The Order of Malta in Lithuania has launched its annual elderly support campaign “Maltesers’ Soup”, a successful and well-known initiative that over the years has attracted many donors and supporters. This 15th year is more relevant than ever, as the Covid19 pandemic is hitting the elderly the hardest.
The basic elements of the fundraising campaign “Maltesers‘s Soup” remain the same: 10 stories of elderly people and how they are taken care of by the Order of Malta in Lithuania. The films of their stories are shown on national television, and a Gala concert on December 20 is broadcast live. People are encouraged to donate 3 or 10 euros while watching either stories or during the concert.
Unlike previous years, the Lithuanian volunteers cannot organize Maltesers’ Soup events in towns, as they have always done in 40 identified locations, but the Order of Malta’s group leaders are asked to be active on regional television, on social networks, in supermarkets, in the churches, and in medical or city institutions. An agreement has been made with Vilnius Municipality which allows them to broadcast 12-second video films about Malteser’s Soup on public transport.
In this Baltic country the average pension is 344 euros, which is below the poverty line of 379 euros.
Thus, the aim of the campaign is to raise funds for poor and lonely elderly, especially those who live alone in remote areas. The pandemic has imprisoned them at home and has caused anxiety and uncertainty. It has left them with the only option – to rely on the kindness of those around them.
The Order of Malta in Lithuania aims to raise 260,000 euros – this amount is needed to take care of 2,600 elderly people suffering from poverty, diseases and loneliness – to bring them food, hygiene and basic household necessities.
Malteser volunteers with food thermoses and baskets of food products go to the most remote farmhouses, where lonely elderly people are waiting not only for a bowl of soup, but also for a comforting word and someone to listen to them.