ECOLOGIA's Regional Grant-Making Program


Problem Solving for Better Health in Lithuania

Summary of Year 2005 Grants



Project: “Art therapy program for child cancer patients”

Project Need: Hospitalization of children in oncology ward lasts for months. During this period of hospitalization, children and their parents experience stress and despair. Stress and negative emotions make healing process very slow. Positive emotions improve immune system and contribute to the healing. Art therapy could help little patients and their parents to relax and experience joy, and will provide them with positive emotions.  

Goal of the project: To improve children's immune systems and motivation to live by organizing an art therapy program (music, art, theater performances) in Vilnius’ Children Hospital. (Vilnius’ Children's Hospital).


Project: “Cozy environment for the elderly”

Project Need: Elderly people who live in Alytus’ town Home for Elderly spend their springs and summers indoors because there is no rest area outdoors adapted to them. The majority of senior residents are lonely; they don’t have relatives who could take them home for the weekends.  

Goal of the project: To improve health of residents of Home for the Elderly by constructing special rest area outdoors specially adapted to the people with motion problems and those who can’t walk. (Alytus’ town Home for Elderly; Alytus, Southern Lithuania).


Project: “Clean-up of Nemunas’ River banks in Alytus town”

Project Need: The Nemunas River banks are polluted: there are many old, dead trees and bushes which do not beautify surroundings. People started using this area as trash dump site. Nice area with the view to the river is becoming polluted and attracts alcohol users.  

Goal of the project: To improve the aesthetics and public use of the river banks, and increase the recreational zone, by organizing clean-up campaigns and placing warning signs. (Alytus region - Butrimonys secondary school; Southern Lithuania).


Project: “Program for parents of children with hearing problems”

Project Need: 90% of children with hearing problems are born to families where parents don’t have such problems. It is stressful for the parents to realize that their children have hearing problems. They become isolated, and do not want to socialize with other people. Such parents can not provide adequate conditions to their children for their integration into society.  

Goal of the project: To initiate socialization of parents in Kaunas’ city whose children have hearing problems by organizing an educational one year program for parents including lectures and meetings with specialists, and organizing self-support groups for parents in order to encourage them to communicate more openly and by this to improve socialization of their children. (Kaunas Rehabilitation and Education Center for the deaf and children with hearing problems).


Project: “Improving psychological competence among Children’s Home teachers”

Project Need: There are psychological miscommunication problems among children and teachers in Kaunas region's Children’s Home. In some cases these problems are caused by 11- 18 year old's behavior, but in certain cases responsibility rests with teachers who, because of their lack of psychological knowledge and skills, often can not respond to the needs of psychologically hurt children. Teachers often don't know how to react constructively to improper behavior of children, or to form democratic relationships and help them in solving problems/conflicts.  

Goal of the project: To reduce the number of conflicts between the teachers and children of Kaunas region's Children’s Home by conducting a one year educational program for teachers about causes and correction of children’s misbehavior, management of stress and anger, about formation of democratic relationships and psychological specifics of being teenagers. (Society of Lithuanian health psychologists; Kaunas, Central Lithuania).


Project: “Improving social services for the people with mental disorders”

Project Need: Rokishkis Psychiatric hospital is different from other psychiatric hospitals in Lithuania: besides common services provided by psychiatric hospitals, Rokishis hospital provides forensic psychiatry services. Patients who committed a crime and by the decision of court are being treated in Rokishkis hospital stay in hospital for more than a year. Intense care is provided only in the period of acute disease, and later attention is being paid to patients' rehabilitation and preparation for return to society.  

Goal of the project: To improve health of the patients by improving quality of social services provided to the patients. Detailed data on social situation of the patients will be collected, and printed information about social services available for the patients will be distributed. In accordance with their health needs, social services will be provided to 180 patients of the hospital. (Rokishkis Psychiatric hospital; Eastern Lithuania).


Project: “Diabetes school”

Project Need: People with diabetes who live in rural areas of Pakruojis region (Northern Lithuania) have no or little information about how to live with diabetes and how to prevent themselves from its complications.  

Goal of the project: To reduce the number of diabetes complication cases among diabetes patients of Pakruojis region. Practical and theoretical workshops for 470 residents will be conducted during 11 months’ period in order to prevent diabetes complications. (Diabetes Club “Vita”, Pakruojis, Northern Lithuania).


Project: “Environmental and awareness raising campaign”

Project Need: Sventoji River banks are polluted by the litter and trash. People come to rest in natural surroundings, but rarely think to leave the place clean. Rest areas are decreasing because people occupy clean places.  

Goal of the project: To clean river bank from trash and put warning signs. This project will be implemented during summer months, so people could see the results and warn others who don’t keep place tidy. This project not only will help to reduce pollution, and risks of infectious diseases, but will also help people to keep away from their computers, closed indoor space, will help them to communicate with others reaching common goal – beautifying natural surroundings. (Jonava town community; Central Lithuania)


Project: “Educational program for menopausal women”

Project Need: The Out-patient clinic of Liuciunai village serves 240 women over 40 years old. During menopause women have health related problems, they also face psychological problems. They lack information about this period of their lives.  

Goal of the project: To improve health of the women participating in the program. Educational program will be conducted during autumn- winter period (because spring and summer months are busy for rural women) by doctors: gynaecologist, family doctor, nutrition specialist, and five women volunteers who overcame difficulties of menopause. (Out-patient clinic of Liuciunai, Kaunas region; Central Lithuania).


Project: “Anti-alcohol and smoking prevention program for rural youth”

Project Need: The number of alcohol abusers and smokers among young people (10- 18 year old) is increasing in Dusmenys village. Young people are not interested in cultural life; they don’t read books. Their only interest besides drinking and smoking is sports.  

Goal of the project: To reduce number of drinking and smoking young people in Dusmenys village. Sports and prevention program will be organized for the youth by the community leaders, local police, and public health center. This one year program will not consist of boring lectures; it will involve youth participation in discussions, round tables, as well as sports games and competitions. (Community Center of Dusmenys village, Trakai region, Eastern Lithuania).


Project: “Musical therapy for people with mental disorders”

Project Need: Depression patients have lost their joy in life. They suffer from social isolation; they have low self-esteem. Taking an active part in group activities can improve their spirits.  

Goal of the project: To improve self-confidence for 30 Svekshna Psychiatric hospital patients and return their joy of life. Musical classes will be organized for the patients periodically, and during one month period they will prepare a concert and perform it in Sveksna secondary school. (Svekshna Psychiatric Hospital, Shilute region; Western Lithuania).


Project: “Correction of students’ behavior and emotions in Kulautuva secondary school”

Project Need: 15% of the school children (6- 16 years old) of Kulautuva secondary school express their emotions inadequately. Their behavior is not appropriate, and it causes problems for themselves and the other students.  

Goal of the project: To reduce the amount and severity of improper behaviour of children. During a period of nine months, an educational program about correction of emotions and behavior will be presented to 40 school children, their parents and teachers.(Kulautuva secondary school; Kaunas’ region; Central Lithuania).


Project: “Practical environmental education for problematic youth”

Project Need: Young people (14- 17 year old) attend “Gija” Youth school because they did not attend regular schools for different reasons. These young people are very sensitive to their environment: they appreciate if they have organized leisure time. This way they get more interested in classes, they smoke less, they have less time to be involved in criminal activities.  

Goal of the project: To reduce the number of smoking, crime-oriented young people in this school during school year. Environmental education and practical works will be organized: 40 young people will take care of beautifying school surroundings (planting flowers) and indoors (“pet room” will be organized). Children will take care of the plants (outdoors and indoors), and of the pets that will live in the specially adapted premises of the school. “Gija” School for the Youth; Vilnius)


Project: “Informational program to reduce accidental poisoning among children in Vilnius”

Project Need: Accidental poisoning cases among children up to 5 years old usually happen because their parents do not pay much attention to the environment which surrounds their children. Children of this age learn about the world “through their mouth”. It is very important for parents to understand that they must provide safe and secure environment for their children, and in the case of accidental poisoning parents should know what actions should be taken.  

Goal of the project: To reduce the number of accidental poisonings of children under 5 year old in Vilnius city . Informational program including lectures and brochures will be conducted during one year in Vilnius’ kindergartens, maternity hospitals, Children's hospitals and out-patient clinics for the parents and kindergarten staff. (Department of poisoning control and information of Vilnius’ Emergency Hospital).

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