Our mission would not be possible without our exceptional team.

United in purpose, we are committed to effecting positive change by providing unwavering support to families navigating challenging journeys.

Through collaborative efforts, we aim to uplift and guide these families, fostering a climate where hope becomes a beacon illuminating their path through challenging times.

Meet Our Management Team

Claire Chircop
Director & Co-Founder

Claire is the visionary behind the Karl Vella Foundation (KVF), co-founding it with Rosemary Ann, Karl Vella’s wife, in 2014. Since its inception, Claire has been the driving force behind KVF, channeling her passion into the organisation.

 With a background in the education sector spanning several years, Claire brings valuable experience to her role. Recently, she graduated as a MindBody Therapy practitioner, reflecting her keen interest in mindfulness practices. Claire’s unwavering dedication is evident as she tirelessly spearheads the implementation of new projects within KVF, contributing to the foundation’s ongoing mission and growth.

Mark Calleja
Senior Manager

For the past few years, Mark has served as the Psychological Support Services Coordinator at the Karl Vella Foundation. His professional journey encompasses diverse roles in psycho-social, educational, and spiritual fields with various organizations. Mark, a qualified professional in Training and Human Resources Management, also holds expertise in Consciousness & Transpersonal Psychology. This background equips him with a comprehensive understanding of whole-person development, particularly psycho-spiritual growth. Beyond his professional pursuits, Mark nurtures a passion for creative writing, martial arts, and mindfulness practices. His multifaceted career and educational background reflect a commitment to fostering holistic well-being and personal development.

Joseph Antoncich
Manager Psychological Support Services

Joseph is a Systemic Family Therapist and Social Worker with extensive experience in the social field. With a master’s degree in Family Therapy and Systemic Practice, a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Social Policy, and another master’s degree in Social Work (Children and Families), he began his career in 2007. Over the course of 10 years, he worked in the Child Protection sector and spent 5 years in the Community sector, holding various leading roles with Malta’s primary government social entity. Joseph is dedicated to helping individuals, families, and couples navigate challenges and transform struggles into strengths. He values the collaborative approach of family resources in overcoming obstacles and is passionate about building therapeutic relationships that are experiential, practical, and realistic.

Clayton Portelli
Because You Matter Coordinator

Clayton holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology (1st Class Honours) from the University of Malta. He aspires to further his studies in the psychology field. He also has experience as an ESL educator, and has volunteered with children with learning difficulties. 

Clayton coordinates the service of ‘Because You Matter’, where he provides emotional and psychological support to patients receiving treatment abroad, their carers, donors, and their families. In addition, Clayton facilitates sessions for The Wellness Pod. Outside of work, Clayton has a keen interest in music, books and travelling. 

Gillianne Saliba
Wellness Pod Coordinator

Gillianne, KVF’s Wellness Pod coordinator, holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and is pursuing a Master’s in Gestalt Psychotherapy. Focused on supporting children facing illness or loss and their families, she brings a 5-year background in the social sector. Initially aiding children with ASD, she later provided emotional support to crime victims, emphasizing advocacy and social change. Gillianne, passionate about child development, employs creative modalities like art, play, and drama in therapy. Eager to specialize in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy, she approaches her work with enthusiasm and a continual desire for learning.

Adrianne Mercieca
PA to the Director

Adrianne, a seasoned educator with over two decades of teaching experience, holds qualifications as a teacher and has worked in both primary and secondary school settings. In 2019, she became a valuable addition to the Karl Vella Foundation (KVF) by joining as a volunteer. Recognizing her dedication and skills, in 2021, Adrianne transitioned into the role of Personal Assistant to the Director at KVF. Her extensive background in education and commitment to the foundation’s mission make her a valuable asset in supporting the organization’s operations and contributing to its goals.

Liana Kovacheva
Support Staff for The Wellness Pod

Martina Saliba
Support Staff for Because You Matter

Other Support

Group Facilitators

Group facilitators from various fields help in providing children with different experiences throughout the programmes offered in The Wellness Pod.

Mental Health Professionals

Various professionals  provide the children attending KVF with the psychological support needed.  Therapists at KVF use different forms of therapy such as talk therapy, art therapy, play therapy, drama therapy and siblings therapy to enable the children to express and process their emotions.

Child Support Workers

KVF’s child support workers help to give more individualised attention to the children. With the help of the child support workers, each child’s individual need within the group is met.

Trainers, Teachers & LSE’s

As part of the Wellness Pod Programme, trainers, teachers, and LSEs collaborate and deliver educational support to the holistic well-being and development of children under this programme.


A number of volunteers from various walks of life help out at KVF Centre. These volunteers help by supporting and watching over children during play-time, and helping out during any activity organized at KVF. A group of volunteers also help with fundraising.

Student Placements

KVF Welcomes students reading a degree in Psychotherapy, Child and Family Studies, Counselling, Psychology, Social Work, Youth and Community Studies to do their field placement at the KVF Centre.

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