A new Foundation that aims to raise awareness regarding domestic violence, drug abuse, mental health, HIV and child abuse was launched today by its founder and chairman, tenor Cliff Zammit Stevens, and by co-founders, Dr Martina Borg Stevens and Estelle Borg.
Founded in memory of Zammit Stevens’ mother, Marcelline, who was a victim of domestic violence and who passed away suddenly last November, The Marcy Foundation hopes to continue her legacy of offering help without judgement. Focusing on the five issues of domestic violence, drug abuse, mental health, HIV and child abuse, referred to by the Foundation as ‘the Five Pillars’, it will be a support hub for individuals experiencing any of them. The Foundation will be launching one pillar per year over the next five years, with domestic violence being the first pillar to be launched this year.
“Myself, my family and other people who are very close to me have had experiences in all these areas, so these causes are very much close to my heart,” says Zammit Stevens. “Unfortunately, people who go through these issues face daily struggles due to the stigma associated with them, which is horrible. They might be embarrassed or scared to speak out about them, out of fear of being judged instead of seeking the help which they deserve.”
The Marcy Foundation aims to help individuals to talk about what they are going through, so that they need not suffer emotional turmoil alone or isolate themselves. “In this fast-paced world we hardly have time to stop, think about and have compassion towards the individuals around us,” continues Zammit Stevens. “This Foundation will create awareness of these Five Pillars and offer a space in which ‘it’s OK not to be OK’. I hope to turn a negative situation – my mum’s passing – into a positive one, by establishing an organisation that will honour her open-minded way of helping people to fight issues that are otherwise taboo.”
The Marcy Foundation is an online platform, through which individuals experiencing any of the Five Pillars may access information that will encourage and guide them as they seek help. This ‘one-stop-shop’ website will provide, for each of the five issues, awareness and general facts regarding the issue, information concerning the individual’s rights and measures available under legislation, and details of relevant service providers and after-care services available in Malta.
Beyond this regularly-updated website, any funds collected will help develop targeted public awareness campaigns and will be used to engage experts to work alongside the main team. “I, along with the foundation’s legal adviser Dr Borg Stevens will be overseeing the day-to-day commitments of the Foundation, working with team members Yvette Stevens (who is appointed treasurer of the Foundation) and Estelle Borg, a non-executive member of the Foundation, in consultation with psychologists Julianne Grima and Cher Engerer,” Zammit Stevens explains. “Together we will set up meetings with the different charities, foundations and organisations involved in these issues, so as to identify the setbacks these entities face and offer greater awareness through creating a society which is open and comfortable to discuss these taboo topics.”
All proceeds of Xemx, recorded with Ira Losco, will go towards The Marcy Foundation. The proceeds from the sales of tickets to the Cliff Zammit Stevens 10th Anniversary Concert, which will take place 3 October 2018 in St George’s Square, Valletta, will also go towards supporting the foundation.
Booking opens on 24 August. Tickets are available to purchase at www.showshappening.com.
More information regarding The Marcy Foundation may be found by visiting www.themarcyfoundation.com, or by searching for The Marcy Foundation on Facebook.