Partner – Jaunimo asmeninio tobulėjimo centras
Location – Throughout Lithuania
To encourage cooperation among youth from diverse ethnic backgrounds, the British Council and partners organised the Strong in Diversity project – a youth summer training developed and delivered with key governmental partners including ministries and defence agencies, amongst others.
During the project, over 270 young people from different ethnic groups participated in training, through which they developed teamwork, democratic decision-making, reflection and critical information assessment skills. The training particularly contributed to drawing the participants closer together and inspiring them to contribute towards the creation of a modern Lithuanian state.
The project created an impact at several levels. First, the participants considerably increased their intercultural competences, reporting that post-training they had shifted their perception or become better acquainted with those from different ethnicities. Second, the participation of the Lithuanian armed forces made a strong impression on the young participants, whereby the close interactions with military officers impacted their perspectives on what it means to serve one’s country, how the Lithuanian Army is organised, and why it represents such a crucial pillar of the Lithuanian state. Third, the project helped to galvanise the youth’s interest in and willingness to become active citizens and adopt an active role in their community through volunteering and social activism, amongst other activities.
Ultimately, the participants of the project felt inspired to continue their communication and collaboration after the youth summer training had drawn to a close. In 2020, several young people developed a unique board game named “Socialinis sufleris” that encourages connections between community members, fostering mutual trust and building close personal relationships. The board game gained such popularity among Vilnius schools that it was awarded funding from Vilnius City Municipality and other organisations to extend its presence in communities.
In 2022, 20 young people initiated the Let’s Get to Know Each Other social project. Having previously developed a skills toolset during the Strong in Diversity camp, the group of youngsters drafted a project proposal, applied for Solidarity Corps funding and received a grant for their project activities. The aim of the project was to promote the notion of diversity and inclusivity by providing free lectures and various activities to local communities across different regions in Lithuania. The communities included Ukrainian refugees, seniors from care homes, pupils from youth centres and community members from disabled care centres.
During the project:
Over 270 young people participated in the summer camp and its activities
The summer camp participants organised various community events, photo exhibitions and “Socialinis sufleris” game sessions involving over 600 people from different regions of Lithuania
A number of workshops were organised to train young people on topics such as intercultural competences, civic education, resilience to disinformation and leadership
The younger generation were empowered to take action utilising tools of social activism, resulting in further social initiatives and projects