SOVEREIGN ORDER OF MALTA
Oct. 21th, 2021
The Order of Malta is proud to champion the cause of rights of persons with disabilities through the work of the Order and our worldwide relief agency, Malteser International. The Order of Malta has an active presence in almost all the countries in North- Central- and South America, as well as in other countries around the world, carrying out a wide range of humanitarian activities and programs that provide aid to people with disabilities.
The Order supports schools, day centers, summer camps, and events for people with disabilities in Lebanon, Romania, Hong Kong, and the Czech Republic. In Romania, the day center helps children with disabilities and their families develop skills for the children to live independently, so that later they can be integrated into special or even mainstream education. Our relief organizations also help with daily transportation services for those with disabilities in the Czech Republic and Lithuania.
The Sovereign Order supports the health of people with disabilities by offering them health care services in Mauritania, Czech Republic, France, Poland, and Ireland. Sometimes this aid is provided through our own local medical facilities, some of which focus specifically on disabilities. In Mauritania, the Order has reconstructive surgery missions for the benefit of patients with sequelae of Hansen’s disease, in partnership with the Mauritanian Ministry of Health, the Mauritanian association of promotion of people with disabilities due to leprosy, and the Raoul Follereau Foundation. The initiative of providing healthcare to persons with disabilities is so important that the Order works on training medical professionals in this field. For example, in Prague, nursing students are offered practical experience in seven high-quality hospitals or healthcare facilities, including those specialized in children with disabilities.
Throughout crises such as the pandemic, we have also provided humanitarian aid to people with disabilities. In Pakistan, to cater to the immediate needs of families that had lost their source of income during the COVID pandemic, Malteser International restructured its project activities to include cash and food assistance for people, especially those with disabilities. In Turkey, Malteser International provides humanitarian aid for refugees from Syria, with part of the focus being on the needs of people with disabilities, their integration into the Turkish labor market, strengthening civil society, providing psycho-social support, and promoting social cohesion.