Maltesers: integral part of safe Lithuania
President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with the Sovereign Order of Malta’s Grand Chancellor Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager and Grand Hospitaller Dominique Prince de La Rochefoucauld-Montbel to discuss cooperation between Lithuania and the Order in providing social and humanitarian support.
The President spoke to team members of the Order of Malta’s Relief Organisation in Lithuania and visited the Malteser Day Care Center where she met with children and the elderly and baked cookies together.
The Grand Chancellor presented Dalia Grybauskaitė with the Peregrinatio Lourdensis medal for her personal contribution to closer cooperation. Only several people, Pope Francis among them, have received this decoration for humanitarian and social activities.
According to Dalia Grybauskaitė, the Order of Malta – a long-time promoter of the spirit of volunteering, concern and compassion across the nation – has become an integral part of safer Lithuania. It serves as a remarkable example of effective and simple support to the disadvantaged and the most vulnerable. Maltesers are engaged in charitable work that not only ensures welfare for many people, but also contributes to the development of citizenship and responsible society.
Maltesers are partners of the social campaign “For a Safe Lithuania” initiated by the President. Joint activities include social support, participation in such initiatives as “Give Children a Summer”, the establishment of day care centers, and buying school essentials for kids from socially disadvantaged families. The projects and initiatives will continue to provide extended relief to the poor layers of society.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Lithuania and the Order of Malta. Over these years, bilateral ties have expanded considerably. The cooperation agreement signed during this visit is a visible sign of close continued contacts, and it will further advance collaborative work in health care, social protection and across many other areas.
The world-oldest relief organization opened its headquarters in Lithuania in 1991. 1500 Malteser volunteers are engaged in voluntary social work in 44 cities and towns of Lithuania. Malteser day centers for youth and kids operate in 14 towns nationwide. Social assistance projects include help and care to the homebound, meals on wheels, transportation services for the disabled, first aid and paramedical training.