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TELVAŽ Awards the 2014 First Prize 'Premio de Solidaridad Internacional' to the Program of Dining Facilities for the Elderly in Cuba

Organized by the Cuban Association of the Order of Malta Based in Miami, Florida

Contact: Office of Communications,
Cuban Association of the Order of Malta,

MIAMI, April 21, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Spanish Publication TELVA® announced in Madrid the winners of their 2014 Solidarity Prizes. The First Prize for the International projects was awarded to the Program Dining Facilities for the Elderly in Cuba, organized and supported by the Cuban Association of the Order of Malta. 

The project was presented and sponsored by the Spanish Non-profit organization Asociacion Benefica Via Maria. The award is for 19,000 Euros, which will allow the support and maintenance of 5 dining facilities for one year. These facilities are run with the collaboration of the Catholic parishes and dioceses throughout Cuba. They normally provide one meal a day to 50 to 60 elderly persons who have no other means of support. In these centers there is also room for relaxation and conversation among the elderly, which normally have no other means to socialize with their peers outside these facilities.

During the month of March a delegation from Madrid visited La Habana, Cuba, where they went to several dining facilities for the elderly and personally saw the operation of the center at Iglesia de la Merced. They were met in Habana by the President and Chancellor of the Cuban Association, as well other local members of the Order of Malta. In the photograph we can see the Duchess of Anjou and the volunteer coordinator at the Dining Facility serving lunch, as well as the group in the background dining at the same facility at the Church of la Merced. They were accompanied by Elisa Alvarez Espejo, Director of TELVA, as well as by the Marquise of Rialp, a Dame of the Order of Malta in Spain and Vice President of Asociacion Benefica Via Maria.

The Cuban Association of the Order was established in 1952, and has been working closely with the Catholic Church in Cuba since 1996, funding approximately 64 adult day care centers, living facilities for retired priests, hospitals and other institutions, including one which serves children suffering from Down syndrome. These institutions deliver approximately 700,000 meals per year, primarily to more than 4,350 destitute elderly, and all services are rendered through parishes and other church operated and controlled institutions in Cuba. The Cuban Association also funds approximately 20 percent of the operating budget of the major seminary in La Habana. The Cuban Association also conducts medical missions in other countries in the Caribbean and Latin America. In a typical mission, five to ten doctors assisted by a like number of nurses and other volunteers, visit the ILAC medical facilities at  "Licey al Medio" a low income region, within a three-day period, providing between 1,500 and 2,000 medical visits to an average of 1,000 patients. For more information you may visit www.ordendemaltacuba.com.  

The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta, founded in Jerusalem around the year 1050, is a sovereign subject of international law and a Catholic lay religious order. The mission of the Order, summarized in the motto Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum, is to witness the faith and serve the poor and the sick.

The Order of Malta has its own institutions in the five continents for a total of 13,500 members, 80,000 volunteers, supported by more than 25,000 doctors, nurses and auxiliary nurses. The Order of Malta runs hospitals, medical and social centers, nursing homes for the elderly and the disabled, centers for terminally ill patients, volunteers' corps in more than 120 countries.

The Sovereign Order of Malta has bilateral diplomatic relations with more than 100 States and with the European Commission, with which it exchanges ambassadors. The Order is neutral, impartial and non-political and does not pursue any economic or political goal. It does not depend on any other state or government. For more information: www.orderofmalta.int