Forgotten People

St. John’s Day Grant Awards 2019

In the Fund’s largest grant cycle to date, 42 grants have been awarded supporting the reach and impact of the Order’s work across five continents, providing education, shelter, medical care, specialised transport and even goats to some of the world’s most vulnerable.

Kindergarten for Children in Need, Albanian Relief Service

Many families in rural Albania move to cities in the hope of a better life, but struggle to adapt, find jobs and afford childcare for their children. The Albanian Relief Service’s Kindergarten welcomes 70 children from marginalised communities each year, allowing them to learn and develop in a nurturing environment while their parents work. With support from the Fund, the kindergarten will provide these vulnerable children with a positive start in life.

Socio-medical Centre for Disabled Children, Albanian Relief Service

In Albania, families with disabled children struggle to find the support their children need. The Albanian Relief Service’s socio-medical centre provides 40-60 disabled children from marginalised communities with specialist therapy, adapted education, recreational excursions and life skills classes.  These help the children lead healthy and integrated lives, while parents find support in workshops and free advice services. With a grant from the Fund, the centre employ specialist staff to provide this vital aid.

Kindergarten for Vulnerable Children, Brazilian Association of Sao Paulo & Southern Brazil

In the Jabaquara district of Sao Paolo 20% of the population lives in slums, lacking basic sanitation and vulnerable to crime, drug abuse and human trafficking. Before entering state education at six years old, children are often left at home or on the streets whilst parents work. With a grant from the Fund, the Order will care for 50 local children, five days a week, allowing parents to work and provide for their families whilst children are fed, taught and cared for in a safe, nurturing environment.

Safe House for Victims of Human Trafficking, The Embassy of the Order of Malta at-large for Africa, Migration & Human Trafficking

Almost three quarters of the world’s 40 million victims of human trafficking are women and girls, many of whom are exploited for sex.* In Nigeria, the Order’s regional Ambassador-at-large for Human Trafficking & Migration has partnered with the Bakhita St Louis Empowerment network to establish a safe house for young female victims of sex trafficking. These girls, and in some cases their children, are housed in a caring environment, where health and psychological specialists help them and their families to reintegrate into a society that may have rejected them.

The Fund contributed to the renovation and furnishing of the home which was opened in March 2019.

*Stop the Traffik

Education and Employment Support for Leprosy Sufferers, CIOMAL

Despite the popular myth that leprosy is a disease of the past, around 200,000 people are diagnosed annually, often individuals already significantly affected by poverty and social exclusion.* In Cambodia, the Order cares for sufferers of leprosy, who may face discrimination as a result of their illness. Thanks to a grant from the Fund, CIOMAL provides access to education through scholarships, as well as financial support through small-business loans, to thousands of young families and children affected by leprosy, allowing them to live independent lives and have a more prosperous future.

*World Health Organisation

Order of Malta International Summer Camp for Disabled People 2018, British Association

“I loved camp because it made me feel like I didn’t have a disability for the first time in my life.”

Last summer, young volunteers from the British Association hosted 170 participants from over 25 countries at the Order’s annual International Summer Camp for Disabled People. With the support of the Fund, disabled guests and their young volunteers enjoyed bagpipe demonstrations, bowling, archery, a day out at a castle and even a trip on the London Eye. The camp always leaves the disabled guests feeling empowered, with a sense of community and freedom from the restrictions that often limit their daily lives: the 2018 Summer Camp was no exception.

Enabling Independence for Elderly and Disabled People, British Association

Since 1987 the British Association has run a vital transport service for elderly and disabled people in Central Scotland. The Order provides almost 40,000 journeys in specially adapted minibuses each year for those who are unable to use public transport, leaving them isolated in their homes.  Support from the Fund will enable 3,000 essential journeys each year, to medical appointments, the shops or even to see friends, giving a sense of independence to many who would otherwise be unable to travel.

Social Support for Elderly and Homeless People, British Association

In 2017-2018, one Scottish household became homeless every 18 minutes, including over 14,000 children.* The social isolation the homeless feel is also prevalent amongst Scotland’s elderly population. The Scottish Companions of the Order support both these groups with outreach work. A grant from the Fund will provide 50 elderly people with care and companionship at their Social Club and keep 100 homeless people warm with much-needed clothing.

*Shelter Scotland

Residential Rehabilitation for Ex-offenders, British Association

Breaking free from an addiction requires courage, tenacity and often specialist help. The Order works in London with vulnerable ex-offenders struggling with addiction through a free residential programme, run in partnership with the Nehemiah Project. Support from the Fund has significantly expanded the project with the addition of a new residential house, allowing 18 more men to enter the programme each year, where they will be supported to overcome their addiction and build a new life and community and find work.

Summer Camp for Disadvantaged Children, Italian Relief Corps

The Italian Relief Corps’ Summer Camp for Disadvantaged Children provides 20 children from difficult backgrounds, some of whom are unaccompanied minor refugees, with a break from their daily lives. With the support of the Fund, the camp provides healthy meals, outdoor activities and some much-needed fun for these vulnerable children. Volunteers organise hiking and climbing excursions, trips to the beach, swimming and boating as well as Italian language courses and health checks, making a real difference to the children’s happiness and wellbeing.

Creative Camp for Orphans and Children with Disabilities, The Embassy of the Order of Malta to Bulgaria

Hiking, quadbike riding, and the chance to be artistic: the Order’s creative camps in Bulgaria enable 30 orphans from state institutions to enjoy a much-needed break from their day-to-day environments. The children, half of whom are disabled, enjoy outdoor activities, make new friends and create artwork which is published each year by the Embassy. A grant from the Fund supports these memorable and life-enhancing activities for children who rarely experience life outside their residential homes.

Medical Support for Refugees, The Embassy of the Order of Malta to Cyprus

Cyprus received 8,000* refugees last year, leaving  local authorities struggling to cope. Thousands of families have no access to basic, regular medication or any medical care except in emergencies.  Support from the Fund to the Order’s Embassy in Cyprus has established a new project to provide basic medication to 800 refugees from Africa and Syria over the year – a need met by no other organisations on the island.


Medical and Education Support for Refugee Families, The Embassy of the Order of Malta to Thailand

Bangkok is home to a desperate population of Christian refugees. Whole families, forced to flee religious persecution in Pakistan, are trapped in Thailand, where their status as illegal immigrants leaves them unable to work or access education or medical care. With support from the Fund, the Order of Malta is working with 180 families, providing health care including hearing aids and an operation to save a child’s sight, and education for 92 school-age children, whilst they await refugee status and the chance to be resettled.

Education Support for Refugee Children, Order of Malta France

Refugees arriving in Île-de-France are often placed in unclean, overcrowded accommodation for long periods of time. The Order currently supports 300 families with food packages and toiletries, as well as psychosocial support for those who have suffered trauma and experience ongoing emotional issues. Children are provided with tuition to help their educational progress and a nurturing environment allows them to flourish in their new home. Support from the Fund is providing school materials for 150 children, and weekly homework support for 300.

Medical Imaging Clinic for Deprived Communities, Order of Malta France

Despite popular opinion, leprosy is still prevalent in parts of the world. Sufferers often become disabled and require surgery and ongoing medical treatment. The Order’s clinic in Senegal treated nearly 2,000 leprosy patients in 2018, requiring over 5,500 x-ray examinations. Support from the Fund will enable the clinic to increase their specialist staff, update medical imaging equipment and construct a brand new radiology centre to expand and improve care for these forgotten sufferers.

Medical Facilities for Mothers and Babies from Forgotten Communities, Order of Malta France

In Madagascar, a baby is four times more likely to die before it is one month old than in countries like France or the UK. Order of Malta France aims to reduce the country’s infant mortality rate from 17% to 10% by expanding facilities at the Order’s Pavillon Sainte Fleur Maternity Hospital in Antananarivo. A grant from the Fund will provide improved equipment and increase staff, enabling the hospital to deliver 3,000 babies a year and support mothers from the poorest areas of the capital.

Healthcare for Vulnerable Children and Mothers, Order of Malta France

In Ouagadoudou, Burkina Faso, medical care is too expensive for the city’s poorest families and nearly 10% of children do not live past their first birthday. At its Sainte Jean de Malte Centre, Order of Malta France provides the only affordable high-quality medical care for children and mothers in the area. Over 2,000 mothers and children were cared for at the centre in 2018, and, with the help of the Fund this year, the Order will care for thousands more of Ouagadoudou’s poorest families.

Medical Facilities for Mothers and Babies from Deprived Communities, Order of Malta France

In the Njombé region in Cameroon, one woman dies every hour from a pregnancy or childbirth complication, and infant mortality is extremely high. Support from the Fund enables Order of Malta France to undertake local training programmes and expand the healthcare available in Cameroon as well as in Togo, Madagascar and the Ivory Coast. Through their four hospitals, the Order will provide high-quality healthcare to over 68,000 mothers and children in the next year, securing a better start in life for thousands of children and their mothers.

Medical Care for Children with Disabilities, Order of Malta France

Child disability is common in Dakar, Senegal, where an estimated 30,000 children between the ages of one and seven struggle to walk. The Order of Malta France hospital specialises in orthopaedic care and plastic surgery for children with disabilities or affected by leprosy. A grant from the Fund will enable a study of children living with a disability in the poorest neighbourhoods, and determine how best to offer them the specialist care that they need. With the Fund’s support, the Order will find better ways to help local children manage their disabilities.

Order of Malta International Summer Camp for Disabled People 2019, German Association

The Order’s International Summer Camps for Disabled People are a great source of joy for guests and volunteers alike. The volunteers that organise and staff these camps arrange cultural and physical activities, from rock climbing, swimming and trampolining to museum and town visits, that go far beyond anything that their disabled guests could otherwise take part in. The 2019 Camp, supported by the Fund, will be hosted in Ettal, Germany, by the German Association and will be attended by 580 disabled guests and volunteers.

Fighting the Rise in Human Trafficking, Grand Magistry

There are an estimated 14.3 million victims of human trafficking in the world today.* Trapped in modern-day slavery, these individuals are denied basic freedoms, often robbed of their documentation and kept under the threat of violence. The Order is working around the world to end human trafficking, this year opening a safe house for victims of human trafficking in Nigeria. The Fund is supporting expert participation from our Nigerian partner at the Order’s upcoming conference on Human Trafficking in Paris this October, helping to share best practice, increase co-operation and identify new ways to fight human trafficking.

*Stop the Traffik

Help for Homeless People, Grand Priory of Bohemia

People at risk of homelessness are often vulnerable to drug abuse and isolation from society, equally those with addiction or isolation may lose their homes. In the Czech Republic, the Order helps both the homeless and those at risk, supporting them to access legal documents and social benefits, find accommodation, and learn to manage their finances. Support from the Fund will enable the project to provide assistance to 90.

Care for Forgotten Elderly People, Cuban Association

Cuba’s elderly population is growing rapidly, but receives little to no state provision. The Cuban Association provides food, medical care, and companionship to marginalised elderly people every year at 61 care centres across the country. The Fund’s support for the project will provide nutritious meals and a network of support and friendship for over 15,000 elderly visitors.

Socio-medical Care for Disadvantaged Children, Lebanese Association

Many vulnerable refugee and host communities in Lebanon struggle to access healthcare. The Lebanese Association provides a lifeline through its nine socio-medical centres which offer free treatment across the country. With the Fund’s support, the Lebanese Association will improve care for mothers and children in these communities, providing specialist medical care for 5,000 school children and health visits to local schools.

Education Support for Underprivileged Children, Lebanese Association

For underprivileged children living in remote areas of Lebanon, education can be a way of escaping their impoverished backgrounds as well as a passport to a better future. The youth of the Lebanese Association work with public schools across the country to offer forgotten and marginalised children a fully-funded schooling programme, paying fees and helping with essentials such as uniform and equipment that families cannot afford. The Fund’s support allows 20 children to be offered this chance at a better future.

Dog Therapy for Disabled People, Lithuanian Relief Service

The Lithuanian Relief Service uses specially trained therapy dogs as a new and highly effective rehabilitation treatment for elderly and disabled people. Interacting with the dogs supports participants’ physical and emotional health and improves their cognitive and social skills in a joyful environment. After just a few months of canine therapy, patients show noticeable improvements in motor and social skills. A grant from the Fund will provide further training for staff and enable canine therapy for 50 people a month.

Day Care Centre for Elderly People, Lithuanian Relief Service

A strong sense of community is crucial for elderly people, who often live alone. In Lithuania, where there are very few social centres for elderly people, the Order’s Relief Service is establishing a day care centre which, with the support of the Fund, will serve food, host talks on healthy lifestyles, promote volunteering opportunities and offer art, music and dance therapy to 30 regular attendees.  The Order will organise transportation to and from the centre and staff will also visit a further 30 elderly people in their houses, to ensure that they still feel connected to the community.

Improving Nutrition for Vulnerable Children, Malteser International

Two thirds of the population of Cité Soleil in Haiti have no reliable source of food. As a result, thousands of children grow up battling malnutrition. To combat this, Malteser International are creating household gardens, distributing chickens and goats to hundreds of vulnerable families, and educating parents about the importance of nutrition in early life. With the support of the Fund, 900 children will be taught how to care for the gardens and livestock, giving them the security of enough food to eat and a positive change in their daily lives.

Medical Care for Marginalised Communities, Panamanian Association

Remote and impoverished rural communities in Panama often have no transport links and are cut off from public services, many lack access to medical care. The Order sends qualified doctors to these areas, sometimes only accessible by canoe, and provides basic healthcare, vaccinations and health education, as well as referrals to public hospitals when required. Without this service over 18,000 people would otherwise be forgotten. A grant from the Fund will help the project expand the reach and variety of care it offers, with new equipment, medicines and transportation.

Home Therapy for Disabled Children, Polish Association

Having a premature baby or disabled child is a time of change and uncertainty for families. In Krakow, the Fund’s support is enabling the Polish Association to offer home visits by healthcare specialists and therapists to families with premature or disabled children. This service provides medical care for those unable to reach hospital, and also helps parents and siblings adapt and cope with daily life in the reality of their home environment, providing a lifeline for families and children in their early days at home.

Malteser Youth International Camp, Polish Association

The Fund is supporting the Malteser Youth International Network’s first summer camp, to be held in Poland this August. The camp offers a chance for 120 young volunteers from the Order’s European Relief Organisations to come together, share experiences, learn from each other and leave inspired by the Order’s values. The camp will host workshops on practical fundraising skills, volunteering opportunities and team building exercises, providing volunteers of the Order with the skills to grow and expand their works to better serve thousands of people in need in their own countries.

Summer Camp for Disabled Youth, Romanian Relief Service

The Fund is supporting the 17th national Summer Camp for Disabled Youth, organised by young Romanian volunteers, taking place in July 2019. The camp gives 50 young disabled people aged 16-35 the opportunity to enjoy a week of outdoor activities, workshops, dog therapy, sporting competitions and cultural outings. The camp provides participants with a rich sense of community and the chance to participate in activities that they would not normally have access to, stretching horizons and learning new skills. It is often described as the best week of their year.

Day Care Centre for Roma Mothers and Children, Romanian Relief Service and Embassy of the Order of Malta to the Roma People

Pregnant women and minors from the Roma community in Romania face the challenges of motherhood against a backdrop of poverty and social prejudice. With the support of the Fund, the Romanian Relief Service’s day care centre provides support to 42 mothers and 58 children at high risk of social exclusion. The centre provides group therapy sessions to support mothers giving guidance in hygiene, nutrition and parenting skills to help them best care for their growing children.

Day Care Centre for Elderly People, Romanian Relief Service

Old age often brings isolation, worsened by poverty and mobility issues. To combat the loneliness endured by many elderly people and make them valued parts of their communities, the Romanian Relief Service are establishing a day care centre for 30 elderly people living in poverty, at high risk of social exclusion. With the Fund’s support, visitors enjoy talks, volunteering opportunities, celebrations and theatre trips. Those unable to travel to the centre receive home visits to ensure that they too feel involved in the life of the community.

Education Support for Underprivileged Children, Romanian Relief Service

Education can be a pathway to a better future, but a lack of resources and trained teachers are causing an increasing number of young people in rural Romania to drop out of school. With the support of the Fund, the Romanian Relief Service are working to encourage 30 children from disadvantaged backgrounds to stay in the classroom. Presentations showcasing potential careers and visits to vocational schools help children understand the importance of education, and the opportunities for the future it can provide.

Meals for Elderly People, Slovakian Relief Service

Housebound and disadvantaged elderly people living in Slovakia receive minimal state assistance to meet their needs, they often lack food and medication and are isolated. The Order’s Slovakian Relief Service provides vital support to 70 people in this position, delivering hot meals and companionship every day. Support from the Fund launched this project in 2015 and, in 2019, is allowing the delivery of a further 300 meals each month, showing Slovakia’s elderly that they are not forgotten.

Shelter and Support for Migrant Families, Russian Relief Service

Many families struggling to find work in Russia or neighbouring countries come to St Petersburg in search of employment, but end up homeless and destitute, unable to access support from the state. The Russian Relief Service supports families in these desperate circumstances, giving them temporary accommodation, food, medical care, counselling and, where necessary, help returning home. Support from the Fund is enabling the project to accommodate 48 families in temporary accommodation and help 24 families to return home in 2019.

Forgotten Children Participating in Children’s Day Celebrations, Romanian Relief Service

To participate in a Mass celebrated by the Pope is an unforgettable experience. This year, with the support of the Fund, some of Romania’s most marginalised children were given this opportunity. On 1 June, the International Day for the Protection of Children, the Romanian Relief Service transported 300 children from their programmes across the country to the Mass at Şumuleu Ciuc, attended by Pope Francis during his Papal Visit to Romania. The children, many of whom have never left their region, had an extraordinary day out, and were made to feel special and valued.

Practical and Spiritual Support for Elderly and Disabled People, Slovakian Relief Service

How much can one van bring to the lives of the forgotten? In the hands of the Slovakian Relief Service, one vehicle provides hot meals to 70 isolated elderly people each day, takes older people with physical impairments to Mass, and transports young people with disabilities to camps and activities organised for them by young Order volunteers. With the support of the Fund to purchase an additional vehicle, the Order in Slovakia will bring comfort, joy and support to hundreds more people around the country in 2019.

Education and Integration of Roma Children, Ukrainian Relief Service and the Embassy of the Order of Malta to the Roma People

Very few of the Roma children living in the segregated camp at Beregovo in Ukraine attend school, and those who do often drop out. Some girls become mothers as young as 13 years old. Although integration is difficult, education alongside other local children is key to ensuring a better, more stable future for these marginalised children. With the Fund’s support, the Order facilitates this process with its new educational and integrational centre, which provides daily meals, after school activities, vocational training and lessons in health and hygiene to around 50 children from the camp.

Medical Centre for Marginalised Communities, US – Federal Association

For many uninsured adults in Connecticut, the emergency room is the only place to find medical care. The Federal Association supports many people in this precarious situation through the Malta House of Care van: the only free clinic in the state which visits adults without medical insurance in their own neighbourhoods. Their patients, many of whom are refugees, receive diagnoses, tests, prescriptions, advice on how to manage chronic conditions and hospital referrals where necessary. With the support of the Fund, the centre will serve 6,000 patients, free of charge, in 2019.

Social Canteen for Elderly People, Venezuelan Association 

In the face of food shortages, economic failure and political turbulence, over three million Venezuelans have emigrated in recent years in search of a better life abroad.* Not everyone can leave, however, and the elderly, disabled, and vulnerable are often left behind. The Order brings warm food and a renewed sense of community to the most isolated and vulnerable elderly people in one of the most impoverished area of the capital. Support from the Fund will enable the Order to double the reach of this project in 2019, serving hot meals and providing companionship to 80 people every day.

*BBC News

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