schools and groups. Also, ACN’s two major biennial reports –“Persecuted and Forgotten” and “Religious Freedom in the World”, together with periodic TV interviews, articles published on Malta’s newspapers, the charity’s website and social media platforms, explain the work being done by the organisation on a daily basis.
Stephen Axisa, national director for ACN (Malta) said: “We look to the future with renewed zeal and commitment to further our mission and call on people of goodwill in Malta and Gozo to join hands with us in this life-saving work. To know more about ACN Malta, how to become a volunteer, promoter or benefactor, kindly send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 21487818.”