Between the 1st and the 3rd of March 2023, H.E. President Dr George Vella undertook a State Visit to the Republic of Ireland accompanied by the Hon. Julia Farrugia Portelli, Minister for Inclusion, Voluntary Organisations and Consumer Rights. Mr Mauro Pace Parascandalo, CEO of the Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector (MCVS), was invited to be part of the delegation for this visit.
The fact that an official of MCVS was asked to accompany a State Visit does not only show a strong acknowledgement by the State of the value given to volunteering but also highlights the contribution that volunteering can give not only at a national level but also on a bi-lateral and international level.
One of the significant highlights of the visit relating to the aspect of volunteering is the bi-lateral meeting held by the Maltese Delegation made up of the Hon. Julia Farrugia Portelli, Ms Nancy Caruana, Permanent Secretary MIVC and Mr Pace Parascandalo with Ms Nina Arwitz, CEO Volunteer Ireland and Ms Fiona Sweeney and Mr Mike Randall from the South Dublin County Volunteer Centre and who manage the Community Volunteers programme at Citywest. During the meeting there was sharing of ideas and a discussion on the strengthening volunteering in the respective countries. This meeting is the first step for further collaboration between Volunteer Ireland and the Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector in the field of assistance to the voluntary sector and the exchange of young volunteers between the two countries.