The Puttinu Cares Foundation
The Puttinu Cares Foundation is a charitable NGO that was set up in 2001 with the sole aim of helping families whose children were having treatment for cancer by providing financial, social and support as may be required. Founding members included lay people, parents of patients and hospital professionals working with paediatric cancer patients. Its philanthropic activities are directed by an Executive Committee.
The character, Puttinu is an angel created by Mt. Philip Farrugia Randon. He was sent from heaven to take care of Toninu, a Maltese boy.
The foundation aims to:
- provide social, psychological and financial help to afflicted families;
- create awareness of paediatric cancer among the Maltese people; and
- serve as a pressure group representing the needs of paediatric cancer patients so that the care that they are given is always of the highest standards.
These objectives do not apply solely to affected children and their families but also to other persons as the Executive Committee may decide.
One of the NGO’s very first projects was to add some colour to the dull ward in the old St. Luke’s Hospital, where paediatric cancer patients were treated.
Thereafter the Foundation worked very hard to provide financial assistance to families of those little cancer patients who need to travel to the UK to receive treatment for cancer and has since grown to support cancer patients being treated at Rainbow Ward and abroad.
This organisation has grown over the years because someone dared to dream that it was possible to make the lives of those families with cancer afflicted children better despite the fact that they are facing a very difficult time in their lives. Many of the families that we have helped over the years, have joined the ranks of the little army behind Puttinu Cares.
Recently the Foundation acquired another piece of land in Sutton, UK. With this latest acquisition, the Foundation will be in a position to offer accommodation to more Maltese families who need to travel for treatment to UK. Indeed the Foundation is aiming to build a block of 15 apartments. The apartment block is presently being built and the whole project is estimated to cost three million pounds sterling (including the purchase of the land). At the time of writing this article €1.9 million still had to be paid.
We are humbled and overwhelmed by the generosity of the people. Puttinu Cares belongs to each and every one of us. Our dream has now become the dream of each and everyone who contributes in any way.. by donating funds, participating in the annual volleyball marathon, organising fund raising events, and of course to the tireless volunteers.
A friend in need is a friend indeed. Nobody can testify to this saying more than the people who are involved in Puttinu Cares. One mother described Puttinu Cares in the following manner: ‘Puttinu is everything. Puttinu is a ray of light in the darkest of moments.’