Wide-ranging commitment from soup kitchens to medical missions
2014 has been a very demanding year for the Order of Malta’s Cuban Association engaged in numerous social-health projects. The association supports four dispensaries and a centre for children with Down syndrome through an assistance network spread all over the Caribbean island.
As always, particular attention has been paid to the poor. Last year the Association distributed some 800,000 hot meals in over 60 soup kitchens. In six provinces, the Comedores Populares (soup kitchens) are open six days a week thanks to the dedication of a group of volunteers. A commitment that was recognized in 2014 by the Spanish TELVA magazine that organizes the annual “International Solidarity Prize”.
The Cuban association has extended its range of action in the Dominican Republic. Two medical missions have been completed every year for the last fifteen years, and 2014 was no exception. Teams of specialized doctors, including cardiologists, neurologists, paediatricians and gastroenterologists, participated in the missions that this year have treated some 2,300 patients living in one of the poorest areas of the island. During these missions, the doctors distribute enough medicines to last for the next six months.
In Miami, the Order of Malta’s Cuban Association also continues to provide assistance to the numerous Spanish community, distributing basic necessities in the “Casita de Malta” and organizing English language and IT courses.
The cooperation continues with the Order of Malta’s International Relief Agency, Malteser International, with which the Association combined forces after hurricane Sandy at the end of 2012 that smashed through Cuba, leaving destitution and devastation in its wake.
Also in Haiti, five years after the earthquake of January 2010 that razed to the ground a vast area of the island, the Cuban Association is continuing its support programmes for minors, organizing a summer camp for some 100 children, and actively cooperating with Malteser International, on the front line in healthcare and in upgrading facilities.