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The disabled and pilgrimage

We believe that disability should not be a reason for social exclusion and isolation. Therefore, we assist the disabled and help them to gain more confidence, responsibility, and ability to adapt to society. One of the tools to develop these qualities is canitherapy sessions. This is an alternative type of rehabilitation where specially trained dogs help the disabled to make social contact and encourage their motivation. Canitherapy sessions initially started in Klaipėda by using 4 trained dogs and 4 Malteser assistants to help children with special needs to facilitate their adaptation in different environments.

Rehabilitation camp for the disabled “Move it!” is a summer camp for recently disabled people where they learn how to move in wheelchairs, build trust in themselves, set new goals and seek for them, communicate, learn new hobbies and build a new social life. The instructors of the camp are also disabled people who inspire other participants by their own example. We notice that after the rehabilitation summer camp, disabled people feel motivated and have more confidence in themselves.

The Order of Malta annually organizes a summer camp for disabled youth ‘Malta Camp’.  It is an international summer camp every ear organized in a different country.  Lithuanian delegation usually brings 10-12 participants (5-6 disabled and their helpers). This camp, according to the participants, is a life-changing experience, where they learn new things and meet a lot of international friends and practice their foreign language skills.

Disabled are invited to participate in pilgrimages where they travel together with Maltesers helpers. One of the most remarkable is a pilgrimage to Lourdes, France organized at the end of April annually. We also participate in a pilgrimage in Lithuania during Šiluva feast. Our task is to assist disabled physically and support their pilgrimages financially.