This year has been an unusual year for each of us. Some are depressed for staying home for too long. Some are frustrated to see their dreams fade away, many plans put back to the shelves, events canceled for the next year. Yet still hopeful to see the prospect of bright days, despite the negative things happening, with the advances being made in science and grasping firmly to the fact that everything will be back to normal quite soon.
“Social Dialog based on Openness” is one of the youth workers exchange projects that we believe will not be touched by the negativity going around for some time and therefore will take place in warmer spring days of 2021. The youth workers from 7 various counties, representing different non-governmental organizations, will come to Lithuania and conduct the youth workers exchange training. In the project, non-formal education methods will be used to meet the aims of the project effectively and healthily. Through those methods implemented in the activities, the youth workers will exchange practices of implementation of the activities of the fundamental values of Europe and the globe.
Fundamental values of Europe and the globe has become more crucial in recent years, and the importance will only get bigger. Europe believes in solidarity, respect, and equality, and the fact that it is becoming more and more an intercultural continent has promoted these values. Our project is built on European values and its ultimate objective is to educate youth workers on how to use these skills in real-life settings, how to work with different communities and community members. As one of the prominent aspects of non-formal education, these values and skills will be acquired in a “learning by doing” setting. There will be countless personalized outdoor activities on the green fields and in the woods of Lithuania, in the small yet warm Lithuanian village, Antaliepte.
Located in North-eastern Lithuania, Antaliepte is home to beautiful green woods and glossy ponds. The National Institute for Social Integration has been conducting “Innovator’s Valley” here. Being the first modern co-living space in countryside Lithuania, the village offers an experience of modern life in nature. Thus, carrying out our project in Antaliepte will give out the best results. Spending time in a stress-free environment and fresh air is undoubtedly the best choice for our participants.
So what makes “Social Dialog” so important? As we mentioned before, the project will bring youth workers from 7 organizations in Lithuania. 7 organizations plus the National Institute for Social Integration, these 8 organizations have a lot in common. All the organizations committed to the project aims to promote equality in every aspect of life. Fighting for equality and human rights, they have taken part in countless successful projects. Each one of the organizations is helping youth with becoming active citizens, who are aware of their role in their community and taking part in civil associations to make their community better, stronger, and sustainable. Besides active citizenship, social integration is one of the most efficient ways to achieve a sustainable community in today’s world. Although the world has always been a multicultural place, with the advances made and increased necessity for mobility, integration of people into the communities has gained more importance in recent years, therefore showed us the importance of European values once again. For all those reasons, “Social Dialog” offers opportunities to youth workers to listen to and have an intimate conversation with people who have diverse experiences and are from different backgrounds and ultimately profit from them. It will enable the youth workers to understand the practices, learn how they are implemented, and how to benefit from them. The workers will be able to recognize the emerging conflict between different social groups, relate to the issues, and collaborate for finding ways to unite them.
In the youth workers exchange project, unlike formal education that is used in the schools, non-formal education methods will be utilized. Youth exchange workers will attend collaborative workshops that will foster communication and brainstorm ideas on the given topics, create artworks and acquire new skills based on “learning by doing”, participate in team-building activities that will improve interpersonal communication, trust, and collaboration skills. Workers will benefit from the uniting power of the non-formal education through sports activities; hike and explore the nature of Lithuania, where it almost all the time rains is home to quite many natural treasures.
The project is funded by Erasmus+.
Partners in the project/country:
National Institute for Social Integration, Lithuania
Centro Internazionale per ls Promozione Dell’educazione e lo Sviluppo Associazion (CEIPES), Italy.
United Societies of Balkans (USB), Greece
Asociación las Niñas del Tul, Spain
Associação Check-In – Cooperação e Desenvolvimento (Check-In), Portugal
Kiyikoy Doga Sporlari Kulubu Dernegi (KIYIDOSK), Turkey
A.I.M., z.s, Czech Republic
Civic Organization Development Center Pangeya Ultima, Ukraine
Author of the article
Volunteer for Human Rights Education program
Ozgur Deniz Kaya