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200 asylum applicants have been relocated and resettled to Lithuania from Greece and Turkey in 2016. Since it is their first Christmas in Lithuania, International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Vilnius together with Rukla refugee reception centre organized an initiative to share the Christmas spirit with them, IOM announced in a press release.
Christmas in Rukla Refugee Centre
Christmas in Rukla Refugee Centre

60 kids from Syria, Iraq, Ukraine and Azerbaijan aged from 1 to 17 participated in this event, drawing their Christmas cards to Santa. Santa Claus, who paid a surprise visit to Rukla, received a lot of attention from the kids who were very happy to test his bear strength and, of course, receive present for their hand-made Christmas cards.

This IOM initiative was supported by the Ministry of Interior, Migration department, Statistics Lithuania, State Border Guard Service and other Lithuanian government institutions and non-governmental organizations. IOM and their partners wish that the kids who had to leave everything behind in their home countries will remember this day, and Lithuania as the country where Santa visited them for the first time.

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