The sun blazed down on the Christmas tree in the garden of Dar Santa Tereża, and the children’s eyes lit up in disbelief when they saw the presents and realised Santa had turned up at their home in summer.
Christmas in July was organised at the residential home by Bupa Malta this week, as part of its celebrations to mark 50 years from when its principal company opened its first overseas business on the island.
To celebrate this milestone, the health insurance agency transformed the home’s backyard into a spanking new playground equipped with swings, a seesaw, swimming pool with a slide, sandpit, ride-on cars and table sets, among others.
Located in Żurrieq, Dar Santa Tereża is run by the Daughters of the Sacred Heart of Malta and a number of care staff who provide a nurturing home for six children under five, who cannot be with their biological families. The home forms part of Fondazzjoni Sebħ, a Church NGO that cares for 41 children in four residential homes.
Unveiling the playground plaque, Adriana Zarb Adami, LifeStar Health managing director and Bupa branch manager, said: “We were inspired by the dedication of the sisters and carers and the love they invest in giving these children a happy, stable environment. As Bupa Malta we wanted to complement the fantastic work they do.”
Since most Christmas plans were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the company came up with the idea of holding Christmas in July and enlisted the nuns’ help to ask the children to write a letter to Santa.
LifeStar Holding staff then doubled up as Summer Santas and bought a present for each of the 41 children in the homes of Fondazzjoni Sebħ.
Fondazzjoni Sebħ director Yvonne Mallia thanked the company for this unexpected surprise and said the playground would provide a safe space for the young children to grow and be instrumental in their development.
“This is your 50th anniversary celebration, and you altruistically chose to share it with us. We augur that other organisations follow Bupa Malta’s generous example,” Ms Mallia said.