President of the Republic of Lithuania

Lithuanian children share their hopes directly with Santa

2017-12-04

Monday, December 4, Vilnius  President Dalia Grybauskaitė and a group of children from care homes are travelling to Lapland to meet Santa Claus and give him a package of letters with drawings and Christmas wishes from Lithuanian kids. The President will tell Santa about her wish to see a Lithuania without children’s homes.

The year’s most beautiful holidays are usually celebrated at home together with family and friends. But Christmas is not like that for everybody. There are more than 90 orphanages taking care of almost 3000 children in Lithuania. Most of them spend Christmas holidays in care institutions.

According to the President, a Lithuania without homes for children would be a Christmas miracle, but the efforts of all – not just Santa Claus – are needed to make this happen.

The nationwide campaign “For A Safe Lithuania” initiated by President Dalia Grybauskaitė, the web portal Delfi and the Lithuanian supermarket chain Norfa have invited children to join a unique social action “Mission Lapland” and give orphanage kids a wonderful Christmas gift.

The President’s invitation to send drawings to Santa Claus so that orphanage kids could visit Lapland was met with genuine support. Almost 3000 children specified an orphanage for this trip in their letters to Santa.

One hundred kids were selected by random draw from care homes in Klaipėda, Mažeikiai, Tauragė, Kėdainiai, Marikampolė, Alytus, Panevėžys, and the districts of Šiauliai, Anykščiai and Šalčininkai.

The kids will be accompanied by ambassadors of the social campaign “For A Safe Lithuania”: brothers Algirdas and Remigijus Gataveckai, both artists, stage performer Vidas Bareikis.

In order to accelerate the restructuring of children’s homes, 11 legal amendments initiated by the President were adopted during the past two years to introduce social fostering, to promote foster parenting and adoption, and to keep children under three years of age from being sent to care homes. The campaign’s team of experts and specialists have visited all the districts of Lithuania and met with members of all local municipalities to share best practices and speed up the orphanage restructuring process.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2017.12.04 10:14

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