This year marked the beginning of two significant operations for HILA. The first involved the operation of Dar Bjorn in Żebbug, where HILA earned the trust of the ALS Malta Foundation for a second time to manage their new home. The second achievement was the inauguration of new operations at Santa Rosa, expanding respite services with a strong focus on children and adolescents. These milestones reflect HILA’s commitment to meeting the evolving needs of their clients.

HILA’s vision for 2024 and beyond is rooted in continuous growth, adaptation, and service expansion. “Apart from extending our services to Gozo, HILA aims to cover even more ground, and align with the dynamic requirements of the community. We also wish to achieve more in the mental health sphere as there is so much to accomplish – this is also one of the reasons why last year I started reading for a Masters in Mental Health Studies,” Janet explains.

The most significant challenge facing HILA is human resources. This is a common hurdle in the social sector, irrespective of whether it’s a public, NGO, or private organisation. Finding the right people and ensuring their long-term commitment is a complex process. “Although we have excellent and dedicated teams, the nature of the work itself demands individuals who consider the work to be a vocation.

So, it takes time to find the right people and ensure their longevity within the company as the job, albeit very rewarding, can also be very challenging,” she says. HILA’s strength lies in its unity, shared passion, and the intrinsic need to make a difference. “We have encountered numerous challenges since our inception, but each obstacle has been conquered through the unity of our teams,” Janet states.

“Our driving force is a collective passion for our mission – to provide the best possible quality of life to our clients. This commitment and drive have been the foundation of our success story, fostering a culture of resilience and problem-solving.” The suite of new services, policies, and legislations introduced in the disability sector since Janet started to work in this area in 2016, along with the establishment of an authority and standards, have all brought structure and direction to the industry.

“HILA has been at the forefront of innovation, driven by a client-centric approach. We have always listened to what our clients wanted and always adapted the service to them, not them to the service. This was always our prerogative and Istrongly believe this is what gives us our cutting edge.”