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US First Lady Jill Biden meets Order of Malta volunteers in visit to the Slovak-Ukrainian border

During her visit to the Slovak-Ukrainian border, the First Lady of the United States, Jill Biden – accompanied by the Slovak Republic Prime Minister, Eduard Heger and Minister of the Interior, Roman Mikulec – met with a team of volunteers from the Order of Malta currently assisting tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees.

Jill Biden expressed words of support and encouragement for the many services offered by the Order of Malta’s volunteers in Slovakia. They have been assisting refugees since the beginning of the war in Ukraine. The First Lady was received by the President of the Order of Malta in Slovakia (Maltézska pomoc Slovensko), Julius Brichta, and Vice-President Tomáš Sklenár, who described the Order of Malta’s humanitarian, medical and social assistance programmes for Ukrainian refugees in Slovakia, and also in Poland, Hungary, Romania and in numerous Ukrainian cities.

The First Lady, together with representatives of the Slovak state, then participated in a Sunday prayer in the Order of Malta’s field chapel at the Vyšné Nemecké border station. This converted and heated tent, which houses the chapel, also serves as a waiting area for mothers and children in case of bad weather conditions.

Order of Malta Slovakia on the front line since day two of the war

The Order of Malta in Slovakia has been providing services at the Slovak-Ukrainian border crossing Vyšné Nemecké since the second day of the war. The services are offered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and include health, social and psychological assistance to all arriving refugees. More than 200 volunteers from Slovakia and other Order of Malta relief organisations in neighbouring countries serve in 72-hour shifts and have distributed more than 60,000 drinks and 100,000 food and social assistance rations. During the first weeks of the war, the Order’s volunteers also coordinated all transport and accommodation for the thousands of refugees who arrived at this border station, where temperatures at night reached minus 20 degrees.

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The mission of the Order of Malta is inspired by its tradition of ‘Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum', to assist the poor and the sick, and bear witness to the Christian faith.


The Sovereign Order of Malta is a sovereign subject of international law. The Order - which is based in Rome, in via Condotti - has its own Government, an independent magistracy, and bilateral diplomatic relations with 110 countries.


The Order of St John of Jerusalem is one of the oldest institutions of Western and Christian civilisation. Present in Palestine in around 1048, it is a lay religious Order, traditionally of military, chivalrous, noble nature.