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Beauty with a Purpose

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Being amongst the smallest of archipelagos in the midst of the Mediterranean Sea and having recently joined the European Union, the inhabitants of the Maltese Islands are thankfully not suffering from extreme poverty and are not exposed to extreme living conditions. We have water and electricity in all parts of our Islands and 99.9% of our population have a shelter to sleep in. 

 Keeping this in mind, I still wanted to take on a project which would effect the entire Maltese population and not just a sector of it and this is how my Beauty with a Purpose idea and project developed. It is a known fact that Cancer has effected every Maltese family throughout the years and is by far the Maltese people's leading cause for mortality related to sickness. 

 The Maltese Government has very recently began to operate a new Oncology Hospital however it was left in a very bare and clinical state. After having discussed the issues present with a number of professionals working at the hospital and patients who are living at the hospital I formulated a issues which could be tackled to facilitate these people's lives. With the guidance of the President of Malta; her Excellency Marie Louise Coleiro Preca and her team,I have been working on a number of projects to give Malta's Oncology Hospital a less clinical environment for its patients. 

 Together with the team of professionals that I have gathered to help me and be part of this project, we have set a number of goals to reach by September 2017 - one year from the launch of this project

  1. A team of three artists have joined forces with the hopital's stationed artist. They have been divided into teams of two and through a series of seven workshops and following a given theme and endless research, each pair produces one piece of therapeutic art work for the hospital. These workshops cost Eur 150 each and hence every two pieces of artwork cost Eur 1050. 
  2. We have made an open call to local artists and will be meeting with them for a six hour workshop in the coming days prior to my departure for Washington. During this workshop we will provide these artists with specific therapeutic themes and will hence launch a project where the pieces of art produced with will be exhibited for auction to the general public. One piece of art will be selected by our medical professionals to be placed in one of the hospital wards and all the funds collected from the auction will go towards sustaining this project. 

 The above two tasks are related to the physical environment of the Oncology Hospital. The following two personally related to the patients and to their well being.

  1. We are currently in the midst of scheduling our first formal set of sensory workshops  after a set of pilot workshops which we carried out earlier on throughout the Summer in relation to complementary and alternative treatment and have been successful. We have gathered a group of 10 patients and 4 professionals who will be taking part in process of 4 therapeutic workshops. Aromatherapy, Music Therapy, Dance Movement Therapy, Visual and Artistic Therapy. I will give my full contributions to the entire workshop, however I will also be leading a part of the Dance and Movement aspect since I am qualified in this field.At the end of these workshops our patients will start to see life from a different perspective, one where cancer is just a word, not a conviction.
  2. This last part of my project for this year is that of raising enough money to be able to install a kindle to each of the 70 beds within this hospital. 

Unfortunately due to the retaining of certain bacteria within their pages, our inpatients are not allowed to have any access to books, magazines or newspapers at any time of their stay inside the hospital. Through research, it has been discovered that library books seem to be well adapted for carrying small-pox, measles, scarlet fever, trachoma, amongst many others and unfortunately as it stands, no satisfactory method for the disinfection of books is being used in the country as yet.  

 In order to try and solve this issue for our patients, we are working on installing kindles in the hospital wards since they are a very efficient alternative to hard copies of books and can be easily disinfected. This will allow our patients to be given the right to read, learn and if a student to proceed with their studies as normal. 

 Coming from a family who has been effected by cancer, I am aware of the pain and suffering that these patients and their families go through and knowing that this sickness is effecting so many  families on these tiny islands truly breaks my heart. I will continue to give everything I have towards trying to facilitate their lives in any way possible, helping them believe that cancer is just a word, not a conviction. 

 By Anthea Zammit - MISS WORLD MALTA 2016


Special Features

Each week, BWP will present a new in-depth report on one of the many charity projects worldwide that has benefitted from the work of Julia Morley and the support of Beauty with a Purpose. Keep watching this space for more details on these special features.

Julia Morley



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