Overview of the Order of Malta in Colombia
Positive results for the Order of Malta’s Colombian Association, which in 2013 and the first months of 2014 has maintained its aid projects for the poor and disadvantaged, continuing its distribution of medicines thanks to the agreement signed with the Bogota government in 2002 under which the Order could import duty-free drugs for the poorer population groups.
In the Palermo Sur barrios, one of the poorest in Bogota, the Order of Malta runs a health centre treating some 200 people a month. Given their social and economic fragility, these people would otherwise have no access to medical treatment.
Again in the Colombia capital, in the Lisboa neighbourhood, the Order of Malta supports a dental clinic, a health clinic staffed by medical personnel from the local hospital, and a soup kitchen serving up to 500 meals a day. The Fra’ Andrew Bertie centre for the elderly – in memory of the Order of Malta’s Grand Master who died in 2008 – entirely financed by the Order in Colombia, is managed in cooperation with the Blessed Giovanni Battista Scalabrini community.
The centre daily assists an average of 70 elderly people in conditions of great poverty and isolation. With the support of Malteser International Americas, the Colombian Association has also launched a project for building a new health centre within the indigenous territory of the Arhuacos, in the northern part of the Sierra Nevada di Santa Marta.