From 2016, the British Council Lithuania and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award (DofE) collaborated in organising two projects for 14–19-year-olds studying in Lithuanian schools.
The first project, 3D Youth: Do It Bravely Now, aimed at encouraging young people to identify social problems existing in their surroundings (e.g. libraries, nurseries, orphanages and old people’s homes, or city parks, forests and lakes) and to develop effective solutions. These young participants were encouraged to work in small teams with the supervision of professionals, collectively implementing social action projects.
In total, 30 initiatives were implemented by young people, involving more than 260 people from local communities. Additionally, 20 young participants were trained to be able to identify their strengths, challenges and the characteristics that they aspired to improve in the future. They practised team-work, decision-making, time-planning skills and identifying the reasons for social challenges.
The second project, Public Speaking Training for the Youth of Lithuania, focused on building young peoples’ confidence in public speaking and encouraging critical thinking. Through a range of tasks and games, young people studied themes relevant to society such as volunteering, digitisation and robotics, social exclusion, multilingualism, urbanisation and cultural diversity. The young participants not only worked individually on their chosen theme, but also collaborated in teams comprised of students from different geographical regions of Lithuania.
Through this training, around 100 young people gained communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity and collaboration skills. Furthermore, they developed the competency necessary for real-life situations, and increased collaboration between different schools and their communities. Interestingly, the project participants organised TEDx events in their communities involving over 3,000 people.