As a result of three projects with a combined budget of over 60,000 euro from European Union funds, Żejtun now has restored church heritage, new equipment including that for music teaching in one of the band clubs, and a youth group exchange.
All this has been made possible with the assistance of MEUSAC, the Government agency whose aim is to get the citizens closer to the European Union.
The building of the church dedicated to St Catherine in Żejtun, the work of Lorenzo Gafa, was completed during the Baroque era at the beginning of the 18th century. At this time, the Confraternity of Our Lady of the Rosary had started to decorate its altar. With just over 10,000 euro from European Union funds, the confraternity restored the altar and two candlesticks, as explained by architect Reuben Abela, a member of the confraternity.
“The marble was scratched and becoming detached, and some parts had been lost, and we felt the need to professionally restore this artistic masterpiece,” Abela explained.
The Beland musical society is right opposite the church. In this environment, competent musicians are encouraging musical talent among younger generations. Mario Baldacchino explained that the club had benefited from 14,000 euro for the purchase of equipment which improves the systems in use for the teaching of music, as well as equipment for concerts, theatrical productions and cultural events, and the purchase of audio equipment for use in activities throughout the year.
“The aim is to continue to invest in and offer free music tuition to the Żejtun community, through an investment in modern equipment.”
Żejtun Local Council has also benefited from European funds, through close to 40,000 euro to administer an intracultural project with the participation of young representatives from four countries: Malta, Poland, Bulgaria and Latvia.
“We thought about how we could promote the culture of Żejtun, and came up with the idea of discussing with MEUSAC to develop an exchange project through the ERASMUS class,” Stephanie Fenech from Żejtun Local Council explained.
Minister for Social Dialogue Carmelo Abela stated that these kinds of projects provide the basis for boosting important cultural elements which are the backbone of the Maltese identity.
“This is a tangible way to use European funds for Maltese culture; the funds are being used for the arts, religious heritage, bands teaching music, and initiatives by local councils for exchanges to share Maltese culture with other cultures,” Minister Abela added.
The Minister said he hoped more organisations and entities, both Government and non-government, would mould their efforts through similar projects which are boosted through funds coordinated by MEUSAC.