St Margaret College, Secondary School, Verdala  |  (+356) 25985400|smc.verdala.ss@ilearn.edu.mt
Publications 2018-10-16T17:08:37+00:00

Publications

Young Reporters for the Environment students launch a litter-less project campaign in making Christmas cribs

On Friday, December 11, 2020, a group of Young Reporters for the Environment students at St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala, Cospicua launched a litter-less project campaign in making Christmas cribs. Upon invitation from their teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc, students Isaac Zerafa and Mikael Galea Kent offered a power-point presentation to their classmates at school about the process of making Christmas cribs using only recycled material.

Student Isaac Zerafa said; “I have learnt the technique of making a Christmas crib from my family and it is not so difficult to make. The materials required are few. I only make use of recycled material and it takes me a few days to complete the work.”

YRE students Isaac Zerafa and Mikael Galea Kent explained that a Christmas crib can easily be constructed with Papier Mache’. To adopt this technique, newspapers are dipped and soaked in glue and then left to dry. When dry, the papier mache’ gets hard and can be painted quite easily. To make the glue, one needs to pour half a litre of water in a bucket and add to flour to it while constantly stirring with a wooden stick. One keeps adding flour to water until the mixture becomes creamy but not so thick. Finally, a cup of carpenter’s white glue is added to the mixture. Actually water and flour is good enough for the mixture but adding the carpenter’s white glue makes it stronger and will keep insects away from the crib when kept in storage.

 

Then one dips and soaks the newspaper strips in the mixture and while still wet, the excess glue is removed. Once put on a cardboard base and frame, the newspapers strips are twisted and wrinkled to form the cave; and the ground can be covered with additional strips to make it uneven like rocks. Additional strips will make the big cave and other minor caves on each side. At this stage one can make use of his imagination to make the Christmas crib very original.

Another easy technique to make Christmas cribs is by using polyurethane foam or ‘jablo’. One can easily find jablo from package material used for home appliances and other goods and then patiently start cutting the jablo into small cubes using a sharp knife or blade, being careful with the handling of the knife. Once the jablo cubes are ready, one can use imagination to create a crib on a wooden base. Glue is needed once again to stick the jablo cubes together and pieces of net cloth soaked in glue can be used to form the green moss of the cave.

When the papier mache’ or jablo crib is dried and hardened one can then start the painting process. To make the paint, pour two tablespoons of carpenter’s glue into a small container and add to it four tablespoons of water while stirring. Then add two tablespoons of coloured powder, preferably using yellow pigment, and the paint mixture should be a bit thick, enough to cover the papier mache’ or jablo crib. Use the paint to cover the whole project material and add to it some white chalk powder if necessary. Then allow the material to dry for a couple of hours. Meanwhile prepare some brown and green paint using the same adopted technique for the yellow colour. When the yellow coat is nearly dry, start painting the crevasses with brown colour and dab some green colour around the brown to make it look like rocky moss. Painting the proper colours to make the whole project look like a natural cave requires skill and imagination too.

Then when everything has completely dried out, one can apply a semi-matte coat of clear varnish to bring out the colours and make it more vivid. When it comes to the painting process of a jablo crib one can make use of acrylic paint instead which makes it easier to cover.

Teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc, who coordinated this Litter-less Campaign school project said: “Our students were very eager to present this project as it was an opportunity for them to share their creativity and make other students aware of the need to be more environment-friendly in our decisions”.

Thanks to this litter-less school project campaign other students can make their own Christmas crib adopting the three R’s – REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE – which all help to cut down on the amount of waste we throw away and learn to conserve natural resources and energy.

This project aims to reach three of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action, and Quality Education.

May 1st, 2021|

St. Margaret College Secondary School YRE students create awareness about domestic violence in Malta and discuss solutions

On Thursday, November 26, 2020 a group of YRE (Young reporters for the environment) students from St. Margaret College Secondary School, Verdala, Cospicua, participated in a school project aiming to create more awareness about domestic violence in Malta and discuss possible solutions in this regard. This was a follow up school project on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women which is commemorated on November 25th. Since 1989, the month of October has also been selected as the National Domestic Awareness Month inviting people to reflect upon the reality and effect of domestic violence while offering a voice for the victims.

Domestic violence is a worldwide reality which affects all people regardless of age, status, sexual orientation, religion, race, gender or nationality. Domestic violence is very often experienced through physical abuse, emotional abuse and also controlling behavior through a systematic pattern of control and dominance. The effects of domestic violence can be very traumatic and creating awareness (especially in schools) about this topic is highly necessary and important.

Referring to the link: https://www.un.org/en/observances/ending-violence-against-women-day, the world experienced an increase in reported cases of all types of violence, particularly domestic violence, since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus the United Nations insists on an urgent need to address this issue seriously and create a global collective effort to stop it. This year’s theme for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect” and it consists of an intensive programme of 16 days campaign and discussions to address domestic violence worldwide.

In this regard, St. Margaret College YRE students accepted the invitation of teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc to engage themselves in a write-up for publication creating more awareness about the reality and effect of domestic violence in Malta.

According to the Malta Independent newspaper (dated 2nd April 2019), the Ministry for Home Affairs and National Security of Malta announced that in the year 2018, 1,341 cases of domestic violence were reported to the authorities in Malta. From 2010 to the end of 2018, 9,682 cases of domestic violence were reported where the majority of the victims were women and 23% men. However, not all reports ended up being taken to court. In the majority of these cases, domestic violence started as being slight bodily harm with physical force. Between 2015 and the end of 2018 there were 2,256 cases of domestic violence reported to the courts of Malta; out of these, 127 persons were found guilty and fined, 104 were time-barred and 10 persons jailed.

In this school project, St. Margaret College YRE students were invited to watch a short YouTube film called ‘What I see’ (see video:)

and hold a discussion in class. Then students came out with some practical solutions to address this issue of domestic violence. Student Hilaria Scerri insists on the need of an educational campaign about respect and tolerance in schools while students Nicole Zammit and Courtney Muscat are more in favour of immediate action and reporting to authorities to stop domestic violence. On the other hand, student Sherona Azzopardi highlights the importance of more awareness about domestic violence in schools and more financial support to institutions which offer shelter and protection to victims. Student Kelsey Bartolo suggests the importance of more marriage counselors and easy access to their offered service within the community.

This project aims to reach four of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Life on Land, Good Health and Well-being; Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions and Quality Education.

May 1st, 2021|

St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala students share the message of the Pope’s encyclical letter, ‘Fratelli tutti’

On Friday, October 23, 2020, senior teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc, invited a group of students to embark on a school project studying the encyclical letter of Pope Francis, ‘Fratelli Tutti’ (All Brothers) and share its message with other students. Pope Francis issued the encyclical letter ‘Fratelli Tutti’ on October 3rd and he is addressing his message not only to Christians worldwide but to all humans of good will.

Teacher Martin said that “the aim of this school study project is to make our students reflect upon the Pope’s message in his encyclical letter ‘Fratelli Tutti’ and invite them to put the needs of the poor and marginalised at the centre of their lives”. This school project was launched in link with the R.E. unit about the missionary character imprinted in the heart of Christians through Baptism and Confirmation.

‘Fratelli tutti’ is meant to unite communities during these difficult moments of fear caused by the corona virus pandemic and invite them to reflect upon the terrible effects of racism, inequality and climate change. In fact this encyclical letter is being referred to as the ‘Covid-19 encyclical letter’.

While Pope Francis’ encyclical letter ‘Laudato Si’ (Praise to You, 2015) invited all humanity to reflect upon the climate change issue and the urgent need to take care of our planet and ecosystem, ‘Fratelli Tutti’ is an invitation to take the principles of ‘fraternity’ and ‘social friendship’ seriously following the example of St. Francis of Assisi who “wherever he went … sowed the seeds of peace and walked alongside the poor, the abandoned, the infirm and the outcast, the least of his brothers and sisters”.

On quoting the www.unhcr.org, the number of sea arrivals to Malta at the start of 2020 was relatively high in January and February, with 989 people being disembarked in Malta during this period. In March, 146 people were rescued and disembarked in Malta by the AFM; 66 people in April, 72 in May and 426 in June. In July and August 2020, there were 463 sea arrivals.

Between January 1st and August 31st, 2020, 2,162 persons were rescued at sea and disembarked in Malta. This is a 4% decrease compared to sea arrivals in the same period last year (2,246 arrivals between January and August 2019).

These last two years for Malta have been marked by increased arrivals by sea, with 2019 being a record year in terms of the number of people disembarked in Malta following rescue in the Central Mediterranean.

This scenario is surely a lesson of how kind and good hearted are the Maltese people and the Pope’s letter is reminding us not to forget that these immigrants are not just numbers but human beings to be loved as brothers and sisters.

‘Fratelli Tutti’ is an urgent invitation to all humanity to rethink our styles of life, our friendships, and the organisation of our societies and the meaning of our existence especially now that we are all experiencing fear, pain, uncertainty and limitations due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Pope Francis is offering us the opportunity to think about a new vision of society in which human dignity and the human rights of all are to be respected.

Following this school study project, St. Margaret College students join Missio Malta missionary campaign inviting all the Maltese people to contribute and take Pope Francis’ call seriously to be loving brothers and sisters to all those in need of our help.

On Monday, December 21, 2020, His Holiness Pope Francis sent a letter of appreciation to Senior Religion teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc to thank his group of Form 5 Religion students at St. Margaret College Secondary School, Verdala, Cospicua who launched a project on October 23, 2020 about the Pope’s encyclical letter ‘Fratelli Tutti’ (All Brothers) and shared its message with other students.

This school project aims to reach eight of the main goals proposed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:  No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Life on Land, Good Health and Well-being, Quality Education, Gender Equality, Reduced Inequalities, and Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

May 1st, 2021|

St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala students reflect upon the value of Christian care during the year dedicated to St. Joseph

On Thursday, February 11, 2021, different groups of students from various classes at St. Margaret College Secondary School, Verdala, Cospicua reflected upon the value of Christian care during the year dedicated to St. Joseph. Pope Francis has proclaimed a “Year of St. Joseph” from December 8, 2020 to December 8, 2021 and thus Senior Religion teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc felt the need to launch this exercise at school. As this year marks the 150th anniversary of the declaration of St. Joseph as patron saint of the Universal (Catholic) Church by Pope Pius IX, Pope Francis issued a new apostolic letter entitled “Patris corde” (“With a Father’s Heart”) inviting all Christians and people of good will to reflect upon Saint Joseph as a loving father with a tender heart always obedient to God’s will.

In “Patris Corde”, Pope Francis is inviting us to see more clearly the importance of “ordinary” people who resemble Saint Joseph, “the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence” and like him exercise patience and offer hope to others every day. Pope Francis says that in Saint Joseph, “Jesus saw the tender love of God” and so we are called to imitate the tender heart of this Saint because “Only tender love will save us from the snares of the accuser”. Therefore, this year is an invitation to all Christians and people of good will to experience the tender love and mercy of God, especially in the Sacrament of Reconciliation because “we know that God’s truth does not condemn us, but instead welcomes, embraces, sustains and forgives us”.

So while focussing on the tender heart of St. Joseph, St. Margaret College students were invited by teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc to reflect upon the importance of Christian care for others in need. The following are some of the students’ reflections about the Christian sense of care:

 “Caring for my parents at home is very important as charity begins at home. We also need to remember our grandparents. Christian care and charity is to be exercised with everyone we happen to see in need even if they belong to another race” by student Matt Camilleri Lagana;

 “The sense of Christian care is needed with those who have no money or end up homeless. At school I can share my lunch with those students who have no lunch. We can also express a sense of care by just uttering a little compliment or by sharing our school notes with those students who are sick or not attending school due to the Covid-19 pandemic” by student Leonella Galea;

“Caring means being present with others in need of support especially when they feel lonely. Showing care means offering company to my mum if she ends up eating alone at home. Caring means feeling and empathizing with others especially in difficult times” by student Aiden Higgans;

“I can express a Christian sense of care by helping a classmate or a friend who is undergoing a difficult situation at home” by student Dashanne Vella;

 “A Christian sense of care entails helping and defending others who get bullied. On the other hand I can also express a sense of caring by praying for others, even for my enemies” by student Shania Duncan;

 “Expressing a sense of care means that we become sensitive to others in need of help” by student Amy Schembri;

 “Loneliness is a daily issue in today’s world and we need to express more sense of care to people who feel lonely or isolated in life” by student Chereen Buhagiar;

“Helping the poor should remain our main aim as Christians. We need to express a sense of care when situations in our families get hard” by student Rosaya Vella;

 “Words are not enough to express our sense of care but we also need to take action” by student Raisa Abela;

“Doing your utmost to make others smile is an act of Christian care” by student Jasmine Saliba Rodo.

Teacher Martin said that “It is very important to present Christian saints as role models to our youths, and helping them to reflect upon their Christian virtues is highly necessary in religious education.”

Pope Francis says that “A man does not become a father simply by bringing a child into the world, but by taking up the responsibility to care for that child.” Unfortunately, in today’s society, children and youths “often seem orphans, lacking fathers” who are able to introduce them “to life and reality.” So in the footsteps of St. Joseph our children and youths need fathers who will not try to dominate them, but instead raise them to be “capable of deciding for themselves, enjoying freedom and exploring new possibilities.”

This is the sense in which St Joseph is described as a “most chaste” father, which is the opposite of domineering possessiveness. Pope Francis says that St. Joseph “knew how to love with extraordinary freedom.  He never made himself the centre of things.  He did not think of himself, but focused instead on the lives of Mary and Jesus.”

This project aims to reach four of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Good Health & Well-being, Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, Life on Land and Quality Education.

May 1st, 2021|

St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala students reflect upon the pastoral letter for Lent 2021 issued by the Maltese bishops inviting us to safeguard the dignity of life

On Thursday, February 25, 2021, a group of Form 5 (year 11) students at St. Margaret College Secondary School, Verdala, Cospicua reflected upon the pastoral letter for Lent 2021 issued by the Maltese bishops. This project was coordinated by Senior Religion teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc and related to the R.E. study unit about the Importance of Life.

In their pastoral letter for Lent, the Maltese bishops invite all Maltese Christians to reflect upon the importance of being Pro Life and safeguarding the dignity of life. In the pastoral letter we read: “In a spirit of care and solidarity we need to work harder for a culture that respects the life and dignity of every person. Every human life is precious and is created in God’s image. It is this protection of human life, from the first moments of conception, throughout every moment of life until its natural end that forms the foundation of a culture of respect for the rights of every person. The weak and vulnerable require more attention and care. No one is useless; no one should ever be eliminated.”

Thus, after reading the pastoral letter for Lent, Religion teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc invited his students to share their personal insights about the dignity of life. The following are some of the students’ reflections and insights:

“We have to be in favour of life because life is a gift from God and only God can give and take life. Throughout life we can receive many graces from God which makes our life a beautiful adventure on earth. Life is a treasure from God and nobody has the right to take someone’s life, nor can we take our own life” by student Christie Gialanze’;

“We have to safeguard life from the very start till the very end and learn to live our whole life with courage both in the good and bad moments. There is no better school and no better church than the family to help us grow and appreciate the gift of life” by student Charnelle Spiteri Cohen;

 “Only God can give and take life and not mankind. To admire the beauty of life we need the help of the Church which continuously invites us to follow Jesus – the Way, the Truth and Life” by student Leon Micallef;

 “Respecting life means respecting every human cell, every embryo and every baby” by student Christine Iriele;

“What God created is to be respected and not destroyed by mankind. Saving life should be our first priority but to do so we need to get more close to God’s love for us” by student Dasianne Agius.

During this exercise held in class, St. Margaret College students were given the Rosary of the Unborn which the Irish Catholic couple, Declan and Carmel Waters launched in our school some years ago. Since then, the Rosary of the Unborn is practiced at St. Margaret College and students pray daily the Hail Mary prayer to discourage abortion around the world.

Teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc concludes, saying: “It is very important that our R.E. students get in touch with the pastoral letters of our bishops and find the space to reflect upon their message. It is necessary that we discuss the pastoral letters of our bishops and the encyclical letters of our Pope with our R.E. students at school.”

Special thanksgivings go to our Maltese bishops, Mons Charles Jude Scicluna (Archbishop of Malta), Mons Anton Teuma (Bishop of Gozo) and Mons Joseph Galea Curmi (Auxiliary Bishop of Malta) for their continuous Christian teaching and guidance. Thanks also to LSE Ms Ruth Aquilina for all her help and assistance throughout this Religion project.

This project aims to reach four of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Good Health & Well-being, Life on Land, Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, and Quality Education.

May 1st, 2021|

St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala students learn about the difference between Christmas and Hanukkah

On Friday, December 4, 2020, a group of Form 4 (year 10) students at St. Margaret College Secondary School, Verdala, Cospicua were introduced to the Jewish celebration of ‘Hanukkah’ and learned about the difference between Christmas and Hanukkah. This school project was coordinated by senior teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc and it was related to the R.E. study unit about World Religions.

Both the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah and the Christian celebration of Christmas fall in December and they are gift-giving events. Christmas marks the birth of Jesus Christ and it is perhaps the most significant Christian observance of the Christian calendar. On the other hand, Hanukkah was until modern times a fairly minor Jewish observance which commemorates a Jewish history event that happened in the 2nd century B.C.

Christmas is celebrated on December 25th of the solar calendar and Hanukkah also falls on the 25th of the Jewish month of Kislev in the lunar calendar. While Christmas lasts one day, Hanukkah is an eight day holiday which commemorates the miracle of the ‘menorah’ (The menorah; Hebrew: מְנוֹרָה‎ is described in the Bible as the seven-lamp ancient Hebrew lamp stand made of pure gold and used in the portable sanctuary set up by Moses in the wilderness and later in the Temple in Jerusalem. Fresh olive oil was burned daily to light its lamps. Hanukkah commemorates what happened in the temple of Jerusalem when one vial of oil, sufficient to light the ancient Temple of God for one day, burned for full eight days. This Jewish historical event occurred a century before the birth of Christ when the Jews revolted against the Greek pagan king Antiochus.

Normally, Hanukkah is celebrated by lighting candles, giving gifts and eating fried food, while Christmas is celebrated by attending Christmas Mass in church, enjoying a Christmas lunch or dinner and opening presents left under a Christmas tree. During Hanukkah Jews are not obliged to go to the synagogue and normally they celebrate this event at home.

Teacher Martin said that “We Christians have inherited so much from the Jewish faith and God’s own Son; the Messiah came from the Jewish People of God. Our Christian faith in Jesus as Saviour of Mankind is the key to peace of heart and hope for the future. We can now look back on a long Jewish history of salvation, but forward to the day when His kingdom enfolds people from every land.”

This school project was meant to make St. Margaret College students aware of a Jewish festivity that normally occurs during the Christmas season and to appreciate the religious meaning of its celebration. Thanks to this school study project, students enhanced their multicultural knowledge and acquired more respect and understanding towards other faiths and customs.

Five of the main goals proposed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:  Quality Education, Gender Equality, Reduced Inequalities, Life on Land, and Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions are reached by this project.

May 1st, 2021|

St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala students learn about China’s earthquake-resistant buildings since antiquity

On Wednesday, March 10, 2021, a group of Form 3 (Year 9) CCP Science students at St. Margaret College Secondary School, Verdala, Cospicua participated in a school project learning about China’s earthquake- resistant buildings since antiquity. This project was coordinated by Senior Science teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc and it was related to the Science study unit about Forces and Motion. Throughout this project students had the opportunity to watch a short documentary about how a structure built in the Forbidden City holds up to a simulated earthquake test. This science test can be watched in the following video:

 

Earthquakes are experienced in many parts of the world, but China had the world’s 10 deadliest earthquakes. China is susceptible to earthquakes due to the structure and position of the globe’s tectonic plates.

Earthquakes in China has always been taken seriously and 2500 years ago Chinese builders developed earthquake-resistant structures with interlocking flower-shaped brackets called ‘dougong’ that survive modern day shake tests.

It was during the Spring and Autumn period (770-476 B.C.) that China adopted the ‘dougong’ system in architecture to build temples and palaces. The ‘dougong’ system consists of a series of interlocking beams cut to precise measurements that, when compressed under the weight of the buildings’ heavy timber roofs, are strong enough to withstand earthquakes. By using a large number of pieces in the design, the weight is shared so individual elements are not prone to splitting or cracking. The pieces are fitted together without using nails or glue and require formidable skill and precision to make each timber piece.

What surprises European architects is that the system isn’t sunk into the ground with a foundation or footing but it floats, sitting lightly on the ground.

In 2008, China experienced a massive earthquake in the Sichuan province. It is estimated that over 69,000 people lost their lives in the earthquake and more than 300,000 people were injured. Since then, massive changes in regulations have been introduced to ensure that rebuilt buildings are able to withstand earthquakes and many Chinese architects are trying to imitate the old ‘dougong’ system when designing new building structures.

At the end of this project students discussed building sustainability and earthquake-resistant buildings in Malta.

Teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc and his students offer thanksgivings to the Malta China Cultural Centre and the Chinese Embassy in Malta for their continual help and support in fulfilling these school study projects.

This project aims to reach three of the main goals proposed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:  Good Health and Well-being, Life on Land, and Quality Education.

May 1st, 2021|

St. Margaret College students join Missio Malta in aid of vulnerable poor children in Ghana

The month of October is dedicated to the Christian Missions worldwide and this year St. Margaret College Secondary School; Verdala students join Missio Malta in aid of vulnerable poor children in Ghana. On Monday October 19, 2020, senior teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc launched a missionary campaign at school inviting his students to do a research study project about child poverty in Ghana and join the Missio Malta fundraising campaign in aid of vulnerable poor children, especially those of Nazareth Catholic Home in Ghana led by Sr. Stan Therese Mumini.

Teacher Martin said that “the purpose of this school research study project is to understand the complexity of child poverty in Ghana and encourage students to be participants and not just spectators in this missionary campaign led by Missio Malta”.

According to https://www.unicef.org/ghana/reports/multi-dimensional-child-poverty-ghana three-in-four children (73.4 %) in Ghana are identified as multi-dimensionally poor, facing at least three deprivations at the same time. Rural children show significantly higher multi-dimensional deprivation rates in comparison to urban children (81.5 % versus 62.5 %, respectively).

On paper, the Constitution of Ghana offers its country children their proper rights but in reality the situation is still too far away from legal guidelines and normal expectations.

On consulting https://www.humanium.org/en/ghana/ St. Margaret College students found that in Ghana one in ten children is underweight and so child malnutrition is affecting the learning ability and immune system of many children. In fact mortality rate of children in Ghana (under the age of five) is still high, especially during the first 28 days of newborns. In this regard, anaemia is one of the main causes.

Increasing child vaccination in Ghana can ensure children’s immunity to the most common diseases which affect children in both densely populated and remote areas.

Although in Ghana 87% of boys and 86% of girls complete their primary school education, only 58% of boys and 57% of girls complete their secondary school education. Also, girls have more difficulties in completing their secondary school education when compared to boys although literacy rate for women (84%) is higher than that of men (74%). Apart from these facts, teaching and learning conditions in Ghana are still poor and very often children learn in overcrowded classes with lack of materials. (See: https://www.humanium.org/en/ghana/)

Another issue is that in Ghana 25% of children are exploited to do forced labour: mostly in agriculture, others in industry. In cities, children end up working as street vendors, polishing shoes, working in restaurants and carrying parcels while in rural areas they end up cultivating crops, taking care of cattle, fishing and carrying stones. (See: https://www.humanium.org/en/ghana/)

Moreover, in the north of Ghana, ancient traditions and rituals have led to ritual killings of children, mostly those  suffering from a disability. The killing of disabled children in Ghana is very often due to the belief that they are possessed by an evil spirit which brings bad luck to those around them. In fact, this sort of ignorance is leading to the killing of many disabled children each year by these obscure rituals.

However, one of the major problems in Ghana is human trafficking, mostly affecting girls aged 7 to 16 and boys aged 10 to 17. Due to human trafficking, boys end up working illegally in mines, cocoa plantations or in the fishing industry. Girls normally end up serving in domestic labour. (See: https://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and analysis/tip/2021/GLOTiP_2020_15jan_web.pdf)

While successes are to be recognized, it is important to highlight the fact that without more investment from both government and foreign aid, child poverty in Ghana will remain a serious issue. Thus St. Margaret College students unite with Missio Malta to create awareness about child poverty in Ghana and encourage others to contribute to the fundraising campaign in aid of vulnerable poor children.

This school project aims to reach seven of the main goals proposed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:  No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well-being, Quality Education, Gender Equality, Reduced Inequalities, and Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

May 1st, 2021|

St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala students accept the Pope’s invitation to youths and compose some few verses of tenderness to a lonely elderly woman for Christmas

On Monday, December 14, 2020, a group of Form 4 (year 10) students at St. Margaret College Secondary School, Verdala, Cospicua accepted Pope Francis’  invitation to youths and composed some few verses of tenderness to a lonely elderly woman for Christmas as instructed by senior teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc. Students were invited to reflect upon the Pope’s Angelus message (dated July 26, 2020) and accept the invitation to reach out to their grandparents or the elderly who may be lonely or living on their own.

In his message, His Holiness Pope Francis says; “Our invitation to young people is to reach out to the loneliest elderly people in their neighbourhood or parish and send them a hug by means of a phone call, a video call or by sending an image. Wherever possible or whenever the health emergency will allow it, we invite young people to make the embrace even more concrete by visiting the elderly in person,”

Thus teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc made his students aware of an elderly woman who is a widow and who lives alone in a village in Malta. As she never had children, she dedicated most of her free time feeding cats in the streets and very often she slept outdoors surrounded by cats. Now she is too frail to go outdoors and she has commissioned another person to take care of her cats. Probably she would spend the Christmas festivities indoors and so teacher Martin thought it would be a kind gesture inviting his students to write some few words of comfort to this elderly woman in particular.

Pope Francis is inviting youths to “Use the inventiveness of love, make phone calls, video calls, send messages, listen to them and, where possible, in compliance with health care regulations, go to visit them, too. Send them a hug,”… “Do not leave them by themselves.”

St. Margaret College students accepted the Pope’s invitation and composed some few words of comfort to this elderly woman which teacher Martin would present to her personally on their behalf. The following are some of the students’ words of comfort:

 “I wish you a Happy Christmas and good health. Remember that God is always with you and He is smiling at you all the time” by student Isaac Abo Hasson;

 “I admire you for your kindness and generosity in taking care of cats. I’m sure that God will reward you for all your kindness” by student Kayleen Busuttil;

 “As you might probably spend Christmas alone at home we are all with you and God is always with you as He is our Emmanuel” by student Maya Bartolo;

“Keep strong in your hope and trust in God so you can start experiencing the love of heaven from earth” by student Aidan Muscat;

“You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Best wishes for Christmas and Happy New Year” by student Elisa Vella;

 “As I know that you feed many cats in your village, let me tell you that you have a big golden heart. Best wishes” by student Aceline Grixti;

“You are never alone as we are with you and we all wish you a Happy Christmas” by student Anastasia Darmanin;

“Christmas is a time of joy and so let nothing fill your heart with sadness. Even if now you feel sad, God will change your sadness into joy” by student Kheloud Abdul Rezaq;

“Let us rejoice together this Christmas as Jesus is our SAVIOUR. I wish you peace and joy” by student Lars Bahmuller.

Teacher Martin said that “this exercise was an opportunity for our students to put into practice the Pope’s message for youths. Going through all these brief sentimental words written by my students, I realize how kind and special are our Maltese youths. I am also glad to see Muslim students participating in this exercise as God’s call for kindness is universal”.

As the pandemic is affecting many elderly people, Pope Francis is inviting all young people to make a concrete “gesture of tenderness toward the elderly, especially the loneliest, in their homes and residences, those who have not seen their loved ones for many months” while continuing to follow the health restrictions to curb the spread of the corona virus.

This project aims to reach two of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Good Health & Well-being and Quality Education.

May 1st, 2021|

St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala Queen’s Young Leaders Group of students commemorate the 76th anniversary of Auschwitz Liberation Camp Day

January 27th marks Auschwitz Liberation Camp Day and this year commemorates the 76th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz Camp in Poland. In preparation for this Memorial Day, on Friday January 22, 2021, St. Margaret College Verdala School, Queen’s Young Leaders group of students together with their teacher, Martin Azzopardi sdc launched a research study project about the atrocities committed in Auschwitz Concentration Camp by the Nazi Regime.

This year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the commemoration of the 76th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz will be held online and will highlight the fate of children in the camp.

It is estimated that roughly 232,000 children and young people were deported to Auschwitz, of whom 216,000 were Jews, 11,000 Roma, 3,000 Poles, more than 1,000 Belarusians, and several hundred Russians, Ukrainians, and others. Only approximately 700 were liberated. (See: http://auschwitz.org/en/fate-of-children-in-auschwitz/)

Quoting Dr. Piotr M. A. Cywiński, the director of Auschwitz Museum, ‘Over 200,000 children were murdered in Auschwitz. Completely innocent, good, curious about life, loving their closest ones, trusting children. The adult world – after all, so often unjust and cruel – has never demonstrated so much of its heartlessness, its evil. This cannot be justified by any ideology, reckoning or politics. This year we want to dedicate the anniversary of liberation to the youngest victims of the camp.’ (See: http://auschwitz.org/en/home-page-76/)

Auschwitz Concentration Camp was liberated on the 27th January 1945 by the 60th Army of the First Ukrainian Front soldiers who brought freedom to the prisoners, victims of the Nazi regime. After the liberation of the city of Krakow by the Russian Red Army, seven thousand prisoners awaited liberation in the Main Camp of Auschwitz, Birkenau, and Monowitz. Before and soon after January 27, other 500 prisoners in the Auschwitz sub-camps in Stara Kuźnia, Blachownia Śląska, Świętochłowice, Wesoła, Libiąż, Jawiszowice, and Jaworzno were also liberated.

In the Main Camp of Auschwitz and Birkenau, 600 corpses of prisoners shot by the withdrawing Nazi SS were discovered by Soviet soldiers. Due to lack of registration records, we still do not know exactly how many people were sent to Auschwitz and how many died in the camp. However, it is estimated that 1.3 million people were sent to Auschwitz between 1940 and 1945 and about 1.1 million of these people died or were killed at Auschwitz. (See: http://auschwitz.org/en/liberation-of-kl-auschwitz/)

This year’s commemoration will exceptionally not be held at the Memorial and the online broadcast will be available at www.auschwitz.org and 76.auschwitz.org as well as on the Memorial Youtube, Facebook and Twitter.

This project aims to reach five of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Reduced Inequalities; Good Health and Well-being; Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions; and Quality Education.

May 1st, 2021|

St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala, CCP Science students learn about the healthy benefits of Dark Chocolate

On Wednesday February 24, 2021, Form 3 CCP Science students at St. Margaret College Secondary School, Verdala, Cospicua participated in a Science project about the healthy benefits of dark chocolate. In this Science project, students learned about the history and the production of dark chocolate. This project was organized by Senior Science teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc and was related to the science study unit about mixtures.

The making of dark chocolate is quite a lengthy process which first involves the picking of ripe cacao beans from cacao trees. Then these cacao beans are cleaned and left to ferment for approximately nine days with the help of a yeast-based starter. The cacao beans are then put in wooden boxes or covered by banana leaves to develop their flavour. During this process the appropriate temperature, humidity and ventilation are necessary.

After fermentation, the cacao beans are left to dry and then roasted to acquire a dark brown colour and develop their flavour and aroma. Then the outer shell of the beans needs to be removed in order to get the inner beans called nibs. These nibs are then ground at high pressure to produce cocoa mass (chocolate liquor) and cocoa butter. Sugar is then mixed with cocoa mass and cocoa butter to produce a paste which needs to undergo a conching process.

The conching process involves rolling, rubbing and heating steps until the mixture becomes smooth and creamy. Chocolate will be smoother if the conching process is longer. Then a stabiliser (like soy lecithin) and additional flavours (like sea salt or vanilla) are added to the mixture. Finally comes the tempering process whereby the chocolate mixture is poured into moulds to cool and turn solid.

Dark chocolate should contain at least 75% cocoa chocolate, as the larger the cocoa percentage, the greater the health benefits. Flavoured dark chocolate is likely to contain more sugar and salt and so it is better to opt for plain dark chocolate to attain more health benefits. Consuming 20g of dark chocolate (two large squares or six small pieces) a day offers many health benefits but a balanced diet is always recommended, as dark chocolate contains saturated fat and sugar.

One of the benefits of dark chocolate is that it is rich in antioxidants and flavanols. The health benefit of flavanols is that they help our body to improve the cells that line the insides of our blood vessels and so reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Other studies show that flavanols in dark chocolate offer some type of neuro-protective benefits and prevention from Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Flavanols also have an anti-inflammatory effect which prevents inflammatory bowel disease; they can also protect our skin from sun damage because flavanols improve blood flow to the skin and increase skin density and hydration.

 

Another health benefit of dark chocolate is the fact that cocoa contains stimulant substances like caffeine and theobromine which can improve and stimulate the brain function.

At the end of this research science project, participating students discussed the issue of fair-trade in the production of dark chocolate as some workers involved in this market (especially in African countries) are exploited. After the discussion students enjoyed the tasting of a piece of dark chocolate with 75% cocoa.

This project aims to reach three of the main goals proposed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:  Good Health and Well-being, Life on Land, and Quality Education.

May 1st, 2021|

St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala, CCP Science students learn about filtration and how to make a water filter at home as part of their Science practicum

On Wednesday February 3, 2021, Form 3 CCP Science students at St. Margaret College Secondary School, Verdala, Cospicua learned about the process of filtration and how to make a water filter at home as part of their Science practicum. This Science task was related to their Science study unit about Filtration and Separating Mixtures.

After learning the science concept of solubility and insolubility, students were given the task of learning how to separate sand from water through a simple filtration experiment. Then students were encouraged to build a simple water filter at home as part of the ‘Saving the Drop Campaign’. It doesn’t take long to build a simple water filter at home and students were encouraged to opt for recycling material in this science task.

To build a water filter at home one needs the following materials: plastic bottle, tall drinking glass, small stones or gravel, clean sand, activated charcoal, cotton balls or cloth and scissors or knife.

Then one has to follow some simple steps to build a basic water filter. First, one cuts the bottom of the plastic bottle using scissors or knife and place it upside down into the tall drinking glass. The first thing to put inside the plastic bottle is cotton balls or cloth, making a two inch thick layer. Then one adds an inch of activated charcoal as the second layer on top of the cotton layer. As third layer, one adds about two inches of small stones or gravel and then as fourth layer, another four inches of clean sand on top of the gravel. The final layer should be another layer of gravel while leaving a half-inch space from the top of the upside down bottle. Then first tests can be done by pouring some muddy water in the water filter and observing the filtered water dripping down clean into the glass below. It is important to avoid drinking the filtered water unless it is boiled.

For this experiment, students were instructed to test the water before and after the filtration process. Several water filters can also be made using different materials to observe which materials better filter muddy or dirty water into clean water.

The materials used to build a water filter at home can easily be found and it is very important that recycled material is used for this science project. Instead of cotton balls or cloth, a coffee filter can be used and instead of gravel, small pebbles would do just as well.

Each layer of the water filter has a purpose. Large sediments (like leaves or insects) in water are filtered while going through the small stones or gravel, whereas fine impurities are removed by the sand layer. Finally, contaminants and other impurities are removed by the activated charcoal through chemical absorption.

Senior Science teacher, Martin Azzopardi sdc (who supervised this experiment) said: “Teaching Science students how to build a water filter at home is a very simple science task which helps them understand the need to save every drop of water at home and put science into practice.”  

Mother Earth filters water naturally as it is absorbed into the aquifers of the ground. Ground soil filters water from leaves, insects and other debris as part of the water cycle infiltration process. Unfortunately, ground water is being contaminated due to pollution such as household chemicals/products and fertilizers and so it becomes unsafe to drink.

Thanks to this science project, students learn how the process of infiltration works and are encouraged to save water consumption. This project aims to reach three of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action, and Quality Education.

May 1st, 2021|

St. Margaret College Senior Secondary School Verdala Queen’s Young Leaders highlight the selected theme for Commonwealth Day 2021

On Monday, March 8, 2021 St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala, Cospicua, Queen’s Young Leaders Group: Miguel Fenech, Jurgen Xuereb and Jayden Degiorgio, together with their teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc (founder of the Verdala Queen’s Young Leaders Group) highlighted the importance of the selected theme for the 2021 Virtual Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). As March 8 marks both the Commonwealth Day and International Women’s Day, the theme for this year’s CHOGM is: Women’s leadership in Delivering a Common Future’. This theme was selected because the 54 Commonwealth member countries are connected by deep-rooted friendship networks and committed to recognise women leaders across the Commonwealth, during COVID-19 and beyond. This CHOGM event will put a spotlight on women’s leadership in responding to COVID-19 and charting an equitable recovery. Stories of women from across the Commonwealth who are challenging gender norms through their work will be shared in this year’s CHOGM virtual meetings.

Commonwealth country nations will also hold discussions and seek new ways how to protect the natural resources, boosting trade, and delivering a peaceful, prosperous and more sustainable future for all.

This year the celebration of the union of Commonwealth nations across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Americas, the Pacific and Europe will be held virtually on Monday March 8 without the usual Westminster Abbey service. On Sunday, March 7, H.M. the Queen, who is the head of the Commonwealth, participates in a BBC One programme joined by a number of senior royals. This programme includes a reflection from Denise Lewis, a two-time Commonwealth Games heptathlon champion, and prayers led by the Dean of Westminster, Rev. Dr David Hoyle. In this special broadcast Her Majesty’s lifetime commitment to the Commonwealth is given prominence. Queen Elizabeth II became Head of the Commonwealth in 1952, at the age of 26 and thanks to her efforts, the Commonwealth country nations have grown from seven countries to 54 nation members. Throughout her reign, H.M. the Queen undertook more than 200 visits to Commonwealth countries and her efforts for unity and solidarity are to be admired. St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala, Cospicua, Queen’s Young Leaders Group promise their loyalty, prayers and respect to H.M the Queen Elizabeth II as head of the Commonwealth.

This project aims to reach seven of the main goals proposed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:  No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well-being, Quality Education, Gender Equality, Reduced Inequalities, and Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

To note: Photos seen in this article were taken before the Covid19 pandemic.

May 1st, 2021|

Reusable protective masks to increase Litter Awareness among our students

Our school aims to engage and educate students on the issue of litter while encouraging them to make positive choices. However, this scholastic year we decided to invest the campaign funds in purchasing three-layered reusable protective masks which we distributed to all Year 11 students. The idea was to raise awareness about the management of litter and waste considering that these masks contain materials that do not recycle and are not biodegradable.

I would like to thank Mr. Ellul (Head of School) for his contribution and support, Mr. Balzan (Art teacher) for doing the logo design that was printed on each mask; and Ms. Grech (Asst Head) for assisting in the logo printing.

We look forward to creating more litter awareness among our students #litterless

May 1st, 2021|

Another Successful Story to our Verdala Green Team

We are pleased to announce that although this year was an extraordinary year, due to the COVID19 pandemic, our school managed to place 2nd in a YRE International Video Competition.

We are all very satisfied with this achievement and of course, all this was possible thanks to great teamwork and communication.

To make up a professional, effective, and meaningful three-minute video, was not an easy task.  But thanks to our hard work and dedication, we made it!

Yet, the school committee in charge of Informal Education Events would like to congratulate the students:  Katriel Zahra (11.8),  Kylieanne Apap (10.7), Annastasia Darmanin (10.1), Aceline Grixti (10.1), Martina Magro (10.2) and Maruska Pulis (10.8) for this amazing international success.

Finally, a huge well done goes to ALL other students who all did a great job in article writing, poem writing and submission of other videos.  Many thanks to all educators involved especially Mr Martin Azzopardi who is always willing to contribute with students’ entries.

All together we make wonders!  However, we do encourage all the students at our school, including those who never involved themselves to participate – feel free to contact me if you think you can do something for our environment.  Such lifelong learning opportunities do not come very often in our life and it is amazing how students mature when after they get involved in these projects.  I also encourage students to follow online webinars organized by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) as they help us to reflect further about our environment and how can we contribute for a better living.

We take this opportunity to wish you all the very best for this scholastic year and best wishes to you and your loved ones for the festive season.

“In life, always remember to act to your ambitions”.  

“Go Green and Help Save the Environment”.

Regards,

Ms. Flavia Grima

Committee Chairperson and YRE / LEAF Link Educator

Onor Minister Aaron Farrugia addressing the students

Our School on top during YRE Awards Ceremony

 

Showing most of our students participating during the event

November 27th, 2020|

National Young Reporter’s for the Environment Competition: More Great News!

Considering all the restrictions due to the Coronavirus, this year there was a record of submissions as there were 237 entries in total (Malta & Gozo).  It’s good to know that categories this year were varied – apart from the usual YRE and litterless, we also participated in the YREstayshome section, where students had to be creative in reporting from home.  Ms Audrey Gauci (Nature Trust Coordinator) told me that she is very proud of our students as they all did a lot of effort during this extraordinary time while they did a great job!

 

Apart from the successful entries mentioned by Mr Martin Azzopardi, I must share with you the GREAT NEWS!!!!  The video where we interviewed the three Cottonera Mayors and we also did a vox-pop at Vittoriosa Street Market,  ended up placing 1st in the Litterless category!!!!!!  It was worth spending so much time editing and including subtitles to target more audience 🙂

 

Here are the video details:

Video Title (Category 15-18): Litterless Initiatives in the Cottonera Area 

Students involved:  Kylieanna Apap, Katriel Zahra, Annastasia Darmanin, Aceline Grixti, Martina Magro & Maruska Pulis

https://www.yremalta.org/pastentries/litterlessinitiatives-in-thecottonera-area/

 

The other two videos we submitted last May:

  1. Analyzing the Use of Plastics & the Impact of COVID-19 on the Environment (by: Lauren Galea and Aceline Grixti) and
  2. Reflecting on How the COVID-19 Managed to Improve the Environment in Malta (by: Elisa Vella, Annastasia Darmanin, Chanise Mifsud) ended up in the COMMENDED list! 🙂

 

Other COMMENDED articles (category 11-14) carried out by students who all worked in great coordination with me and Ms Juliette Spiteri during the lock down are:

 

Title: Marine Litter (Students: Lauren Galea, Maya Bartolo, Elisa Vella & Chanise Mifsud).

Title: Land Pollution (Students: Kheloud Abdel Razek, Emily Cilia).

Title: Understanding Air Pollution (Students: Annastasia Darmanin, Aceline Grixti, Martina Magro).

 

RE categorizing it’s good to know that – COMMENDED entries mean that they were up to standard and had good reporting.  Finalists are those that were above standard / better than the rest and had a very good chance of winning.

ALL STUDENTS will be given a certificate – Ms Audrey Gauci will be sending them in the coming days.  Prizes are only for the actual winners.

 

I really would like to thank EVERYONE who contributed especially Ms Marlene Gatt who introduced me to her students; Ms Marlene Galea and Mr Andrew Calleja for uploading material on our school facebook page and school website; and Mr Kenneth Abela for his dedication in taking videos and editing.  Many thanks to Mr Martin Azzopardi for his amazing collaboration and support – even though he’s not part of our committee he dedicate a lot of time to assist me in this very interesting fieldwork.  Every year, he puts a lot of effort and thanks to him, we are involving many more students to participate in the YRE and Litterless Campaign.   Also many thanks to Ms Leanne Lewis for accepting to be interviewed about the plastic Christmas tree last December and to ALL THE MEMBERS in the committee who all did their effort from the very beginning of this scholastic year.  I truly appreciate everyone’s effort!  Last but definitely not least, I really would like to thank all the SMT members for their great cooperation and support.  Here I must mention Mr Daniel Spiteri and Ms Lydia Zammit (Asst Heads) for their impressive support.  Honestly I believe that where there is a joint effort and a good teamwork, positive results will come up – no matter the circumstances!  😉

 

I look forward to work with you ALL again next scholastic year!  Meanwhile, I take this opportunity to wish you all a well deserved summer recess.

 

Cheers and take care,

Flavia Grima

Head of Department ICT

St Margaret College Senior Secondary School, Verdala

Cospicua

July 1st, 2020|

National Young Reporter’s for the Environment Competition: Wonderful News!

Out of so many participating state/church/independent schools, our School Religion and Science Department students hit once again the top records of the National Young Reporter’s for the Environment Competition as follows:

 

Honourable mention in the category of YRE Article 15-18

  1. Young Reporter’s for the Environment students launch a litter less project campaign in making Paper Roll Angel decorations for Advent and Christmas

by Religion Dept. students: Miguel Fenech, Jurgen Xuereb, Jayden Degiorgio

 

Finalists and Commended YRE 2019 – 2020 Article 15 – 18

  1. Applied Science CCP students create awareness about the risks of extra sugar in our daily diets – COMMENDED

by Science Dept. students: Decelis Luca, Zammit Kaylon, Knaan Gaze, Bonnici Raiza

  1. Raising an awareness campaign about breast cancer at school during the Pink October Campaign – COMMENDED

by Science Dept. students: Emerson Bugeja, Daishan Psaila, Jean Vella, Tiernan Fraser

  1. Verdala Queen’s Young Verdala Leaders Group commemorate Mental Illness Awareness Week – COMMENDED

by Science Dept. student: Shaun Portelli

  1. Maltese students join Missio Malta in aid of the Myanmar missionary campaign – COMMENDED

by Religion Dept. students: Maya Nussbaum, Sarah Fiorini, Cody Parnis, Jake Chetcuti

  1. A Pro-Life Catholic Irish couple addresses Maltese students who recite the Rosary of the Unborn – COMMENDED

by Religion Dept. students: Scicluna Raisa, Bonello Owen

  1. Maltese students commemorate the 75th anniversary of Auschwitz Liberation Camp Day – COMMENDED

by Religion Dept. students:  Klaydi Borg, Darnoc Mizzi, Grech Carl, Mariema Zahra

  1. Young Reporter’s for the Environment students launch a litter less project campaign in making Paper Roll Angel decorations for Advent and Christmas – COMMENDED

by Religion Dept. students:  Miguel Fenech, Jurgen Xuereb, Jayden Degiorgio

 

Finalists and Commended YRE 2019 – 2020 Photo 15 – 18

  1. Do cliffs need doors? – FINALIST

by Religion Dept. student: Maya Nussbaun

  1. Halloween pumpkins scaring the cliffs – FINALIST

by Religion Dept. student: Maya Nussbaun

  1. Construction waste an eyesore to our natural environment – COMMENDED

by Religion Dept. student: Jasmin Farrugia

  1. Baby playpen ends up on Xaqqa Cliffs – COMMENDED

by Religion Dept. student: Maya Nussbaun

  1. Burnt Fanta lemonade bottles poison the natural habitat

by Religion Dept. student: Maya Nussbaun

  1. Creaky water pump mills in need of repair

by Religion Dept. student: Jasmin Farrugia

  1. Humpty Dumpty downfall of a rubble wall

by Religion Dept. student: Jasmin Farrugia

N.B. We were the first school to win the International YRE award with a SOLAR PANEL CAR PROJECT from our School Science Dept. and this year all the 14 Science and Religion YRE project entries are awarded even a project by CCP Science students.

I take the opportunity to THANK especially all my Religion and Science students who collaborated in fulfilling these YRE projects in favour of our local environment.  VERY WELL DONE and PRAISE BE TO GOD.

Also congratulations to other awarded participants from our school which I leave for Ms Flavia Grima to announce. VERY WELL DONE.

I thank YRE National Coordinator Ms Audrey Gauci for her kind help and support and the two foreign correctors who sacrificed their free time correcting our Science and Religion Department YRE project entries.

I also thank Ms Josephine Diacono, Fr Karm Spiteri ocd and school clerks Ms Patricia Farrugia and Ms Lorraine Vella for their kind help and support throughout the whole year, much appreciated.

Finally I thank Ms Marlene Galea and Mr Andrew Calleja plus the editors of the Malta Independent on Sunday newspaper, Sunday Times of Malta and Missio Mata for contributing in the dissemination process.

Thanks in regards

Martin Azzopardi sdc

Veteran YRE school coordinator

St. Margaret College

Secondary School,

Verdala, Cospicua,

Malta

July 1st, 2020|

YRE – Photos with Captions

May 30th, 2020|

YRE Article 7 – Maltese students commemorate the 75th anniversary of Auschwitz Liberation Camp Day

Thank you to Klaydi Borg, Darnoc Mizzi, Grech Carl and Mariema Zahra (Form 4 students) who cooperated to fulfill this YRE article project.

Auschwitz Liberation Camp Day is commemorated every year on January 27 and this year marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz Camp in Poland. Around 120 Auschwitz and other Holocaust survivors from all over the world are expected to attend the Memorial at Auschwitz which will be held on Monday, January 27, 2020 thanks to the support of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Foundation from New York City under the Leadership of Ronald S. Lauder. While Auschwitz was liberated on January 27, the event is recognized by the United Nations and the European Union as International Holocaust Remembrance Day

In preparation for this Memorial Day, on Wednesday January 22, 2020, a group of students at St. Margaret College Verdala School, Cospicua joned their teacher, Martin Azzopardi sdc, to commemorate Auschwitz Liberation Camp day while creating awareness amongst students about the atrocities held in the concentration camps of the Nazi Regime.

Then on the 26th January a special morning assembly was held in school to commemorate Auschwitz Liberation Camp day.

Auschwitz Concentration Camp was liberated on the 27th January 1945 by the soldiers of the 60th Army of the First Ukrainian Front. It was a paradox of history that Soviet soldiers (formally representing Stalinist regime) brought freedom to the prisoners of Nazi regime. The Russian Red Army obtained details about Auschwitz after the liberation of the city of Krakow and about seven thousand prisoners awaited liberation in the Main Camp of Auschwitz, Birkenau, and Monowitz. Before and soon after January 27, Soviet soldiers liberated about 500 prisoners in the Auschwitz sub-camps in StaraKuźnia, BlachowniaŚląska, Świętochłowice, Wesoła, Libiąż, Jawiszowice, and Jaworzno.

Over 230 Soviet soldiers, including the commander of the 472nd regiment, Col. SiemenLvovichBesprozvanny, died in combat while liberating the Main Camp of Auschwitz, Birkenau, Monowitz, and the city of Oświęcim.

In the Main Camp of Auschwitz and Birkenau, Soviet soldiers discovered the corpses of about 600 prisoners who had been shot by the withdrawing Nazi SS or who had succumbed to exhaustion.

No one knows exactly how many people were sent to Auschwitz, or how many died there since the Nazis did not maintain registration records for those who were to be exterminated immediately upon arrival at Auschwitz. However, historians estimate that between 1940 and 1945, the Nazis sent at least 1.3 million people to Auschwitz. About 1.1 million of these people died or were killed at Auschwitz. MAY THIS NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN.

At the end of this activity, students were informed that In Malta all cases of racism can be reported to Report Racism Malta – www.reportracism-malta.org. Report Racism Malta is a project of the People for Change Foundation, launched in November 2014 to address the under-reporting of discriminatory incidents by creating an easy-to-use mechanism for communicating incidents of racial discrimination. Report Racism Malta provides an avenue for reporting incidents of discrimination and racism against individual victims, and offers guidance in cases where cases may be taken forward and remedies accessed.

This project aims to reach three of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Reduced Inequalities; Good Health and Well-being; Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions; and Quality Education.

May 25th, 2020|

YRE Article 6 – A Pro-Life Catholic Irish couple addresses Maltese students who recite the Rosary of the Unborn

Thank you to Scicluna Raisa and Bonello Owen (Form 5 students) who cooperated to fulfill this YRE article project.

On Wednesday, 8th January 2020 a Pro-Life Irish couple, Carmen and Declan Waters addressed a group of Form 5 students at St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala, Cospicua. The Irish couple was invited to school by teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc, to hold a talk in class about the sacred value of human life from its very beginning until its end. Carmen Waters said that when abortion was introduced in Ireland it was shocking seeing Irish women playing drums and celebrating in favour of abortion. In fact, after a bitter referendum campaign, the amendment of the constitution of Ireland was passed by 67% voting in favour of abortion to 33% voting against. Then on the 25th May 2018, a referendum was passed by a similar margin to remove the constitutional ban on abortion and was signed in to law on 18 September 2018. Nowadays abortion in Ireland is permitted during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy, and in cases where the pregnant woman’s life or health is at risk, or in the cases of a fatal foetal abnormality.

Declan Waters added, quoting Pope John PaulII : “A nation that kills its own children is a nation without a future” (June 1997). Throughout his pontificate, Pope John Paul II was always outspoken on life issues and he rarely lost an opportunity to speak out against abortion. In 2004 the Pope canonised Gianna Beretta Molla, who died of cancer in 1962 after refusing life-saving treatment that would have required the termination of her pregnancy.

Carmen emphasized that “every birth is innocent and God has a plan for it”. She encouraged students to leave sex for marriage and build a married life on the sacrament of matrimony. Then Declan said that if we Christians want to live a happy life we must learn to abide by moral standards and live by the Ten Commandments.

Some years ago, Carmen and Declan Waters founded the Rosary of the Unborn at St. Margaret College and since then students attending Religion lessons still pass on the rosary beads from one student to another, reciting one Hail Mary prayer in their hearts to end abortion around the world. The Irish couple were so happy to see that the rosary of the unborn is still practiced at St. Margaret College.

On the 30th September 2019, the Malta Today newspaper revealed that Malta’s emerging pro-choice lobby group held its first-ever rally to mark ‘International Safe Abortion Day’. This very small group of people say that the ‘Voice For Choice’ outlines why Malta’s total abortion ban, in all circumstances, poses a health risk to women and so they propose abortion in Malta.

In The Times of Malta newspaper (dated 2nd February 2020) the President of Malta, Dr George Vella, was reported to have delivered a strong address against abortion, saying that he was representing the absolute majority of people in Malta when he spoke against its introduction.  “I cannot imagine how we can terminate this life at any stage in its development,” he said.

Teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc said, “Educating our students in a pro-life spirit is part of our holistic approach in education and this helps to build up a generation of people with more love and respect for every living creature.”

Special thanks go to Declan and Carmen Waters for offering this pro-life talk and experience to form 5 students at St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala, Cospicua.

This project aims to reach three of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Good Health & Well-being, Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, and Quality Education.

May 25th, 2020|

YRE Article 5 – Young Reporters for the Environment students launch a litter-less project campaign in making paper roll angel decorations for Advent and Christmas

Thank you to Miguel Fenech, Jurgen Xuereb, Jayden Degiorgio (Form 4 students) who cooperated to fulfill this YRE article project.

On Monday, 2nd December 2019, a group of Young Reporters for the Environment students at St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala, Cospicua exhibited the paper roll angel decorations hand made by a group of participating Science students. These paper roll angel decorations are used to decorate the school image of the Baby Jesus. Before starting the Advent season, the Science Department of St. Margaret College encouraged many Science students to participate in this litter-less project campaign in making paper roll angel decorations using ONLY recycled material. Students had to provide their own recycled material like toilet rolls, wool, parcel wrap paper, cotton, embroidery threads and ribbons, plus colours or paint. Then for those who opted to make their angel decorations at school, all the necessary tools were provided but the majority of the students preferred to work on their paper roll angel decorations at home.

Science Teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc, who coordinated this Litter-less Campaign school project said: “Our science students were very eager to participate in this project as it was an opportunity for them to be creative and environment-friendly at the same time. It was also a challenge for them as they were limited to make use ONLY of recycled material and for some students who worked in pairs or in groups it was also an opportunity to experience a team spirit in favour of our environment”.

To make these paper roll angel decorations, students had to follow some steps:

  1. After gathering all their recycled material, they covered the toilet paper roll with pieces of fabric or paper to make the angel dress.
  2. Then to make the angel’s hands pieces of metal strips or wooden tooth- picks were used. Others made use of hard paper strips to make the hands which were then covered with fabric or paper to create the long sleeves.
  3. To make the angel’s head, some students used tennis balls but some others preferred to create the head using soft paper or spray bottle cups. Then colours and buttons were used to make the angel’s face.
  4. In making the angel’s hair, many students made use of recycled cotton or fabric while others used strips of soft paper which were then glued to the head.

Then to create the angel’s wings, students drew the wings on hard paper first and then decorated them using colours, glittered paper or cotton. Many used glue to stick the wings to the body but some others used pins or needles.

To be more environment friendly, some students made their own glue using natural ingredients like water and flour.

This Christmas all the participating students in this litter-less school project campaign can surely feel the satisfaction of making their own paper roll angel decorations adopting the three R’s – REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE – which all help to cut down on the amount of waste we throw away. In doing so students learn to conserve natural resources and energy plus save money communities must use to dispose of waste in landfills.

This project aims to reach three of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action, and Quality Education.

May 25th, 2020|

YRE Article 4 – Maltese students join Missio Malta in aid of the Myanmar missionary campaign

Thank you to Maya Nussbaum, Sarah Fiorini, Cody Parnis, Jake Chetcuti (Form 5 students) who cooperated to fulfill this YRE article project.

Every year St. Margaret College Secondary School, Verdala students join Missio Malta in aid of a missionary campaign. This year Missio Malta is inviting Maltese people to contribute to the missionary campaign in aid of Myanmar. St. Margaret College students, together with their teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc, join Missio Malta not only to raise funds in aid of Myanmar, but also to do research about the situation of poverty in Myanmar and offer solutions to the Myanmar government.

The Asian country of Myanmar (previously called Burma) is estimated to have a population of 52 million people, of whom 26% still live in poverty. Despite the 5% annual economic growth of this country, poverty still reigns, especially in the rural areas. Thus a thorough investigation and understanding of the main causes of poverty in Myanmar is needed.

Myanmar is considered to be the largest country in mainland Southeast Asia with very fertile lands and with a significant amount of potentially productive natural resources. In fact, agriculture is the main economic source of income creating employment for more than half the country’s workforce. Paddy rice is the country’s primary crop which generates profit in Myanmar but compared to Cambodia and Vietnam it still offers the lowest profit in the region.

Many rural areas in Myanmar are highly vulnerable to extreme weather such as heavy downpour and cyclones. In fact in 2008, Cyclone Nargis hit the country leaving long effect devastation, especially in the rural areas. Following the effect of Cyclone Nargis, people were unable to create economic value for themselves and their communities.

Health issues are also among the causes of poverty in Myanmar. Around 37% of the population is still unable to have access to clean water and sanitation. These health issues rank the country with the lowest life expectancy as well as the second-highest rate of infant and child mortality. According to recent figures it is assumed that 40 out of every 1000 babies born die before they reach their first birthday. Much of this is due to inadequate healthcare facilities which can easily be overcome if the government invests more money to improve the existing healthcare facilities and make plans to contribute more to the country’s healthcare.

However, a campaign to increase the disease control in Myanmar has shown a marked reduction in reported HIV/AIDS cases. Also the economic growth of the country and the government’s priority to decrease rural poverty is offering a light of hope towards rural areas in Myanmar.

According to the World Bank, poverty in Myanmar has decreased from 44.5% in 2004 to 26.1% in 2015, mostly in urban areas. The government of Myanmar has made plans to invest more on education. In fact, the government’s investment on education increased from $251.8 million in 2013 to $1.2 billion in 2017.

On contacting the Director of Missio Malta, Mons Valent Borg, students were told that this year’s Missio Malta missionary campaign in aid of Myanmar carried the slogan: ‘Healing a nation through education’ where all fundraising campaigns held in Maltese schools, parishes and Church institutions aim to support schools in Myanmar, particularly St. John’s Catholic School in the Diocese of Hakha, State of Chin in Myanmar, and various college teaching programmes around Myanmar.

While successes are to be recognized, it is important to highlight the fact that without more investment from both government and foreign aid, poverty in Myanmar cannot be eradicated. Thus St. Margaret College students unite with Missio Malta in encouraging other students to contribute in the fundraising campaign in aid of education in Myanmar

This project aims to reach seven of the main goals proposed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:  No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well-being, Quality Education, Gender Equality, Reduced Inequalities, and Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

May 25th, 2020|

YRE Article 3 – Verdala Queen’s Young Leaders Group commemorate Mental Illness Awareness Week

Thank you to Shaun Portelli (Form 5 student) who cooperated to fulfill this YRE article project.

Mental Illness Awareness Week is commemorated from the 6th till the 12th of October and this year, World Mental Health Day and National Depression Screening Day is commemorated on the 10th of October.

On Wednesday October 9, 2019, St. Margaret College Verdala School Queen’s Young Leaders Group assembled with their group founder and teacher, Martin Azzopardi sdc, to raise awareness about mental health among students at school.

St Margaret Queen’s Young Leaders Group was founded in 2014 and each year student members are inspired by the speeches of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II to write and publish articles promoting moral and social values. On World Mental Health Day, St Margaret College students focussed their attention on statistics about mental health in Malta as quoted by The Times of Malta newspaper (dated 10th Oct. 2019)

The Times of Malta says that the Maltese Association of Psychiatry and the Association of Public Health Medicine In Malta report that there are about 20 suicides in men and two in women yearly in Malta. These associations have called for more awareness on mental health and for action plans to reduce suicides by 10 per cent by 2020, in line with World Health Organisation recommendations.

In fact this year the World Mental Health Day is focusing on suicide prevention saying that every suicide can be prevented and this issue needs to be tackled urgently.

Surely there are a number of measures that can be taken to reduce suicides, including early identification, treatment and care of people with mental and substance use disorders, chronic pain and acute emotional distress; reducing access to the means of suicide; and training further non-specialized health workers.

The Maltese Association of Psychiatry and the Malta Association of Public Health Medicine In Malta insist saying that raising community awareness and breaking down the taboo to access help for ourselves or for others, is vitally important in preventing suicide.

St Margaret Queen’s Young Leaders Group found out that unfortunately many people do not seek help in the early stages of mental illnesses because they don’t recognize the symptoms. (See: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mental-illness/symptoms-causes/syc-20374968)

Quoting the www.helpguide.org the 7 major mental health conditions are Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Psychosis, Eating Disorders, Depression, PTSD, and Addiction/Substance Use Disorder.

Taking a mental health screening is one of the quickest and easiest ways to determine whether you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition. Screening helps catch problems early. A screening is not a diagnosis, but it can be a helpful tool for starting a conversation with your doctor or psychiatrist about your mental health.

Education and schools must contribute to create a mentally healthy environment for children and young people. St Margaret Queen’s Young Leaders Group is calling on all those involved in education to address seriously the issue of mental health in schools and deliver an effective change.

This project aims to reach two of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Good Health and Well-being, and Quality Education.

May 25th, 2020|

YRE Article 2 – Raising an awareness campaign about breast cancer at school during the Pink October Campaign

Thank you to Emerson Bugeja, Daishan Psaila, Jean Vella, Tiernan Fraser (Form 4 students) who cooperated to fulfill this YRE article project.

On Monday, 30th September 2019 a school morning assembly was dedicated to the Breast Cancer October Month Campaign at St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala, Cospicua. Then on Wednesday, 2nd October 2019 St. Margaret College Verdala School Queen’s Young Leaders Group assembled with their group founder teacher, Martin Azzopardi sdc, to launch an awareness campaign research study about breast cancer as part of the Pink Colour Ribbon Campaign. Inspired by the speeches of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II, St. Margaret College Queen’s Young Leaders Group highlights the importance of awareness about breast cancer while stressing prevention.

According to the www.news.cn (dated 2019-07-05), in Malta87 percent of Maltese women treated for breast cancer are diagnosed clear from the disease for a period of five years. This places Malta at a highest percentage among European Union member states. Malta’s Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne said that in Malta a total of 80,000 mammograms have been performed since the National Breast Screening Services were first launched in 2009. Minister Fearne said also that the expense on new medicine aimed at curing cancer has gone up to 4.5 million euro. He pledged that the Maltese government will continue to invest in technology to treat cancer.

Quoting recent studies issued in 2018 by the Breast Cancer Now (https://breastcancernow.org), breast cancer can develop in the breast cells of both men and women, but it is more common to be found in women. In the UK around 11,500 women and 80 men die every year from breast cancer. This leads breast cancer to be the fourth most common cause of cancer death in the UK.

Research found that less than half (48%) of British women surveyed were regularly checking their breasts for signs of breast cancer, while almost one in ten (8%) had never checked at all. The most common reasons women cited for not checking their breasts regularly were because they forget (41%) and 21% said they didn’t check their breasts regularly because they don’t feel confident in checking.

Checking your breasts will only take you a few minutes. When touching your breasts and looking for changes, one has to check the whole breast area, including the upper chest and armpits. Common breast cancer signs and symptoms include:

  1. A lump or swelling in the breast, upper chest or armpit. One might feel the lump, but not see it.
  2. Changes in the size or shape of the breast
  3. A change in skin texture i.e. puckering or dimpling of the skin
  4. A change in the colour of the breast – the breast may look red or inflamed
  5. Rash, crusting or changes to the nipple

There are various factors that can affect one’s chances of developing breast cancer. It can result from the way we live our lives, our genes and our surrounding environment.

So the question is: What can we do to reduce the risk of breast cancer?

We can prevent the chance of getting breast cancer by making small healthy changes and living well, by drinking less alcohol, maintaining a healthy weight and keeping physically active.

This project aims to reach two of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Good Health and Well-being, and Quality Education.

May 25th, 2020|

YRE Article 1 – Applied Science CCP students create awareness about the risks of extra sugar in our daily diets

Thank you to Decelis Luca, Zammit Kaylon, Knaan Gaze, Bonnici Raiza (Form 4 CCP students) who cooperated to fulfill this YRE article project.


On Tuesday, 29th October 2019, a group of Applied Science CCP students launched a project to create awareness about the risks of extra sugar in our daily diets. Coordinated by their Science teacher, Martin Azzopardi sdc, students found that extra sugar in our daily diets has many negative health effects.

Nowadays many people rely on processed foods for meals and snacks but these products very often contain much added sugar. Every 4 grams of sugar amount to one teaspoon of sugar and so one must start noticing the amount of sugar in every packet or tin of food that is purchased from the food supermarkets. The main risk of extra sugar in our diet is obesity.

Quoting the https://www.pwc.com Malta has one of the highest rates of adult and childhood obesity worldwide. In fact over a quarter of the Maltese adult population over 15 years is obese. The prevalence of obesity increased from 23% in 2002 to 25% in 2015 – moving farther away from Malta’s 2020 target rate set at 18%. This study also reveals that adult obesity cost Malta €36 million which is a big economic challenge to our society, not only in terms of the additional healthcare spending but also in terms of the opportunity costs to government, individuals and society.

According to healthline.com, scientists say that extra sugar consumption in our daily diets is the major cause of obesity and many chronic diseases. Extra sugar can cause:

  1. Obesity: too much added sugar in our daily diets increases the risk of weight gain and fats in our bodies.
  2. Heart Disease: too much added sugar increases the risk for heart disease factors such as obesity, high blood pressure and inflammation.
  3. Acne Problem: High-sugar diets can increase our bodies’ androgen secretion, oil production and inflammation which can increase the chance of developing acne.
  4. Type 2 Diabetes: A high-sugar diet may lead to obesity and insulin resistance (a hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates blood sugar levels), both of which are risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
  5. Cancer: Too much sugar can lead to obesity, insulin resistance and inflammation, all of which are risk factors for cancer, mostly oesophageal cancer, pleural cancer and cancer of the small intestine.
  6. Depression: Too much added sugar and processed foods may increase depression risk in both men and women. Scientific research has shown that people who consumed 67 grams or more of sugar per day were 23% more likely to develop depression than other people who ate less than40 grams per day.
  7. Accelerate Skin Ageing: Sugary foods can increase the production of AGEs (Advanced glycation end products), which can accelerate skin aging and wrinkle formation. In fact AGEs damage collagen and elastin, which are proteins that help the skin stretch and keep its beauty.
  8. Fatty Liver: The two main monosaccharides are glucose and fructose. Glucose is taken up by many cells throughout the body but fructose overloads the liver, leading to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), characterized by excessive fat build-up in the liver.
  9. Dementia: High-sugar diets can worsen thecognitive decline and increase the risk of dementia.
  10. Kidney Disease: Consistently high blood sugar levels can cause damage to the delicate blood vessels of the kidneys and lead to an increased risk of kidney disease.

So keep a food diary and be more aware of the main sources of sugar in your daily diet. Try to prepare your own healthy meals at home and avoid buying foods and drinks that are high in added sugar. Avoid alcoholic beverages that are sweetened with soda, juice, honey and sugar and eat more whole, unprocessed foods.

This project aims to reach two of the main goals proposed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:  Good Health and Well-being, Life on Land, Quality Education.

 

May 25th, 2020|

YRE Photo/description entries 2019-20 from St. Margaret College Religion Department

YRE Photo/description entries from the Religion Department of St. Margaret College Sec. School Verdala, Cospicua for the YRE competition 2019/20.

Committed students: Maya Nussbaum and Jasmine Farrugia (Form 5 students)
Supervisor: Veteran YRE school coordinator Mr Martin Azzopardi sdc
Special thanksgivings to two professional English correctors from U.K. and to Ms Audrey Gauci (YRE National Coordinator) for all their help and support.

YRE Photo 1 plus description – by student Jasmine Farrugia

Construction waste an eyesore to our natural environment

On the way to Ghar Lapsi a large hill of construction waste is surely an eyesore to our natural environment. On contacting the Malta Environment and Resources Authority we were told that the area being referred to was previously a quarry which has recently been permitted to be infilled with inert construction material. The intention is to remove what has been a scar in the landscape for years. However, the infilling operations have breached the conditions of the permit. Recently the operator was required to rectify the situation on the ground and to contain its operations within the original boundary of the quarry. Further action may be taken if the operator does not follow the orders given. It seems that the eyesore is the result of a construction waste crisis in Malta. Many constructors are lamenting not finding enough proper places to deposit their waste.


YRE Photo 2 plus description – by student Maya Nussbaum

Baby playpen ends up on Xaqqa Cliffs

On the way to one of the most popular swimming spots in the southern part of Malta, you can stop by the side of the road and make your way towards Xaqqa Cliffs just after passing the quarry. Unfortunately lots of rubbish is ending up in this area and recently a big baby play pan was spotted. A local newspaper reported that few days ago volunteers collected 196kg of waste from Xaqqa Cliffs. Xaqqa has stunning rock formations that leave one amazed at their natural beauty and their unusual shapes. Not to mention the beautiful light blue sea below them. On reporting the waste baby play pan to the Dingli Local Council we were told that this area falls under the protection of the Siggiewi Local Council. We were promised a referral to the responsible team for an immediate clean up of the area.


YRE Photo 3 plus description – by student Maya Nussbaum

Do cliffs need doors?

Recently three big wooden doors were spotted on Rdum ta’ Horrieqa close to the Panorama Road of Dingli Cliffs. Dingli Cliffs are an impressive sight for all visitors; they are 253 meters above sea level facing North Africa. These cliffs offer a unique natural environment with evergreen Maltese Rock-Centaury and many other endemic wild plant species growing. Walking along these majestic cliffs brings one in touch with the beauty and wonders of nature throughout the whole year. So apart from the fact that dumping waste on cliffs and countryside is illegal, these three big wooden doors are an eyesore to the countryside. On contacting the Dingli Local Council we were told that though they offer free service pick up of waste, irresponsible people still prefer to dump their waste in this area. The Local Council promised an immediate clean up action and regular monitoring of the area.


YRE Photo 4 plus description – by student Maya Nussbaum

Burnt Fanta lemonade bottles poison the natural habitat

Trekking on Panorama Road along Dingli Cliffs can easily lead you to a hidden beautiful green area close to Rdum ta’ Horrieqa. Unfortunately illegal dumping of waste in this area has become a huge environmental issue for the Local Council. Recently a big amount of Fanta lemonade plastic bottles were dumped and burned in this area poisoning the living flora and fauna. Plastic is a petroleum-based material and when burned it poisons the air and vegetation with many toxins. Burning plastic and other waste releases dangerous substances such as heavy metals, Persistent Organic Pollutants and other toxics into the air, leaving ash waste residues. Such pollutants can contribute to the development of asthma, cancer and other diseases. On reporting this poisonous dump waste to the Malta Environment and Resources Authority, the responsible Local Council was informed and an immediate clean up action of the area followed.


YRE Photo 5 plus description – by student Maya Nussbaum

Halloween pumpkins scaring the cliffs.

Following the November Halloween festivities many pumpkins used to decorate homes end up being thrown away. Recently a large amount of Halloween pumpkins were spotted in a beautiful area of Dingli Cliffs close to Rdum ta’ Horrieqa. It is really shocking seeing so many rotten Halloween pumpkins scattered on Dingli. Quoting atlantic.com it is estimated that in United States every year more than one billion pounds of pumpkin is thrown away and left to rot in landfills. In the United Kingdom it is estimated that last November people had thrown away eight million pumpkins. When food waste like pumpkins is left to rot, it produces methane gas which is a dangerous greenhouse gas, more so than carbon dioxide. Surely there are other ways for the disposing of rotten pumpkins? They can be used as food for animals or turned into compost soil for fields and gardens.


YRE Photo 6 plus description – by student Jasmine Farrugia

Creaky water pump mills in need of repair

Along the main road from Rabat to Buskett many walkers and drivers easily notice the creaky water pump mills in private fields. Surely two particular creaky water pump mills are spotted in Buskett and they are in urgent need of repair. These are not the only two in the area of Buskett and Dingli which need repair. Windmills are environment friendly as they make use of the power of wind (which is a renewable source of energy) to generate electricity or pump water in fields and farms. The windmill’s turbine blades are able to capture wind energy and turn it into mechanical energy by spinning a generator that creates electricity. A water pump mill is very simple and efficient at the same time. Wind water pump mills form part of the Maltese heritage and more EU funds are needed to restore the damaged ones in our country.


YRE Photo 7 plus description – by student Jasmine Farrugia

Humpty Dumpty downfall of a rubble wall

A very old rubble wall close to the Gibjun tas-Sentini in Rabat has partly fallen down on a very busy road. Rubble walls are part of the Maltese heritage and they are part and parcel of the Maltese conservation areas. Maltese rubble walls (in Maltese: ħajt tas-sejjieħ) very often serve as a habitat for many species of flora and fauna and sometimes serve also as a shelter for bees, butterflies and lizards. Rubble walls have also a very important role in the hydrological cycle of the fields and when it rains heavily, excessive rainwater infiltrates through the holes of the these walls avoiding the risk of field flooding. Old rubble walls are normally built with stones called ‘ġebel tax-xagħri’ and are usually made of the hard-wearing upper coralline limestone. An immediate restoration of this fallen wall in Rabat was carried out as it was a hazard to the passing drivers.

May 25th, 2020|

Litterless Campaign: Interview with Cospicua, Vittoriosa and Senglea Mayors

These photos were taken during an interview we did with Ms Alison Zerafa Civelli (Cospicua Mayor), Mr John Boxall (Vittoriosa Mayor) and Mr Clive Pulis (Senglea Mayor) as part of the Litterless Campaign. The scope of meeting all 3 mayors was to investigate what is being done in the Cottonera area to promote a better future environment.

#litterless #youngreporters #yremalta

February 12th, 2020|

Marine Litter Event – 8th January 2020

This event was done in collaboration with the Litter Less Campaign and the YRE (Young Reporters for the Environment). There were 32 students who participated and there were various subject teachers involved such as Geography, Art, Home Economics, European Studies and Biology. However, what made this event very special was the fact that although students were mixed from Year 9 and Year 10, and they were coming from different subjects, they all found this event very useful and matching with their curriculum.

January 19th, 2020|

No posts to show yet!