Within our “Peace at War” project, we enjoyed working with people from Georgia, Lithuania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Romania, Cyprus and Sweden. Unfortunately, most of these countries have very present and recent wars in history, some being babies of war. This internal conflict has grown with them through the stories of their families and the culture of their country. It was a gift to listen to them, and for many of them, it was a liberation to 1. put these experiences into words and 2. feel loved, supported and understood by their peers.
Once again, we thank them for their presence and courage in sharing and listening to others. Unfortunately, the world is still full of conflicts. But it is incredible how people who have to fight every day to recover their country can extend their energy and solidarity with other nations. Such are the participants of this program, people involved in the search for peace and social change, empathetic and humane in the best sense of humanity.
Many of them were concerned about the situation in Ukraine, not only because of their shared history in the past with the USSR but also for the lives of the thousands of civilians who have had to leave their country or are still there. Participants showed the helplessness of feeling that they could not help; they could not help in their countries’ war, and they could not help now.
So we decided to go to one of Maltieciai’s volunteer centers, a warehouse located in the Big-Vilnius shopping center. We went with the participants to pack bags with necessities for Ukrainian refugee children, women and men in Lithuania. Our participants were quick to get into action. They had the assembly line ready in no time and did not stop until the job was done. It only consisted of packaging products, but the most beautiful part of the human being blossomed there:
“Once, my parents lived through the war and received aid packages like those we have prepared. When the war in Ukraine started, I wanted to help. We felt helpless and alarmed about what could happen in Ukraine. Today by preparing these packages, I feel that I am giving back what my parents received at the time. And I feel that I have finally been able to help Ukrainians somehow. Thank you very much.”. By Kemal & Nasiha
Human beings are social beings born to live and grow in society. Volunteering, motivation, and the need to help others have allowed us and what will allow us to continue growing in search of a peaceful world.
Seeing our participants as volunteers was like seeing flowers bloom in a previously burned field: life reemerges and does so with more strength.
With this blog, we want to encourage you to experience volunteering. Any action is essential: some may prepare bags of necessities, and others may throw themselves into the forest or the sea to give help. Everything counts, and everything unites us.
If you want to know more about volunteering opportunities in your Vilnius or Kaunas, don’t hesitate to contact us. If you would like to have a similar experience to our participants, you can also contact Maltieciai.