On the occasion of the celebrations for the 30th anniversary of the Order of Malta’s Relief Organisation in Lithuania (Maltiečiai), the Grand Hospitaller of the Order of Malta, Dominique de La Rochefoucauld-Montbel, paid a visit to the country. Between 15 and 17 September he had separate meetings with the President of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda, the Minister of Interior, the Minister of Health and the Minister of Social Welfare and Labour. Main topics of the meetings were the enhancement of the cooperation between the Order of Malta and Lithuania in the management of the long-term negative effects of the pandemic crisis and in that of the refugees and migrant flows.
During the Grand Hospitaller’s visit, the St. John the Baptist Elderly Home was inaugurated in Viekšnaliai, in the north of the country. This new facility, which can accommodate and provide care for 30 elderly people, is a project entirely managed by the Order of Malta Relief Organisation in Lithuania. The celebration was attended by the Minister of Social Welfare and Labour Monika Navickienė.
During his visit in Lithuania the Grand Hospitaller also had a meeting with the Bishop of Telšiai Algirdas Jurevičius.
The Prime Minister of Lithuania Ingrida Šimonytė was received in Rome, at the Magistral Palace, by the Grand Chancellor of the Order of Malta Albrecht Boeselager only a few days ago, on 6th September.
Established in 1991, the Relief Organisation in Lithuania runs social and medical programmes in 30 different towns assisting the elderly, the needy, the disabled, and children from deprived families. Among the main activities is the “Meals on wheels” project started in 1993 that provides yearly more than 132,000 warm meals and the fundraising campaigns such as the Malteser Soup Campaign which takes place every year before Christmas raising around 500,000 euros for its social programmes to help the disadvantaged.
The activities are supported by the Embassy of the Order of Malta in Vilnius which was opened in 1992, when diplomatic relations were established.