Maltesers’ Soup: Care That Fits in a Bowl
The Order of Malta Relief Organization (Maltesers) is launching its 18th annual campaign to help struggling seniors. The campaign, called “Malteser’s Soup”, aims to raise funds to support seniors in need.
Genutė, a 93-year-old woman who lives alone in a small Lithuanian village. Genutė’s husband died 15 years ago, her son died two years ago, and her sister died last year. She is now completely alone and struggling to make ends meet on her small pension.
Genutė is one of many seniors who are struggling in Lithuania. The poverty rate among seniors in Lithuania is 36.5%. This is due to a number of factors, including low pensions, rising inflation, and the high cost of living.
Genutė receives a monthly pension of 390 euros. She spends about 60 euros on medicine and other medical expenses. She spends another 250 euros on food. She also receives a hot meal from the Maltesers once a week.
Genutė says that the hot meal from the Maltesers is a “treasure”. She says that it “makes her feel like a lady”.
We invite you to calculate with Birutė, who lives in a small town in Lithuania, how much and for what a pensioner can afford.
“I am already a serious economist – I receive a pension of 390 euros and a single person’s allowance of 35 euros, and I am trying to survive a month. I thank God that I can still walk, even though it is difficult. I have to allocate about 60 euros for medicine, vitamins, and foot ointment – if I buy something more expensive one month, I sit quietly the next month and don’t look at any shops. I set aside 250 euros for food – I know how to save, but it wouldn’t be enough without the help of the Maltesers. I eat the soup they brought me in several servings – I save it, then I fry a potato next to it, or bread. I have both lunch and dinner from one bowl. But a person doesn’t just need bread – I bought firewood, the farmer sold it to me in instalments for 350 euros. He deferred the debt for half a year, because he was afraid for a longer time – I am 83 years old, he thought I would die and not return it,” Birutė talks about sad things with a smile and quietly dreams: she would like to have a new coat. A simple one, not fashionable, just she could go to church like a lady. Although Birutė knows how to save, because she worked as an accountant all her life, she knows – the coat will remain a dream. If she manages to save up, she will need to replace the stove, the old one is not safe, it could fly into the air any moment. But now all the stoves are electric, and electricity is expensive, it will not pay off, because services and other essential purchases cost 100 euros a month. That’s all Birutė’s accounting.”
Maltesers’ Support for the Elderly Goes Beyond Food
The Maltesers currently support 2,320 elderly people in 44 cities and towns in Lithuania. Hot soup is delivered to the weakest and poorest several times a week in thermoses – this food can be eaten immediately by the elderly. Other people are provided with food packages, and if they need help cooking, Maltesers-volunteers are on hand to help.
Support for the elderly goes beyond food. Volunteers who visit help them to take care of themselves (change bed linen, wash, clean, and tidy), do household chores, bring essential hygiene products, and prescribed medicines. They also aid from specialists (doctors, lawyers, and household workers), and provide compensatory equipment in case of illness or disability.
The problems of old age and poverty are often accompanied by deep-seated loneliness. Maltesers’ visits to the elderly are more than just a bowl of soup or mowed grass. They are a sign of respect and gratitude, and the care about that the elderly so often lack.
- The Maltesers is a non-governmental organization that provides humanitarian aid and disaster relief.
- The Malteser’s support for the elderly in Lithuania includes a variety of services, such as hot meals, food packages, home visits, and support groups.
- The Malteser’s goal is to help elderly people live with dignity and respect.
“Maltesers’ Soup” has already become a noble pre-Christmas tradition, inviting everyone to unite to help the elderly. But the elderly need help not only before the holidays, the Maltesers visit them regularly throughout the year and invite all people of goodwill to become sponsors of the elderly in need.
“Let the bowl of soup that comes to the elderly from the hands of the Maltesers become a symbol of the respect for old age, which contains care, compassion and gratitude. After all, many lonely old people have nothing else to rely on, so I invite everyone to unite. I thank all who contribute,” says Maltesers“ Secretary General Edvinas Regelskis and announces the start of the elderly support campaign.
The Malteser’s work is funded by donations from individuals and organizations.
We invite all good will people donate to the “Maltesers’ Soup” campaign. The money raised will be used to help seniors in need. The campaign reminds that support is needed all year round.
With respect for old age, the Maltesers invite you to donate by on the website https://maltieciusriuba.lt/
Thank you in the name of all the elderly waiting for help.
Photos by Egidijus Knispelis.