This is an exciting start-up intended to serve as a model for alternative housing options for the elderly. It will demonstrate that home-owning seniors with low incomes, often living alone, have a passive-income option to increase their incomes while overcoming loneliness. Dignity Homes has been set up as a non-profit housing and services management company. Although it currently needs substantial donations for renovations of a property already purchased (thanks to a generous CAL donor), once the operation is up and running, it will be an entirely self-financing social enterprise. We’re halfway there! For more information, view the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ir123UIfoqQ A webpage is being developed.
The purpose of the network is to strengthen the institutional capacities of nongovernmental organizations to work with national and local governments to address the problems of poverty and social exclusion in Lithuania. It currently has over 50 members, including the Lithuanian Red Cross, Food Bank, Caritas, Knights of Malta and many smaller organizations around the country. It disseminates information on poverty, provides policy recommendations and advocacy training, and is working hard to become an effective advocacy organization for its members and on behalf of the poor and disenfranchised of Lithuania. Advocacy and citizen participation in public policymaking is an essential part of democracy, but is relatively undeveloped in Lithuania. For more information, visit www.stopskurdas.lt (Lithuanian only).
The Lithuanian Food Bank is one of the first projects supported by Community Action Lithuania. It is a non-governmental organization whose mission is to work with food manufacturers and retailers to ensure that good food is not thrown out, but reaches the tables of the needy. They rely on donations, the good will of volunteers and socially responsible corporations to carry out their work. Their director, Deimante Zebrauskaite, was selected as one of Lithuania's top ten most effective CEO's in 2009--the only nonprofit director on the list. For more information on the Food Bank, go to www.maistobankas.lt (Lithuanian only).
The Children Support Centre has been working since 1995 to provide Lithuania’s children with a safer, more supportive environment in school and at home and implements child abuse prevention and intervention programs. It is the Lithuanian sponsor of Big Brothers-Big Sisters, with volunteers from the community and military academy mentoring vulnerable children. It also launched the Second Step program in Lithuanian schools to prevent bullying, and prepares educational materials for teachers and parents on how to recognize children who have been physically or sexually abused. It was designated Non-Governmental Organization of the Year in 2007. For more information on the Children Support Centre, go to www.pvc.lt (Lithuanian and English).
Child Line was begun in 1997 as a response to the state of children’s psychological health in Lithuania – international indicators constantly place Lithuania at the bottom of child well-being charts. International surveys indicate Lithuania’s children are among the least happy on earth. The hotline is a free service available to children anywhere in Lithuania. Children and adolescents are able to call anonymously and obtain counseling when they feel overwhelmed. The lines are staffed by psychologist-trained volunteers. Information about the availability of the hotline is spread through the schools and public campaigns. For more information, go to www.vaikulinija.lt (Lithuanian and English).