Caritas Lithuania brings poverty issue to national political agenda
Mon, 19/06/2017 - 09:00

Photo (from left to right): Bishop Kęstutis Kėvalas, Jorge Nuño Mayer, Minister Linas Kukuraitis, Deimantė Bukeikaitė, Arūnas Kučikas

Last 6 June, Caritas Lithuania organised a meeting with the national Minister of Social Security and Labour, Linas Kukuraitis. The Secretary General of Caritas Europa, Jorge Nuño Mayer, and the Chairman of the Council of Social Affairs of the Lithuanian Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Kęstutis Kėvalas, met with the Minister to discuss the most acute social challenges that Lithuania has to deal with, namely reducing income inequality and social exclusion, enhancing the assistance to families and children, and strengthening communities. The General Secretary of Caritas Lithuania Deimantė Bukeikaitė and the Chairman of the Council of Caritas Lithuania Arūnas Kučikas were also present at this meeting.

The following day, Caritas Lithuania organised a conference in the Lithuanian Parliament entitled "Directions and Actors of Poverty Reduction Policy: Empowering Community Members and Revitalising Community Resources". Mr. Nuño Mayer delivered a speech on "the social model of Caritas Europa: its directions, conditions and practices of poverty reduction policy".

Visit of Caritas Europa‘s Secretary General

From 5 to 9 June, Caritas Europa‘s Secretary General Jorge Nuño Mayer paid his first visit to Caritas Lithuania. During his stay he met with the President of the Lithuanian Bishops’ Conference, HE Archbishop Gintaras Grušas, and the Bishop Kęstutis Kėvalas, who is responsible for Caritas in Lithuania. They exchanged thoughts and insights about the development of Caritas in Lithuania, the experiences of Caritas in different European countries and about feasible working strategies of Caritas in strengthening the civil society and reducing national poverty.

Mr. Nuño Mayer also visited diocesan and parish Caritas centres, communities and projects where he could witness the work of Caritas in Lithuania, such as in Vilnius archdiocese, Kaunas archdiocese, Telšiai diocese and Kaišiadorys diocese. There he had the opportunity to meet HE Archbishop Lionginas Virbalas, HE Bishop Jonas Ivanauskas and the teams of Caritas Vilnius, Caritas Kaunas, Caritas Telšiai and Caritas Kaišiadorys.

By Deimantė Bukeikaitė, General-Secretary of Caritas Lithuania