Il-każini – bringing people back together

With the village festa season about to kick off after a lapse of two years, there is a renewed buzzing feeling of excitement and enthusiasm in the air when you walk into any Każin tal-Banda


With the village festa season about to kick off after a lapse of two years, there is a renewed buzzing feeling of excitement and enthusiasm in the air when you walk into any Każin tal-Banda. Religiously, in every locality you will find one if not two or three of these clubs. Spanning over a 150 year period, these Każini, which originally started out as purely local social clubs are today an important part of the community life and cultural fabric of any Maltese village.

Il-Każin tal-Banda are not the only clubs we find in our localities. In fact, every town or village is home to an array of other clubs related to a sport, profession, religious organisation, cultural centre or a philanthropic cause. Każini and local clubs are clearly rooted in our community – they know what’s needed, how to reach people and how to respond quickly. They provide groups of like-minded people with a place where to develop, network, garner a skill, share their passion or simply serve as a means of companionship.

The pandemic’s effect on Każini

In December 2019, like a thief in the night, covid started effecting the lives and livelihood of many around the globe. Until covid hit our shores, the virus was an inconvenience. But when in the beginning of March 2020, locals started to show symptoms of the virus things started to change rapidly and robust social distancing measures and the closure of public places by the Public Health Authorities was inevitable.

The social and economic costs of the pandemic have been many and varied. While the robust measures had to be introduced to prevent the spread of the disease, these same measures have not spared their consequences. The temporary closure of all social clubs across the Island not only left these voluntary organisations without their regular income but left local communities experiencing an acute, severe sense of social isolation and disengagement.

Irrestawra l-Każin Scheme

Over the past months, the Planning Authority (PA) has been at the forefront aiding all local clubs and każini, to ensure they survive the financial difficulties incurred during the pandemic and emerge ready to continue to carry out their crucial role within society.

Last September, the Authority launched the Irrestawra l-Każin Scheme. Following the initial call, the PA received 84 submissions of which 72 were considered valid. While the każini that applied were predominantly local band clubs, a number of submissions were received from local football clubs, bocci clubs and other voluntary organisations. In total, the Authority is funding close to €250,000 with works ranging from the restoration of the club’s façade including timber balconies and apertures, waterproofing, internal renovation works and the upgrading of certain facilities.     

Martin Saliba PA Executive Chairperson said “We must not underestimate the importance of our Każini – besides the cultural heritage that these organisations have within our Maltese society, they serve as places that bring people together, across age ranges and political persuasions, opening up possibilities and as a fora to explore new opportunities. Today the culture of Każini is rapidly changing and become more inclusive, especially when it comes to the growing number of women not only attending but at the forefront of these social hubs.”

He added “through the Irrestawra l-Każin initiative we have shown our support to these voluntary organisations by softening the financial burden that the pandemic has left them to face. Maintenance works on their properties still had to be carried out irrespective of whether they were closed for a significant number of months.”      

This scheme and the Irrestawra l-Faċċata scheme, which was addressed towards properties situated along a number of streets where levels of traffic are higher, are a subdivision of the ever popular Irrestawra Darek scheme which the PA had issued in 2017 for three consecutive years. These schemes, place the Authority as one of Malta’s major contributors towards making funds widely available to promote and safeguard our common heritage. Through the Irrestawra Darek Scheme alone, the Authority made available €25million and assisted 355 first time buyers, 151 Grade 1 or 2 scheduled buildings, 42 voluntary organisations and 2058 private owners of residences within village core areas.


Two Każini that benefitted from this scheme were the Soċjeta Filarmonika La Vittoria and the Soċjeta Filarmonika L-Unjoni in Mellieħa and Luqa respectively.

Pawlino Mifsud, President of the La Vittoria Kazin said “this scheme was introduced at the right time. Through the grant provided to us by the PA we managed to carry out the much-needed works to prevent the decorative stonework on the balcony from further damage. Given the circumstances, we did not have the financial resources to carry out these works.”

President of the L-Unjoni Band clubJoseph Piscopo said “we benefitted from this scheme and as a result managed to carry out maintenance works to the façade of our każin. Works included the repainting of the ground floor level of the property and maintenance to the timber balcony and wrought iron railings.” He concluded “not only did we benefit as a club, but the whole community - since this is a central building and it embellishes one of Luqa’s main roads.”

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