REPORTS - LITHUANIA - 1st report
Cultural Vehicles in Education -
assisting the needs of vulnerable social groups
Youth centre "Babilonas"
February 29, 2008
Pilot workshops. Please describe the profile of
the group and the recruitment process
Profile of the group: there
are 18 people in a list, aged from 19 till 56 years old.
All women and two men.
There are: 4 unemployed, 3 people after the drug-edict rehabilitation programme,
4 depressed and less motivated, 7 teachers (at present time teachers in Lithuania
are in a vulnerable condition in sense of low salaries, lack of motivation.
They are about not to believe in positive improving of their professional situation.
Though strikes of teachers take place these days in different regions of
Lithuania), 4 representatives of local minority (2 Rusians and 2 Polish)
The advertising leaflet was made announcing the presentation of the project.
"You are invited to the presentation of
POSSIBILITIES to LEARN by ARTISTIC and CREATIVE ACTIVITIES"
The leaflet was distributed these ways:
- directly to potential beneficiaries which we new personally
- to woman's club members
- We asked social workers of several Day centres and
other institutions to invite people, who get social or
psychological assistance. e.g. social enterprise, working
with drug edict's rehabilitation
- Leaflets were also exposed in several places near the
premises, where workshops will take place, expecting
to reach people from the surroundings.
- Local district community centre
The purpose of the project was explained in easy and non-formal
way. Participants were asked to invite their acquaintances
to join the project. So we had 17 potential beneficiaries
for the first session. We have not closed recruitment
yet. Some people did not fit into the timetable.
Expectations of the beneficiaries (we
worked on expectations during the session): to spend
free time in an interesting way; to learn things useful
in life, gain some knowledge and find friends; to know
myself better; to learn to figure out positive part of
myself and to improve it; to learn to love myself ; to
find a new job or to keep the present; to collaborate in
the group; to express own opinion; to learn to solve problems
'here and now"; to meet an extraordinary personality
and to visit an interesting place; to learn not to be
afraid to slip up; to create something beautiful; to trust
that I can...; to work more flexible in my job; to improve
my Lithuanian language skills.
System of running workshops
since February 7, the group meets two times a week for 4 hours each time. Participation
in each workshop 8-11 persons.
We plan several 2 days weekend workshops also, possibly out of Vilnius.
Please describe the main activities taken at this stage
of the project
- recruitment of beneficiaries
- preparing premises for workshops
- employing project staff
- creating the programme
- looking for fund-raising possibilities
Please describe any problems or
difficulties at this stage of the project and the actions
taken to overcome them
It was difficult to deal with the definition of vulnerability.
We could not announce vulnerability openly, inviting people.
That is why personal approach was needed.
Another difficulty was setting the time frame for workshops.
It was also difficult to explain the "style" of workshops for beneficiaries,
which became clearer after the first session and learning motivation of beneficiaries
In beginning stage it was hard to explain project aims
for potential teachers. Long term obligation looked a bit
frightening, but talks and discussions, common work on
the programme convinced and motivated teachers.
It was complicated to group together artists and educators for fixing whole
In what way did the educational
and artistic activities interact? Please give some specific
In this phase we work more on group building and personification
(two sessions based on non formal education methodology).
Theatre sessions started to work on touching, body language,
comparing the expressions and meanings in different cultures.
Artistic activities made the participants more open towards
learning about and more interested in different ways of
expression in different cultures (e.g. family traditions,
way of greeting in Spain, Britain, France, Italy, Japan,
Russia, China etc.).
Acting theatrical etudes enabled to experience and to
learn differences in body language of several cultures.
How did the arts-based educational
activities help the participants to:
- acquire certain competences and skills
- facilitate knowledge assimilation (learning
Please give some specific examples.
a) Cultural and social competences were
developed (Lisbon key competences 1, 6, 8.) Theatrical
etudes encouraged beneficiaries to improvise, to overcome
shyness and inner limits (the top of improvisation was
creating the new version of the fairytale "Cinderella").
Beneficiaries already can collaborate as a group and as individuals. Creative
potential of participants gradually uncloses.
b) Arts-based educational activities helped participants
to learn about the world of fairy tales, to compare spirit of Lithuanian,
Russian and Turkish fairy tales. Participants read certain fairy tales and
had a task to find an adequate character in today's society and to perform
a chosen hero.
Please reflect on progress made
by individual persons (for example, increased motivation
of a reluctant learner or better social skills of a shy
One woman was used to meet every new task exclaiming "I
am not able, I cant, Oh, I will leave!" She always
needed encouragement and acted very creative and successfully.
After the last session during the last reflection two women shared their decision
to change something in their lives. One woman, recovering from depression
told, that she had not laughed so sincere for a long time. A guy from social
enterprise told, that during the workshop he figured out barriers in himself,
which he would like to overcome.
Some of participants are amazed by themselves, how creative
and open they can be.
Jurgita Gailiute - actor
Dainius Vengelis - actor
Jonas Gvildys- photographer
Gediminas Storpirstis - actor, musicien
Arune Tornau- painter
Saule Lemantauskiene- caligraphist
Nomeda Marčenaite- ceramist
Nijole Vilutiene - graphic artist