Inspire Foundation celebrates its Super Women on International Women’s Day

On International Women’s Day, Inspire is celebrating the priceless contribution of countless women to the organisation. Inspire has always operated an equal opportunities policy, as its mission for inclusion permeates all its structures. On this special occasion, we turn the spotlight on six of the hundreds of women who make us proud every day, as they share with us what they love about working at Inspire and their thoughts on how the organisation offers them the space and opportunity to fulfil their potential as professional individuals.

Are you as energetic and motivated as Nelly, Maria, Paula, Anastasiya, Charlene and Anyela? We’re constantly looking for the best in their field, have a look in our vacancies page to see if there is something for you.

Claire Galea, 50, is responsible for Corporate Fundraising. She has been with Inspire, on and off, for the past 7 years, occupying various roles within the fundraising function of the organisation. To her, Inspire means giving a chance and a voice to persons with a disability who would otherwise remain voiceless. “I love the passion and dedication of the team working directly with our service users as, on a daily basis, they strive to improve the life of each and every one of them” she notes.

Focussing on her favourite part of her job, she explains how understanding the needs of the different programmes is central to her success. “For example, we recently needed an investment in order to make one of the programmes as effective as possible.  The rush of excitement and happiness I felt when I received feedback from one of our donors, telling me that they had agreed to finance the project was incredible” she exclaims! “This meant that we could bring our project to life” she notes with satisfaction!

Asked about opportunities for women at Inspire she straight-out declares gender not to even be a consideration. “Inspire is one of the most inclusive organisations I have ever worked in. If you show your passion and capability, gender or race are not important” she ascertains.

Women are often their own worst enemies and detractors. My message is –believe in yourself. And give yourself some space and some leeway to relax, to unplug, even to fail every so often.Claire Galea

At 57, Nelly Vassallo is a veteran at Inspire Foundation. Having held the position of coordinator for the past six years, tutor with the adults’ programme for the previous 16 and another two years of fund raising before that, she has helped countless Inspire service-users and nothing satisfies her more than seeing them happy she says.

“Inspire means a lot to me” she claims, as she describes how she is constantly doing her best to identify funds to be able to run new projects! Addressing all women, she dishes out some sterling advice –

Never feel less than anyone else. Everyone is excellent at something, and it’s never too late to achieve your goals. Us women are an important part of society.Nelly Vassallo

25-year-old Maria Abdilla, one of the STEP IEI Programme team leaders has been with the organisation for the past two and a half years, starting off as tutor, and getting promoted to her current position five months ago.

Reflecting on what Inspire means to her, she says that it is where she found her niche. “Inspire is like a second home as I know that what we do, is done from the heart, in support of the autistic community and their families. Through Inspire I am able to work on improving the lives of others. It also helps me look at the term ‘disability’ and change it to an enabling perspective of a ‘different ability’ rather than a disabling limitation” she says.

Talking about the favourite part of her job, Maria says that it’s the opportunities she has to continuously improve her knowledge about autism, which helps her motivate and support her team.

On occasion of International Women’s Day, Maria has a strong message of encouragement to all women.

Nothing should stop you from chasing after what you love, and what you know is right!Maria Abdilla

Chief Quality Officer Paula Doumanov keeps everyone in check, as she is entrusted to ensure Inspire’s sterling level of service at every turn. Joining the organisation as an occupational therapist 14 years ago, she quickly became the manager of the therapeutic team, later getting promoted to Chief Services Officer responsible for the programmes and services supporting persons with disability – a position she held for close to 8 years, before accepting the role of Chief Quality Officer in 2021..

Having worked in the field of disability for 28 years, she says that her career is driven by her personal values, which resonate with those of the organisation. Hence her job satisfaction is natural. She appreciates the fact that Inspire allows her to contribute effectively to the community, as it recognizes the potential in everyone.

“Having the opportunity to work for an NGO that embodies all of this is something that allows me to feel fulfilled, motivated and driven to succeed each day” she declares.

Seeing the Inspire team in action is her favourite part of her day. “The level of vocation and dedication is absolutely incredible. I really enjoy having the opportunity to support the team to continue to build upon the great work that is already being carried out” The fact that the majority of workforce at Inspire is female, including key positions of leadership for her is testament to the opportunities afforded by Inspire, with her own journey of growth within the organisation being an ambassador to this value.

Women have such an incredible capacity – many juggling family and work and more often than not at great personal sacrifice. No matter what role you have in life remember to be kind to yourself, that integrity in all you do is key, always be true to your values and definitely make sure that you strike an effective work-life balance, so you get to recharge your batteries ready for whatever life throws your way.Paula Doumanov

Anastasiya Gorodnicha, 22, is a Team Leader who has been with Inspire Foundation for the past seven months, having recently been promoted from the role of Supply Teacher. At Inspire, children are always put first she says with a sense of satisfaction. “You can see it in the way the staff interact with them and help them whenever needed. We do not only focus on providing a safe and pleasant environment, but we also ensure that children receive the tools to be independent on their own” she confirms.

Reflecting on her favourite part of the day, Anastasiya says it must be when she is busy teaching a session and everyone is focused on progressing the learners’ individual goals. “It is so rewarding” she exclaims! For her, Inspire’s inclusive nature has always made her feel extremely comfortable speaking up or going for an opportunity if she ever wished to do so. On occasion of International Women’s Day, she concludes with a quote by Jane Goodall:

What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.Anastasiya Gorodnicha [Jane Goodall]

Family Relations Manager Charlene Borg, 45, is also somewhat of a veteran, having joined the organisation in 1998. She fondly recalls how only last month the organisation warmly celebrated her 24th year anniversary.

“To me Inspire means growth” Charlene notes. “Along all these years, through thick and thin, I have always found the space for me to grow, learn and develop myself, professionally and personally” she shares. This journey was only made the more significant through the strong relationships and connections that were built throughout.

Expressing herself further, Charlene notes how Inspire does not go by gender roles, but rather looks at the capabilities and potential of the individuals no matter if they are women or men. This means that even certain areas which are usually associated with men, are successfully led by women.

In conclusion she opts to send out a message to all rather than focus her thoughts exclusively to women.

As human beings we should not limit ourselves, especially by gender roles, but be open to the unlimited possibilities we discover about ourselves and the persons we grow to be.Charlene Borg

Finally, we meet Anyela Nathalie Gómez Deantonio, 32, STEP Forward programme team leader who has been with the organisation for a year and a half, starting her career as a tutor in Gozo before being promoted to team leader.  For Anyela Inspire is the perfect opportunity to develop her personal and professional skills, while facing challenges. She is also thankful that at Inspire she can contribute to the wellbeing and inclusion of children with disabilities and their families.

Asked to choose her favourite part of the day Anyela struggles, since in her own words, “days can be rewarding and fulfilling in many ways” she notes. “It can go from observing a child reaching a new milestone, such as engaging in a game with others, to listening to the positive feedback of a parent or collaborating with other programmes members to solve an issue or pursue an organisational goal” she says.

Reflecting on the opportunities afforded to women across the Inspire organisational chart, Anyela cheekily notes how “we almost have the entire floor!”

My message to all the women on this day is to keep on pursuing all their life goals by igniting the passion in their hearts for what they love. Every woman is different. What for one may look ideal for the other may not feel the same. It is true that gender gaps remain, and our society still needs to work a lot on gender equality, but little by little, the examples of those who don’t give up and those who seek that social change are bearing their fruits.Anyela Nathalie Gómez Deantonio

At Inspire we are always on the lookout for professionals to join our ever-growing teams.  Have a look in our vacancies page to see if there is something for you.