Increase in services offered and people in need reached
The Order of Malta’s Relief Organisation in Lithuania (MOPT) ended 2014 on a high note. Volunteers’ efforts to help those in need increased significantly in terms of services offered and people reached. The organisation has been handing out hot meals since 1993 and now covers a total of 16 municipalities with the two new towns added last year. In 2014 volunteers distributed some 80,500 hot meals to 450 people. The number of people reached over the year has also grown along with the service, which now also provides food packs and food vouchers that can be spent in the shops.
Home visits by volunteers have also increased. Around 300 elderly people are involved, mostly fragile and sick or with financial problems, with an average of 100 visits a year for each assisted person.
Another fundamental activity of the Order of Malta in Lithuania is its support for disadvantaged children. In 2014 there were eight assistance centres in operation and two new facilities were inaugurated at the beginning of this year. A total of 225 young people were helped last year.
Also last year a new transport service for the disabled was launched, with 90 people participating in the project in the towns of Vilnius and Klaipeda.
Besides the first-aid courses organised in various schools nationwide, the Order of Malta’s Lithuanian volunteers prepared the annual “Malteser Soup” campaign to increase public awareness about those living on the breadline, the elderly and the sick. Plates of typical local soup were offered in squares in 30 Lithuanian towns. The campaign, in which the Vilnius government ministers and celebrities participated, ended the year with a fundraising concert broadcast on national television.