ICCI “Our House” has always considered its priority to help people – consultations, financial and informational support, humanitarian aid. Since May 2022, “Our House” in Lithuania has started a permanent and fruitful cooperation with Maisto bankas (food bank). It is one of the largest organizations in Lithuania, which for many years has been aiming to help people.

Simonas Guriavicius, director of Maisto bankas of Lithuania, suggested that Our House should help Belarusian refugees because this category of migrants was in a very difficult situation because of the war in Ukraine.

  

Since the end of May, every Thursday at the office of Our House, Maisto bankas provides 150 to 350 kilograms of food to the Belarusian refugees of Vilnius. Each person who comes to us has their own story of persecution and repression. And one might ask, why do you think food aid is so important? We know exactly why! Because people appreciate care, they appreciate the fact that they are not forgotten, that they are tried to help, that the problems of Belarusians care… the same Belarusians!

During the time of cooperation with Maisto bankas, Our House has received and distributed almost two tons of products. Probably on the scale of hundreds of thousands of Belarusians who have left their homeland because of threats to their life and health it is not such a big figure. But Our House team knows that any help is important. One family, which thanks to food and humanitarian aid will get back on its feet faster, will help two more – find time to explain to them where to get documents and how to find an apartment, help get a child into school, and tell them where Belarusians can find language courses or legal help.

ICCI “Our House” would like to thank Maisto bankas and its director Simonas Gurevičius for finding an opportunity to help and support Belarusians in this difficult period. The more so, since now Maisto bankas has two important functions connected with the situation in Ukraine. The first one is that every refugee who comes from Ukraine to Lithuania receives a food package from them for 2-3 days. The second function is to arrange delivery from Lithuania to Ukraine. At the same time, the food bank also continues to help Lithuanians themselves who find themselves in a difficult situation. 

All this confirms the fact that Lithuania and the Lithuanians themselves feel very strongly about the Belarusians. From the very beginning of the protests, they were among the first to offer us a helping hand and continue to do so. Thanks to this ICCI “Our House” has managed to expand its humanitarian direction and help not only with clothes and household items, but also with food.

After all, the wave of migration from Belarus is unfortunately not decreasing. Against the background of Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, people keep leaving Belarus – to the already mentioned reasons about repression and persecution, a protest against the risk of being at war on the side of the aggressor is added. Conscientious objectors and deserters are leaving Belarus. These people also need our help and support!

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