ECOLOGIA's Regional Grant-Making Program


Problem Solving for Better Health in Lithuania

Summary of Year 2001 Grants



The ECOLOGIA Baltic Office highlights this organ donation project as one of the most successful efforts conducted under the Lithuanian Problem Solving for Better Health program.


The Project "You Can Save Our Lives.”


The original idea of this project was to create a Web page on the Internet publicizing an organ donor program in Lithuania and to encourage people to become organ donors after their death. The Organ Donor's Web page was created and is located at This project was submitted by the Society of Kidney Patients of Vilnius.  This project not only achieved its original goals, but it also achieved far more.


After the ECOLOGIA-organized PSBH workshop the participant Ugne Shakuniene wrote a letter to the President of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus asking him to support the organ donor idea simply by telling Lithuanian citizens how important this action is. After some time there was a social event in which many Governmental representatives and also President took part. The president made a speech about the importance of good will, and how one can save the life of another person by making the decision and signing a Donor Card. The president announced that he is also signing this card, and did. After the President, the Minister of the Interior also signed a card and encouraged other military officers and solders to do the same. So we can see how PSBH workshop inspired a participant to take more active role in the project which she was concerned about for many years but was not sure how to start it. The Web site now is operating, and many young people come to the site, ask questions and consider showing  their good will to those whose lives can be saved by such action.        



Project: “Correction of Children’s Behavioral Disorders by Applying a Complex Relaxation Program.” 210 mentally disabled children– ages 4 – 21 year old – are  living in a boarding school.  100 of them have behavioral disorders (aggression, and depression with suicidal tendencies, etc.)  Goal of the project – to implement relaxation programs in specially equipped rooms for those children according  to their individual needs. (Boarding School for disabled children; Akmene district, Northern Lithuania)


Project: "Educational-Psychological Program of a Healthy Lifestyle for Students and Their Parents in the Town of
Geruliai."  Annual medical examinations show that children of this school often have psychological problems, poor physical health, and often become ill. The biggest problem in this region is a high unemployment rate. Parents receiving social allowances do not know how to use money properly.

Goal of the project: To help children and their parents understand the need of a health life style. Psychologists, social workers, physicians, and teachers will organize information campaigns and conduct lectures to provide parents and children with economical, medical, and psychological information, including individual family consultations.  (Secondary School of Geruliai, Prienai region;  Southern Lithuania).

Project: "Educational-Preventional Program for Patients with Hypertension in
Vilnius' Hospital."

Goal of the project: To teach hypertension patients to control their blood pressure to avoid complications and to improve their quality of life. Program will be applied to 300 patients of a Vilnius’ suburb; they will be taught to self-control their hypertension and teach others. (Vilnius'  University Hospital).


Project: "Educational Program on Nursing Care for Family Members of Mentally Ill Patients."  Project aims to prepare an educational program for family members who care for mentally ill patients at home about nursing care and behavioral management.  This program would help decrease the number of re-hospitalization cases for such patients. A video film will be made, so family members can visually see how to better help mentally ill patient  adapt to living at home and to domestic life. (Psychiatrical
Hospital of town Saukenai, Central Lithuania).

Project: "Educational Program for School-Students on Drug Prevention." This program will be implemented by three school students, a teacher of religion, a psychologist, custom officers, monks, former drug abusers, and doctor of Narcotics. Program is oriented to  9-11th grade school students. The main point of this program is to explain the harmful effect of the drugs without trying to frighten young people. (Palanga
Secondary School; Western Lithuania).



Project: “Preventive Program of Thyroid Disease in the Secondary School of the Town of Revuona."  Medical examinations show an increasing number of children having thyroid gland disease. Reason: The drinking water of this region does not contain iodine.  

Goal of the project: To reduce the number of such diseases by conducting lectures for parents and school children  on endocrine diseases, nutrition, environmental impacts, as well as adding salt containing iodine to school children’s food, as well as educate and encourage parents to use such salt for the meals at home. (Revuona Secondary School; Prienai district; Southern Lithuania).

Project: "Establishing a Relaxation Therapy Room for Patients with Psychological Disorders."
Goal of the project: To improve the quality of life for the patients with psychological disorders by their integration into the society. The majority of people with psychological disorders are not socially active. 71% of such people rarely or never have participated in leisure activities involving groups of other people.  Having relaxation therapy rooms for them to meet each other and become more socially active, may increase the probability of their integration into the society.  (Vilnius University Hospital Center of Psychical Health).

Project: "Nursing Care Program for Patients with Ulcers and Bedsores,
and Their Social Integration in the Town of Shiauliai." 

Goal of the project: To reduce the number of ulcers and bedsores among elderly, vitally ill, and bedridden patients by applying nursing care methods in their homes. (Lithuanian Red Cross, Northern Lithuania)


Project: "Educational Program on Healthy Lifestyle and Social Adaptation for Teenagers and Their Parents in
Nemajunai Secondary School."  63% of school children attending Nemajunai secondary school belong to the so called group of  socially disadvantaged.”

Goal of this project: To prevent school children from negative influences of the street (and in some cases – from their family members) by organizing different kinds of after school activities for students and their family members in the surroundings of the town. (Secondary School of town Nemajunai; Birstonas region; Southern Lithuania).


Project: "Self-Support Groups for Family Members of Patients with Psychological Disorders."  Goal of the project: To improve the relationship between family members by organizing educational programs, and by establishing self-help groups for family members. (Center “Giedra”,Vilnius).



Project: "Improvement of the Sexual Life of Disabled People."

Goal of the project: To improve the home environment and reduce the  of number of divorces in the families where one of the partners has a spinal injury. Project aims to provide such families with medical information on how to restore male sexual potential after a spinal chord injury.  This project has also received support from the Phizer Company.

(Association of people with spinal injuries, Vilnius).

Project: "Evaluation of Soil Contamination with Heavy Metals in the Former Soviet Military Ground in the Pabrade Region,
Eastern Lithuania."

Goal of the project: To measure the ground contamination levels of the former Soviet military training grounds to get a better idea about military pollution in Lithuania in general. Results are to be presented to the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Environment. (Vilnius' Technical University).


Project: "Specially Equipped Car Seats for the Disabled.” Project aims to create a type of specialized seat that can be used in cars of people with disabilities, as well as for people who have waist and back pain.  30 volunteers will try to find the best-adopted seats, and in cooperation with the doctors, prepare a model of a seat for the disabled as well as for those who suffer back pain. (Society for Disabled of




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