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„Kalbėdami tiesą su meile, aukime visais atžvilgiais tame, kuris yra galva, - Kristuje.“ (Ef4, 15)
Lietuvos reformacijos istorijos ir kultūros draugija
The year 2009 in "Vaiko užuovėja"
Monday, 01 March 2010 12:50

The year 2009 was already the sixth year of activity for social institution, the children's foster home „Vaiko užuovėja" located in Biržai region.

At the beginning of 2009, 35 children lived in our institution. 15 of them had been determined a permanent care. During the year 12 children with temporarily restricted parental care, located in houses, 22 children left to live for parents, foster-parents or were adopted. During the 2009 one our boy was taken to foster family, and one girl was adopted by Sweden family. We may enjoy or may regret that she was the second child from our foster home adopted in foreign country. Reports from adoptive parents tell that adoption was successful, children and their new parents are happy to find each other. It's a pity that there were very little families in Lithuania who resolve for adoption and quite many children leave Lithuania and become citizens of other states.

At the beginning of the year Institution used three families principle to foster children. There lived of 10-12 children in each family. 24 people of staff totally took care about them. It is the same number as in the year 2008. 18 of them worked with children directly. Social workers constantly improved their qualification in seminars and courses. Four social In January 31, 2008, collaboration agreement between Municipality of Biržai region and our Institution was changed and sponsorship from Municipality budget increased up to 10,5 minimal living standards, i.e. 1365 Lt for one foster-child. Sponsorship was indeed enough to ensure a steady and qualified work.

Unfortunately, in April Municipality of Biržai region informed that in connection with economical and financial crisis in Lithuania, financing of our activity program was significantly reduced. We undertook drastic methods for saving. By coincidence the number of children decreased and from May one family was closed. The number of social workers posts has been reduced and significantly decreased workload for the staff. Only one social worker left to work during the nights. There was refused posts of driver, housekeeper's assistant and laundress, cut staff units of cleaner and tender. From August until the end of 2009, because of crisis, the coefficient of salary was reduced and equalized up to 7,5 of base-salary for one staff-unit to all employees of Institution. To save costs, we refused having a hot water during children summer holidays, maximally limited purchase of all goods and services and repair of premises wasn't done. The funds of children social benefits remaining from the minimum children's needs: food, medicines, fuel; were used to pay utility costs. Since September the workload of social workers has been further reduced. Office staff was reduced to 12.65 posts. Also there were temporarily reduced the financing of children nutrition and feeding rate per day from 9.0 to 8.5 litas per child. Such opportunity arose because of considerable support with vegetables from our own staff as well as from friends and acquaintances.

It is nice to rejoice, that in this difficult period we received a lot of support from various organizations and individuals more than ever both from Lithuania and foreign countries. At first we received financial support from the Lithuanian Evangelical Reformed Church parishes in Vilnius, Panevėžys, Kėdainiai that were collected as donations for our children during worships. Some of our brothers and sisters in faith, transferred larger or smaller amounts of money to our support account directly.
We were warmed with a special warmth and kindness that came from Support Action named „Goodness rays of autumn" initiated by youths of Biržai „Radvilas". During this action people in supermarkets bought foodstuff and hygiene products and donated them to our children's home. There were donated goods for 5 thousand litas in total. That was a very significant and not only material, but also moral support for us at that time, since we felt that people, living in difficult themselves, support and maintain our Institution and our children.

We would like to list every person that donate money, bought school goods, brought basket of apples, a sack of potatoes or a few jam pots. Perhaps we counted and listed not every little item, but each contribution, whether small or great - was very much needed and helped us to survive and do not sink into unbearable debts. Donation of individuals or organizations testified that we are concerned and thought about and we are not alone. The list is really long and it is the following:
UAB „Tolinkelis" supported us with computers, pots, carpets and other goods for 4872,54 Lt.
Club „Lions", Sweden - varied second-hand wears.
UAB "Actavis Baltija" - vitamins for 216,84 Lt.
LERCh Vilnius parish - wears, toys, school goods and hygiene products and other.
Charity fund "Vienybė" - trip to Vilnius and children's' summer camp.
Sweden organization" Friend to friend" - wears for children.
A.Jankauskas company - subscription of magazine "Aviacijos pasaulis" (Aviation World).
Biržai assistance center - table lamps, shampoo.
Public security police service - free protection service.
Pupils of Pabiržė school - Foodstuff , hygiene products and school goods.
Support Action "Rudeniški gerumo spinduliai" („Autumnal rays of goodness") - foodstuff, hygiene products for 5,007.68 Lt.
B. Rinkevičienė Farm - apples.
George Ruchti - new winter shoes for all children, clothes, toys, confectioneries.
Catholic Women's Organization - knitted gloves and socks.
UAB "Šviesa" - books.
UAB "Alma litera" - books for 1,316.17 Lt.
R. Misevičius family - camera "Kodak" and New Year's Eve celebration at country tourism farmstead.
Germany Lithuanians community from Köln - Bonn - television sets, electric cooker, confectioneries for 1,334.82 LT.
UAB "Žydruva" - Wallpaper.
Stankevičiai Farm - fresh milk as needed.
Department of Statistics - hygiene products, school goods.
Synod Consistory of Lithuanian Evangelic Reformed Church - fuel for transport for 253.49 LT.
Many donations came from individuals: hygiene products and school goods, foodstuff, vegetables, apples, honey, knitted sox and gloves, camera, second hand clothes, etc.
Total there were donated various items in material values of 17,795.16 EUR.
Cash donations:
Ev.Ref. Kirhengemeinde Horn - 9687.7 Lt
Lions Club (Sweden) - 1035.84 Lt.
Kėdainiai Ev. Reformed parish - 200 Lt.
UAB "Transritas" - 2500 Lt targeted support for trip to Jurmala Aqua Park.
Biržai Catholic Church donations from Charity evening - 1237.50 Lt.
Swedish organization "Vaner Femelan" - 350 Lt.
Canadian Committee for Support of Lithuanian Children - 3193.95 Lt.
Charitable Foundation "Vienybė" - 1300 Lt.
Vilnius Ev.. Reformed parish - 660.1 Lt.
Biržai Ev. Reformed parish - 313 Lt.
Agricultural cooperative "Šilauogė" - 170 Lt.
Panevežys Ev. Reformed parish - 190 Lt.
State Tax Inspection (2% contribution) - 514.18 Lt.
And there is still a long list of people who personally transferred financial donations to our support account. In total there were donated - 43,363,29 Lt. We sincerely thank to everyone.

Financial resources were used to pay accounts of food in November and December, for the trip to Jurmala Aqua Park (it was Christmas gift from UAB "Transritas"), for furniture, microwaves, radio, print and copy machine, for children's' school fees and other smaller purchases. In the 1st of January 2010 there was 21 000 Lt in the support account of the Institution. This amount of saved money will be a substantial support in 2010, because budgeting of our Institution from Municipality of Biržai region decreased in about 17 % again.

It is a pity, that due to shortage of finances in 2009 there was far less exciting tours and excursion, but we still tried to please our children. In January, 16 they were in Jurmala Aqua Park. Children wellness program financed four trips to Pasvalys pool. Funds from TV3 action "išsipildymo akcija" enabled to all our children to go to Vilnius, visit TV Tower, the Cathedral, the basement of the Cathedral and Gediminas Tower. Nine children camped at children's summer camp in Nemunėlio Radvilišks. Seven children went to Vilnius to the show "Walking with dinosaurs". The other seven - to circus "Aga-boom". We finalized the year in the same way as we started it - having trip to Aqua Park in Jurmala and also with
This year showed that our foster children are sensitive and not indifferent to the destiny and reputation of children's foster home. Children worried about that due to lack of money the foster home would be closed and they would be dispersed to other foster homes. They tried to save themselves. They did not ask to increase feeding rates that was temporarily reduced or to heat more cool rooms or during summer holidays turn on the hot water. All understood that each saved litas would be used for maintenance of their own home: to pay bills for electricity, water and telephone. Our children are good. Our children are sensitive. They love us and I really mean it. Only they do not always dare to show their soft feelings, in particular our teenagers. They are hurt by adults, left by their relatives. They wear masks of indifference and only deep trust and close friendship can remove them from their faces and hearts. That is the reality: if child does not have real family and real home, but children's homes, the good friend is much needed. Friend - adult and experienced, authoritative and forgiving, capable to hear or just spend time together, who could come to visit only him/her, but not to all, keeping promises, writing letters, greeting on birthdays, taking out to good concert or performance together with theirs own children, inviting to guest for weekends. This is a voluntary care, self-commitment to be friends with the lonely child. And it almost costs nothing, but gives so much for both the one who gives and the one who receives. And this friendship with the child grows blossoms of love, the true love that comes from God. We, the members of Evangelical Reformed Church, are most responsible for those children, because the Synod of the Lithuanian Evangelical Reformed Church is the founder of the Institution "Vaiko užuovėja" and there is an obligation of all of us and everyone individually to take care about those children not formally but actually. An excellent example of how good and easy it can be done are families of the priest Tomas Šernas, journalist Evaldas Tamariūnas and Palmyra Taučikiene, who voluntary care and are friends with Ugnė, Titas and Šarūnė. It is good to see brightened children's eyes, because they have something to wait for: meeting, trip to visit, letter, gift, phone call.

The children are not property of and they are not appropriated neither by the Reformed Church, nor by the Institution „Vaikų užuovėja". We are only entrusted with responsibility and care. Dear all people of good will, I ask you do not remain indifferent to these children. They are ours. Motivate, encourage each other, remember that there are little ones in the children's home and each of them is badly needed love and attention. Child care has many forms. On of them is a voluntary care, which does not require special conditions or extensive formality. It is just a friendship between family and a child, when the child is visited occasionally or regularly, invited to stay at family place for longer or shorter period of time. And let it is not a sacrifice, but the true love of GOD.

Daiva Janonienė
the director of VšĮ „Vaiko užuovėja