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Friendship ferries friends back to the Med

A stroke six years ago could have profoundly isolated George. He lost his ability to speak and this closed down his connections with the world.

Then George meet Joseph, Red Cross volunteer and fellow migrant from the Mediterranean island of Malta. This amazing connection opened up George’s world once more.

Every week, Joseph visits George and tells stories and reminiscences from their Mediterranean island. This slice of George’s past life has brought new life to him.

“It’s amazing what you can do,” Joseph says. “I talk to him a lot about Malta, I introduced him to Maltese news on SBS because I know that that’s what he will enjoy.

I met George’s sons and they said ‘I know what you’re doing with our father, we’ve been coming here for a long time and we don’t know what to talk to him about and he’s not interested, but you talking to him I can tell that he is listening and is interested.'


It’s testament to the power of simple human contact, and Joseph has no intention of stopping.

“The more I do this work, the more I enjoy it. There’s no way you meet someone, and sit with them for months and then say ‘No I don’t want to do this’. That’s never going to happen to me.”

Through his work with Red Cross, Joseph currently visits three people at home.

It’s a service that provides companionship and a listening ear to people who are elderly and isolated – and it’s both an emergency back-up plan for these individuals, knowing that someone will always check in, as well as a friendly ‘hello’ to help brighten their day.

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