Below are some frequently asked questions and answers.
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QUESTIONS ABOUT WHAT WE DO
Dar Frate Jacoba is the centre of Youth Alive Foundation, in which it gives shelter to homeless youths who find themselves on the edge of society.
As per article 3 of the statute, there are seven official aims all of which centre around assisting and cooperating in the life of humanity to restore inner peace and self-integrity.
The three pillars are Spirituality, the Environment and Charity
Jacoba was a noble Roman woman coming from a Norman family. She was married to Conte Graziano dei Frangipane, better known as proprietor of the Marion Castle and of Septizomoni (or Sette Soli) in Rome. It was from this that she started being nicknamed Jacoba dei Settesoli. Her husband died at a young age leaving her a widow with two children. She continued to administer the riches she inherited from her husband which included the many lands and castles scattered around all of Rome. She was a woman with a great Franciscan heart. She gave and distributed her riches amongst the needy and the poor including Francis and his brothers. When the Franciscan friars were in Rome, she used to welcome them in her home and take care of them. Francis never used to call her ‘Madam’ or ‘Domina’ as noble women used to be called at that time but rather ‘Frate Jacoba’, as a sign of respect.
The land in which Dar Frate Jacoba is situated was donated by two women, who just like Jacoba, were of a great heart and generosity and still are to this date. It was for this reason that the Home was given the name of a woman, in remembrance of these great personalities and also to show that what happened in St. Francis’ time still happens today in this day and age. Frate Jacoba also represents the concept of the Franciscan fraternity in its holistic perspective. This means an open community which is the basis of the community found in the Home.
QUESTIONS ABOUT WHAT WE PROVIDE
More than ever before, there is an increasing and urgent need in Malta for viable, sustainable human settlements. Sustainable communities and ecovillages all around the world provide tangible ways to diminish our ecological footprint. They are small but significant examples of the environmental, social, economic and spiritual sustainability. Dar Frate Jacoba embraces the concept of the permaculture principles.
Dar Frate Jacoba was established to be sustainable, that is, the capacity to be self-sufficient with minimal external influences. Therefore, this is also seen in the farming methods used. This is based on the permaculture concept, were no artificial chemicals and pesticides are used. This method leaves nature to grow and work without big human intervention. The only input from man is to complement it by helping nature create the necessary balance. This obviously involves great patience and hard work as most of it has to be done manually.
The fields are designed to reflect typical Maltese forestation, better known as forest gardening. The mixture of indigenous trees and fruit trees, bushes, hedges, different types of flowers, cultivated food products including wild plants reflect a natural ecosystem as found in nature, that is, without human intervention but at the same time feeding man as well. Rain water is collected which is then used for irrigation. Life inside the home also complements the external permaculture concept used. That is, no waste of food, water, electricity, etc... Recycling is also an important factor, in which the mentality of less waste generation is practiced together with the implementation of waste separation. Excess food is used as animal food or used for the generation of compost. Clean electrical energy is generated by means of PV panels installed on the roof. This permaculture concept can be practised by anyone.