In the wake of the unrest in Afghanistan, the Order of Malta’s Relief Organisation in Lithuania is more and more involved in the integration processes of Afghani people who have fled their country and are now seeking protection in Lithuania.
The Order of Malta in Lithuania agreed with the Refugee Reception Center (Under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour) on a programme called “Integration of foreigners” which is currently directed mostly at helping Afghanis, many of whom have been relocated to Raseiniai (Kaunas County), a small town with population of 10,000 people.
The Order of Malta’s role is essentially to organise the necessary services so that these people can integrate as quickly as possible and, if necessary, to provide additional help as needed.
Volunteers are also supporting a few families that have been housed in Vilnius.
Help is also provided by means of legal and administrative assistance. Children are invited to attend sessions in the child day care centers the Order runs. Food, clothing, sanitary items are distributed regularly. The next step will be to help the Afghanis find a job and learn Lithuanian.
The programmes are run in close cooperation with the Army forces whereby the Order of Malta acts as an intermediary between the army and the migration department in planning the transfers and in finding accomodation and managing rentals.
Renting houses to foreigners is always a challenge but having the Order mediating is an asset that has made the process run smoother.