Vickie Gauci, Head, Department of Disability Studies, Faculty for Social Wellbeing, University of Malta, writes:
The Department of Disability Studies within the Faculty for Social Wellbeing at the University of Malta is deeply saddened at the loss of Marcel Pisani, one of the pioneers in the Maltese disability sector.
Marcel was one of the lecturers in the Disability Issues courses offered by the National Commission Persons with Disability starting in 1994.
These lectures are now being delivered by this department.
Marcel’s lectures were always delivered with great dedication because he truly believed that education was one of the primary tools in the formation of new professionals at the University of Malta.
He used his personal situation as a parent of two children with an intellectual impairment to promote the cause of people with a disability in our country. Along with his wife Adelina, he did not simply fight for better services for their own children. They became indefatigable advocates for the rights of people with disability in Malta.
They were key founders of the first support group for parents of children with disability, the National Parents’ Society of Persons with Disability.
Through this group, they gave their support to many other parents, who, at the time, had nowhere to turn to for advice.
Marcel and Adelina also worked tirelessly for the introduction of more services for children with disability and their families, working for increased inclusion in education and participation in community life.
Together with other parents in the National Parents’ Society of Persons with Disability and the Kummissjoni Nazzjonali Persuni b’Diżabilità, Marcel lobbied for the establishment of the Foundation for Respite Care Services and for the opening of Dar il-Kaptan in 1991.
He was the chairman of this foundation for many years and worked tirelessly for respite services to continue to be strengthened along the years.
At the start of the new millennium, Marcel sacrificed his career in the travel industry when he decided to take up the challenge of setting up Aġenzija Sapport which provides residential, community and day services for people with disability.
Within the agency, he was known for the way in which he constantly encouraged the employees to always keep the clients’ interests as a top priority in their work.
He had a genuine interest in each and every client of Aġenzija Sapport and knew their every need, focusing especially on those people with the most significant support needs.
Marcel’s funeral on February 14 was a testimony to a life of selfless giving for the improvement of the quality of life of disabled people and their families in Malta.
Thank you Marcel. It has been truly a privilege to have known you and worked with you in this sector.