A successful first community workshop by Dawra Madwarna!
Held on the 27th July at Misraħ Andrea Debono, the event kicked-off Dawra Madwarna’s Community Workshop Series, bringing together residents and volunteers with the aim of visioning green open spaces in Senglea. Over several months of organisation, the initiative leaders Wendy Jo Mifsud and Faye Sciberras forged strong relationships with Senglea Mayor Clive Pulis and Executive Secretary Graziella Gellel, who actively supported the community workshop. Central to the success of the event was the participation of Senglea Community Gardens, a lively resident group led by Isabel Warrington, who strive to bring greenery into the heart of Senglea.
But what is a community workshop? In this case, the focus was on understanding how Senglea residents believed their town could become a greener and more attractive locality. It was important that the residents themselves spoke to the Dawra Madwarna team, and to prompt suggestions, a number of activities were held in Misraħ Andrea Debono, chosen for its burgeoning gardening community and safe, car-free environment. A Suggestion Tree was one of the activities, led by Matthew Tanti, Isaac Ohana and Joseph Fenech. Built from recycled materials, the tree served as a place upon which residents hung their written suggestions in pouches, while the Senglea Crochet Club spent the evening knitting several brightly coloured spirals to embellish the tree.
Another popular activity was somewhat messier! Having been prepared by Local Council personnel, five benches were painted during the community workshop, with themes ranging from the Senglea coat of arms to the much loved cats which roam the square. The initiative was led by Sarah Scheiber, Suzie Samut Tagliafero, Elena de Marco, Nina Hattingh and Isabel, with many children contributing their creative skills throughout the evening. A group of residents also took the initiative further, painting the kerbs and balustrades along the square a beautiful teal. Simultaneously, seed bombs were created by Katrina Grech Mallia and a Bioblitz was led by Mario Balzan, who participated on behalf of the ReCreate Project, in which Dawra Madwarna is involved. These initiatives focused on the biodiversity present in the square and how this can be further enhanced.
To round off the list of activities that brought Misraħ Andrea Debono to life that evening, a cake and lemonade donation stand was certainly a popular stop for residents and volunteers alike during the event. Funds collected from the many delicious pastries that people brought along shall go towards further community initiatives, especially those which involve greening the streets and squares of Senglea. This in fact was at the heart of many of the suggestions which were gathered throughout the evening, with a clear message being put forward by the residents – that to continue building upon the strong sense of civic pride within Senglea using a vibrant palette of foliage and colour.