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    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)
    Recruiting process
    The advertising leaflet was made announcing the presentation of the project.
    "You are  invited to the presentation of

    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  (25 percent)

    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 improved briefly.

    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 programme.

    In what way did the educational and artistic activities interact? Please give some specific examples

    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 specific information)

    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 participant).

    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.


    Administrating team
    Rolanda Sliaziene
    Arune Taunyte
    Domas Staniulis

    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

    Donatas Petkauskas
    Rolanda Sliaziene
    Leda Turai 

    Nerijus Kriauciunas

    The Bielskie Artistic Association Grodzki Theatre
    Premises - contact address: ul. Sempołowskiej 13, 43-300 Bielsko-Biala, Poland
    Office:ul.Sempołowskiej 13, 43-300 Bielsko-Biala, Poland ,
    Phone: +48 33 497 56 55, 496 52 19Fax: +48 33 497 56 55, mailto: