As one of Malta’s largest NGOs serving hundreds of clients per year, Inspire has always depended heavily on volunteers and other voluntary organisations to keep its running costs low and its services sustainable.
“We encounter so many generous people on a daily basis, not only at Inspire but in every part of our society,” explained Mr. Antonello Gauci – Inspire’s CEO. “We see volunteers, community groups and social enterprises making people’s lives better. These people and organisations help us in our fight for equality and help us create a better environment for everyone with a disability.”
Whilst Government support is a welcome source of sustainability for most NGOs, it must not stifle the many people and organisations that make up the voluntary sector. Instead it should make it possible for such organisations and initiatives to flourish.
The Voluntary Organisations Project Scheme (VOPS) from which many NGOs and voluntary organisations have been benefitting is the perfect example of how the state and the third sector working together at all levels and as equal partners can bring about real change.
One of the general objectives of the VOPS scheme is that of supporting the work of voluntary organisations as an integral part of civil society. The scheme is designed to assist applicants looking for funding on projects that can make a real difference in their local communities.
Last year Inspire benefited from this scheme thanks to which it was possible for a project in the form of an awareness campaign to be launched. The campaign, entitled ‘Jien Suċċess’ disseminated marketing and promotional material on a variety of media including a dedicated mircrosite, Google and Facebook advertising as well as TV, and radio spots. The main message focused on the success of children and adults with disabilities, highlighting their abilities and their achievements. Various Inspire clients featured in the campaign sharing their stories of accomplishment and determination.
Civil society is a social sphere separate from both the state and the market. As a voluntary organisation, Inspire strives to improve the lives of children and adults with disabilities and learning difficulties, through the delivery of tailor made services which reflect the needs of beneficiaries and the most recent developments in the field.
Inspire strives to do so without putting unnecessary financial strain on service users, and therefore, whenever possible, aims at providing services at the lowest rate possible or free of charge.
The Foundation therefore remains motivated to source funding in order to ensure the sustainability its services, which benefits so many children, adults and their families.
The ‘Jien Suċċess’ campaign led up to a fundraising televised telethon which raised €150,000 providing instrumental support in continuing Inspire’s valuable service and enabling its work as a key civil society player in the Maltese Islands.