People in Malta need to open their eyes to the fact they are living “in a world” and not just “on an island”, President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca urged yesterday, saying this would help them accept diversity.

The President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society was set up a year ago, precisely to help this change take place, she added.

“The objective is to help bring about this change in mentality. As islanders we have a tendency to think about our needs and only think of others when needed... But we are all different from one another and we need to accept these differences that are being brought upon us by global circumstances.”

Ms Coleiro Preca was speaking during a ceremony held at San Anton Palace to mark the first anniversary of the foundation.

The foundation’s new website,, was launched and the new offices within the Palace were blessed by Archbishop Charles Scicluna.

The objective is a change in mentality. As islanders we tend to think about our needs and only of others when needed

Foundation director general Ruth Farrugia said that throughout this year the foundation had made great progress and connected with people from all walks of life.

The foundation met over 2,000 people and held 42 consultation sessions during which people spoke about what was important for their well-being.

It was also overseeing research projects and there were currently 12 ongoing projects, Ms Coleiro-Preca said. The foundation’s main aim is to bring people together to discuss what matters to them.

This is done through the consultative fora, which organise discussions for different groups of people, including children, people with disabilities and interfaith groups.

The information gathered during these meetings – which provide a networking platform for individuals and NGOs – inspires research carried out by the foundation’s research branch.

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