Encouraging organ donation in Lithuania - EEA Grants Jump to navigation Jump to content

Frontpage Results Encouraging organ donation in Lithuania

Heart story

Encouraging organ donation in Lithuania

  • Rimvydas Vekerotas has his own very personal reasons for encouraging Lithuanian youngsters to become organ donors as part of a project supported by the Grants.  Seven years ago, his life was saved by a donor heart.

    When Rimvydas learned that he needed a heart transplant because his heart had been badly damaged by an aggressive flu virus, his life was turned upside down.

    "I did not know how to break the news to my family. I mean, what do you say? Don‘t worry, but I need a heart transplant to continue to live,” he asks rhetorically

    Fortunately for Rimvydas and his family, the doctors managed to find him a heart from a compatible donor, and seven years after the surgery, he is now as healthy as he has ever been.

    "I go running with my dog, and I have participated in the European Hearts and Lungs Championships, a sports tournament for people with transplanted organs," he explains.


    Another thing that Rimvydas devotes a lot of time to is the organisation Gyvastis. As part of the Lithuanian NGO programme, the organisation has received €34 300 from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway to promote volunteerism in Lithuania.  Encouraging young people to become organ donors is an important part of this effort.

    "Gyvastis does a really important job when it comes to encouraging people to become donors," Rimvydas says.

    And even though he does not know the exact story behind his donor heart, he is convinced that Gyvastis is partly to thank for the fact that he is still alive.

    "I live because of its awareness campaign," he says.

    "And that is why I must participate myself.

    As a Gyvastis volunteer, Rimvydas has visited several schools, educating young people about organ donation.

    All countries

    Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway have set aside almost €147 million for the civil society sector, and NGO programmes are implemented in all the 16 beneficiary countries of the Grants. This makes the Grants one of the prime funding schemes for Central and Eastern Europe. The programmes cover a broad range of issues, such as democracy and human right, environment and sustainable development and social inequality.

    Click here to read more about the Grants' support to civil society

    Click here to read more about the Lithuanian NGO programme

  • Country:


    Project title:

    Ethnic Kitchen: Human Rights Advocacy Campaign to Combat Xenophobia, Racism, Sexism, and Ageism in Lithuania

    Project number:


    Priority sector:

    Civil Society


    € 135673



    Project promoter:

    US-LT Alumni Association

    Type of Institution:

    Other type of NGO

    Project duration:

    18 months

    Project cost:

    € 150,748

    Grant from:

    EEA Grants

    Migrants constitute only 1% of the Lithuanian population, which implies that Lithuania is one of the foreigners-unfriendliest societies in Europe. There is a stable increase in nationalistic and racist messages in Lithuanian public discourse. The project is to promote democratic values and human rights in Lithuania. This will be done through a human rights advocacy campaign against xenophobia, racism, sexism and ageism, forming sustainable partnerships with media, and producing a documentary feature called "Ethnic Kitchen". Free screenings and discussions with film stars and experts shall draw the attention of society and government to human rights' situation in Lithuania, initiate a public discussion on migrants' rights, shed light on situation of ethnic minorities, break down stereotypes, and encourage Lithuanians to be more tolerant to people of different cultural backgrounds. Target audiences: society, government, NGOs, media.