Dear friends and supporters,
We are very pleased to report to you today about the opening ceremony of the first “PATRIA Meeting House for Youth” on July 12, 2021 in Kaunas. This was preceded by several months of intensive renovation and furnishing activities, which were financed by donations from our association. Board members Jurate Bogacz, Ingrid and Otmar Debald participated in the ceremonial opening via video conference and Otmar Debald gave a short speech.
We are happy that the first of the two former Children’s Village houses in Kaunas is now available as a “meeting place” for young people from the PATRIA program. The two Kaunas houses in a modern residential area on the outskirts of Kaunas had been built in 2009, with great financial support from our donors. For some years, up to 16 orphans, mothers and aunts lived in the “branch” of the Marijampole Children’s Village. Many of our sponsors had sponsored children there. After the restructuring of orphanage care, the two homes could no longer continue as orphanages. We are very happy that we were able to reach an agreement with the church foundation as the owner to convert the two houses into a meeting place for the youth and young adults in our PATRIA program. Thus, the use of these houses, built with our donations, finds a very meaningful continuation.
From now on, the young people from the PATRIA program will meet regularly in the now completed first Kaunas House for discussions, workshops and events. Up to 16 guests can stay in the bedrooms, which are equipped with sturdy bunk beds. The living room and kitchen with dining room are used to prepare meals, an important community experience at the workshops. Patria’s social workers have their own small bedroom. The second Kaunas House next door is not yet finalized, but can already be used for volunteers supporting Patria projects. There, the renovation work will be carried out in the fall of 2021.
The opening ceremony of the “PATRIA Meeting House” was attended by the entire PATRIA team, some children and members of our association board. In his speech, Otmar Debald told the story of the two former Children’s Village houses via video and spoke of the fact that the conversion of the houses is a dream come true, which is also symbolic of the continuation of the work of the association with the new focus “PATRIA education program”. Kristina Maciulyte, the director of PATRIA, also spoke of a moving moment for the PATRIA organization because the expansion of the houses is an important milestone in their youth work.
At the beginning of September 2021, the first PATRIA CAMP will take place in the meeting house, with the participation of Jurate Bogacz, Ingrid and Otmar Debald. The camp will be held partly in the two Kaunas houses. Last year, a trip to Lithuania could not take place due to the Corona pandemic. All the greater is now the joy that the board team will again be on site in Lithuania for the PATRIA camp.
We would like to invite you, dear friends, sponsors and supporters, to join us in us to travel to Lithuania. The trip will take place from 2 to 5 September. We will spend two days with the young people of the PATRIA program and then visit the children in the Children’s Village in Marijampoles. A small uncertainty whether the trip can take place, unfortunately, remains because of the difficult to predict pandemic situation. However, we are confident that the situation will remain as stable as it is now. If you would like to travel with us, please register by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We sincerely thank you for your generous financial support of this important project in Kaunas! The renovation and furnishing measures were financed by part of the donations from our 2020 Christmas campaign. We would especially like to thank our corporate sponsor Cosnova and the Lions Club Vortaunus, who generously supported the project with donations.
We will of course report on the experiences at the first PATRIA camp (early Sept. 2021) in the new meeting house in Kaunas. Until then, we remain with a very warm aciu for your valued support!
Yours Ingrid and Otmar Debald and the
Team of “Children’s Villages in Lithuania e.V.”.