“Refugee integration using active methods of socialisation” is a joint project of the Office of the Ombudsman of Equal Opportunities and Tolerant Youth Association and is being carried out as part of the the European Refugee Fund’s five-year (2008-2013) and year-long (2008) programmes.The project’s target group is persons who have received protection in Lithuania (refugees).
It’s duration is from January 2009 to December 2010.
Our aim is to augment the possibilities of refugee integration and reduce their social exclusion. During the period of implementation of the project, we will seek to improve mutual understanding between the refugees and the broader society in the country, we will also encourage an impartial view of refugees, analyse their main problems and increase the competence of those dealing with such problems.
What we do. The Project is divided into four stages.
The first stage will see the situation analysed in more depth and detail, seeking to learn how students’ perception of tolerance and inter-cultural understanding are being encouraged in Lithuania’s educational institutions. Activities foreseen for this stage:
- Analysis of learning institutions and tools for fostering tolerance and multicultural education will be undertaken followed by the preparation of adequate recommendations and the publishing of a publication entitled “Analysis of tolerance and multicultural education and recommendations for improvement”.
- Two articles on the research carried out and the recommendations for improving tolerance and multicultural education will be prepared.
- Training for regional school representatives, employees and community members about work and communication particularities regarding refugees will be organised. These training sessions will target regions with the highest numbers of refugees living in them.
At the second stage of the project we will develop programmes and organise training for those under protection with a special focus on women and children. The aim of the training is to allow these foreigners to develop their linguistic and communicative abilities. This will be achieved by using innovative activities of active socialisation – taking social experience and reproducing it in the refugees’ daily lives as well as process of communication.
- We will provide training for refugee women and children in which they will be able to perfect their linguistic and communicative abilities, for, given the obstacles inherent in the process of integration, refugees do not have enough possibilities to improve their Lithuanian language skills and use the knowledge they already possess.
- We will also organise a series of consultative and practical seminars for refugees called “I’m in Lithuania – what are my opportunities, rights and duties”. At these seminars, through informal communication with the refugees, we will aim to learn of their most important difficulties and simultaneously help the refugees to overcome them by offering possible solutions.
The third stage, which will begin in the second year of the project, will see the practical development of integration of refugee women and children into the society.
- A camp called “We’re all children of the Earth” will be organised, with prior training for organisers and camp leaders.
- Training at the “School of Competence Development” where women and children’s personal, social and educational competences will be expanded through targeted activities. The overall aim of the training will be to develop responsible personalities, capable of dealing with their own problems and actively participating in their community’s social life.
During the fourth, and final, stage of the project the social and cultural distinctiveness of the foreigners participating in the project will be presented to the society.
- A social animated video and poster advertisement (“Belonging among strangers”) will be prepared.
- A series of shows will be created in the Internet with the goal of informing the society about the issues addressed in the project.
- Public presentations of different cultures will be organised through which respect for them will be fostered.
- At the end of the project, a closing conference, which will expose the results achieved and show the materials created, will be organised.
The project is sponsored by the Republic of Lithuania. It is partly funded by the European Union and financed by both the five-year (2008-2013) as well as the one-year (2008) programmes of the European Refugee Fund in Lithuania.
Project authors: Artūras Rudomanskis, Vytautas Valentinavičius
Project manager – Vytautas Valentinavičius
Tel. +370 616 05775, el. p. vytautas [eta] tja.lt
Project coordinator – Inga Žilinskaitė
Tel. +370 616 48515, el. p. inga.zilinskaite [eta] gmx.net