The most generous nation in the world: pull the other one, will you?

So we are officially the most generous country in the world, according to this link. Wow. I shudder at the thought of how 99% of fellow Maltesers will be crowing smugly about it in an annoying show of self-congratulations.

Hell, most of Facebook is already taken up by this same 99% as the link is getting posted and re-posted ad nauseam. Funny how these statistics were released months ago, but they make an appearance only the day after l-Istrina. Well, sorry but I’m not buying it.

It’s true that once a year, on a special occasion such as yesterday’s l-Istrina, most of us might be shamed into parting with the cash. But without removing any of the merits from yesterday’s charitable endeavors (and yes, there was an incredible amount of work and effort by numerous parties to carry the whole thing through: respect to all) I do not find the majority of my co-nationals to be particularly generous or kind throughout the rest of the year, when there are no continuous television adverts to shame them into it.

Actually, scratch that. Many Maltese might be persuaded to be generous with their peers. But certainly not with anyone who is a tad different. And by different I mean gay/of a different religious denomination/of no religious denomination at all/not white (yes, shock and horror I said that) and so forth.

If we are so generous, how come I still see immigrants being looked upon with distaste?

How come the shelter in Marsa, despite all the best efforts of those involved in its daily running, is still a miserable hovel?

How come we still treat gay people like second class citizens when it comes to civil rights?

How come we think nothing of abandoning a pet that no longer pleases us to a cruel fate on the streets – or worse?

How come we still labour under the delusion that fellow roman catholics deserve preferential treatment in all aspects of society?

How come only last week a young woman had to launch an appeal on the media to find a friend because her mental condition led people to shun her?

Yes, we do have our good moments. No, I’m certainly not saying we are a nation of total bastards. But despite how flattering the statistics might look on paper, I have yet to see any real proof that we are anything special.

If you really want to see how kind and generous the Maltese are, read this post about NOT ONE CAR stopping for a crippled kitten stranded on a main thoroughfare. So please, do us all a favor and quit patting yourselves on the back.



  1. Keep it up! I totally agree with your line of thought. Sometimes I feel that people give money ‘easily’ to charities because it is an impersonal and cold way of calming down ones conscience, of making peace at the end of the year…

    Well as they say ‘charity begins at home’ and sometimes we forget that there might be people in our family who need our help, or just our company. A telephone call would sometimes be enough. Some people brag about how generous they are and they abandon their own family members. They might be doing a lot of good really, but why do we ignore our own family members who might live next door too in order to help out strangers or just to dial every number we see online or on TV requesting money?

    I’m not ashamed to say that I can not afford to give money to charities all the time and I’m glad how various initiatives are done through the year leading up to Istrina so people can diversify how and when they can give their donation, but I’m proud that whenever someone in need asks for help, I’m always ready to share my time with them and make myself useful. I believe that a continuous positive attitude is better then being a nuisance all year round and then donating 10euros in 1 min over the phone.

  2. markbiwwa says:

    So true Ramona, in fact have been planning a post about this myself. What a load of utter bollocks.

  3. Padre Ralph says:

    hmmmmmmmm have you taken into consideration voluntary work?

  4. Melisande Aquilina says:

    And how many Maltese do volutary work? i doubt there’s a very high percentage.

  5. “Lies, damned lies, and statistics” springs to mind :)

  6. For those who are lamenting the low percentage of Maltese doing voluntary work…what are you waiting for? Volunteer and boost the figures!

  7. Ros says:

    I personally work on a rotating shift pattern which makes committing to anything outside work next to impossible. I know a lot of people experience the same issues, however within my workplace, there is a continuous effort going on to organise events where part, if not all proceeds, go to charity. There are voluntary days organised with both children and animals, animal food collection, blood donation, bazaar sales, raffles etc etc. So even though we as individuals don’t get a pat on the back, we are the ones to form the company, and therefore any thanks the company receives, is a thanks to us all. And that is all that matters.

    I believe that the number of businesses who follow this practice is quite limited in Malta – it might be a good initiative to take up, as even with a busy schedule, it allows you to do your tiny bit of good deeds.

    At the very least – if you yourself are unable to do anything about it right now, at least help spread the word. Someone else will have the time/resources to dedicate to the cause and will do so, thanks to hearing about it.

  8. The Hook says:

    Yours is the voice of reason, my friend.

  9. Johann Fenech says:

    L-istrina Raised €2,566,539 (according to the times of malta online)

    The maltese population as of July 2011 was aproximately 408,333
    (according to

    Let us for the sake of the argument say that 100,000 of these are children so we are left with 308,333 Adults give or take.

    So if we divide €2,566,539 by 308,333 ppl we get an average donation of … surprise surprise € 8.32 (or Lm 3.57 ) per capita !

    Further comments I believe Are futile, the numbers speak for themselves.

  10. rumpydog says:

    You could look at it this way… you’re doing better than alot of other nations there are bigger and richer. So… way to go!


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