Eighteen missionary groups got together to display their work at Ta’ Qali on the occasion of the 84th World Missionary Day yesterday.

October is the month dedicated to the missionaries and the groups from religious congregations and lay associations set up their stands at the national park to show their work and projects to the public, talking about their experiences and explaining what their role entails.

The Missionary Village, as it is known, was inaugurated by Archbishop Paul Cremona, who said Mass at the Greek Theatre in Ta’ Qali. The programme also included games, food and the sale of items from countries where the missions are present.

Maltese missionaries abroad amount to 700, both religious and lay, and, last year, the Missions Office collected and distributed over €1 million to overseas dioceses in 14 countries.

In West Africa’s Benin, the major recipient of Maltese funds, the money is going towards medical equipment, agricultural programmes for locals to grow their own produce and a boarding school for 110 girls.

It is the third time the Missionary Village was held and, this year, a delegation from the Missions Office in Lebanon was present for the occasion.

The village also includes the simulation of a rudimentary school and home, the way they are found in the rural areas of Third World countries, where missionary work is carried out. The area has been designed particularly for children and students visiting the Missionary Village to understand what life would be like.

The village remains open until Wednesday for schools, which can book a visit by calling the Missions Office on 2123 6962.

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