With the start of hurricane season in the Caribbean, the region’s residents face multiple threats: not only the extreme weather itself, but also viral epidemics such as cholera, dengue, and most recently, chikungunya – a rarely-fatal but debilitating infection transmitted by mosquitos.
According to the Pan American Health Organization, there have been nearly 40,000 suspected cases seen by health workers since chikungunya was first documented in Haiti in May. The actual number of cases in the country is expected to be a lot higher, since many people still lack access to health facilities.
The summer camp for young people in Ukraine, 2014
For the Order of Malta, summer means camps for disabled young people and once again a chance for members and volunteers in numerous countries to offer their services. Whether a volunteer or a guest, it is a unique and enriching experience for all involved.
Here are just a few examples of the initiatives organised on an international or national level.
Correspondence, Magistral decrees, Sovereign Council minutes, cabrei – volumes describing and illustrating the Order’s agricultural real estate – and account books. In addition to the documents produced for entry into the Order, such as family trees, parchments dating back to the Middle Ages, seals and coats of arms. These epitomize the immense resources of the Order of Malta’s Archives kept inside the Magistral Palace in Rome. We’re talking about a collection of documents in continual communication, even today, with the archives of institutions worldwide, illustrated for the first time in the book “Il valore inestimabile delle Carte. L’Archivio del Sovrano Ordine di Malta e la sua storia: un primo esperimento di ricostruzione” (“The Inestimable Value of Manuscripts. The Sovereign Order of Malta’s Archive and its History: an initial attempt at reconstruction”)
We are in Kilis in southeast Turkey, a city close to the Syrian border that hosts more refugees than local residents. Here, the Order of Malta’s worldwide relief agency Malteser International, in cooperation with its Turkish partner organisation, has constructed a hospital where medics treat refugees of the Syrian civil war. Those who have made it this far may have survived the war but have often suffered severe injuries. Their homes, their homeland, and often members of their families, are gone forever. Here at the field hospital the refugees receive medical care from their fellow countrymen. A glimmer of hope for a better future.