LGBT initiative to end isolation during Christmas time

This holiday season in Malta, lonely persons can be matched with host families -- some of whom are same-sex couples.

Daiva Repeckaite
Daiva Repeckaite NewsMavens, Malta
LGBT initiative to end isolation during Christmas time - NewsMavens
Christmas cracker, PixaBay

Why this story matters:

Allied Rainbow Communities, an NGO working within the LGBTQ community in Malta, has launched an initiative pairing people who have nowhere to go on Christmas Day with families, including LGBTQ households.

Malta is ranked as by far the most LGBT-friendly country in Europe, ahead of Belgium, Norway, the UK and Finland. This ranking is also a factor in Malta's booming tourism sector. The NGO's initiative brings Malta's LGBT-friendly developments in line with its cultural emphasis on community and family, as well as Christmas traditions.

Many countries are recognizing that loneliness is a public health issue, and the Christmas season, with compulsory cheer and family-centered advertising, exacerbates it.

In the UK, a Minister for Loneliness was appointed in the Theresa May Cabinet. The University of Malta's Faculty for Social Wellbeing in collaboration with Caritas Malta has recently released a documentary on the issue.

Details from the story:

  • Allied Rainbow Communities (ARC) is an NGO working with the LGBTQ community in Malta.
  • This year, five LGBTQ households have approached ARC and offered to host up to 11 people.
  • The initiative targets people who are estranged from their biological families, who cannot afford to visit their family in another country, or have no family to start with.
  • Last Christmas, more than 400 people showed up for a Christmas Day lunch organized by Caritas and the church Curia, more than double the number in 2016.
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