News and Events
Mary & John

Two homeless refugees


These two clients were referred to YMCA by the Emigrants Commission as two homeless refugees. We took the case in mid-November 2003. They had left their country because of political and ethnic persecution by the main population in their home country. Upon arriving in Malta, they rented a place and looked for work. However, they were exploited and ended up penniless and homeless in a distressed condition. This is how they found their way to Mons. Philip Calleja's Office, who in turn referred them on to YMCA. Original agreement with the Emigrants' Commission was that they would provide them with food and clothing. However, this arrangement was rarely respected and therefore, YMCA decided to help them in this regard as well.

The problems we identified
  • Traumas brought on by discrimination, oppression and victimization in their homeland
  • Homelessness
  • Lack of any funds whatsoever
  • Language barrier and cultural differences
  • Emigration and refugee status issues
  • Communication skills
  • Social skills
  • Problem management
  • Unhealthy nutrition
  • Difficulty accepting that they are living in a shelter
  • Budgeting
The actions that were taken
  • Group and individual sessions to talk about and work upon certain traumas in order to relieve stress.
  • Liased with other professionals to help John and Mary deal with the traumas.
  • Provided outings and other activities such as voluntary work in order to help build self-esteem, fill their day up and provide further diversion from the effects of the traumas.
  • Provided John and Mary a place in the shelter and provided constant monitoring and support both material and emotional.
  • Provided food donations and various items of clothing.
  • Helped to ease them in the Maltese culture by liasing between them and various services and individuals to help lessen the culture shock.
  • Provided English lessons and put them in touch with education options in Malta.