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The project “Cooperation for social and civic competences’ innovative education” – second learning/teaching/training activity in Vilnius

At the end of 2015 a new international project called “Cooperation for social & civic competences’ innovative education” started. The Czech Council of Children and Youth, Polish foundation Umbrella from Wrocław and the Lithuanian Youth Centre from Vilnius are involved. As can be seen already from the project’s name, it is about education of youth leaders in raising civic and social competences of young people.

For each of the organisations involved 5 youth workers as well as 5 young people are taking part in the project. Their activities include development and testing of new educational methods in an international collective. They will be active on three international meetings (one in each country) as well as on local and national level during these gatherings. The outcome of the project should be an “educational Pathway” in form of a publication (in printed and electronic form) and other tools, which will provide organisations working with young people with a methodology of education for raising social and civic competences including their validation.

The innovation within the project lies not only in the expected outcome and its different forms, but primarily in equal inclusion of all participants (both youth workers and young people) into the creation of the outcome. So young people will directly create methods for education of other young people.

The days of June 27 through July 1 2016, was intensive and fruitful time for Lithuanian Youth Centre and for all the partners of Erasmus plus project Cooperation for social and civic competences’ innovative education. Lithuanian volunteering team has organized and fulfilled the second, of 2 years lasting project, learning/teaching/training activities in Vilnius. In close cooperation of project coordinators and seeking for best outcome for the project, raised goals for the activities, which were related with the first LTT in Poland, also incorporated the final intellectual product’s vision. The program was attentively created invoked by participants and experience of partners’ organizations.

The youth from Czech Republic, Poland and Lithuania, throughout the whole project, has dedicated a lot of time for team building activities, allowing the participants to know each other better, as well as, increasing teamwork skills. Each project partner team consist of 5 volunteering educators and 5 youth participants formed for all project long. With various activities we strived in detail to analyze and define social and civic competences conception amongst the youth. The participants have looked into their own competences, as they were put into various situations, using non-formal educational methods. We also aimed to encourage the participants to look upon and “live through” the changes of competences in the historical context, as well as consider the appearance of such competences in the future. We aspire to inspire the youth with ideas about the surrounding, which naturally allows acquiring and furthering social and civic competences. Also very crucial parts of the program were the experimental activities presentation, the creation of ideas for the virtual game and further planning of the project activities.

On the first day of the program, the participants listened to and joined the interactive lecture, which was organized by youth worker Aurimas from the Department of Youth Affairs. During the non-formal games and activities, the lecturer sought to draw the participants’ attention towards the importance of the civic and social skills, through his personal life stories and experience How sublime I am…”

In the further activities the youth analyzed which social and civic competences are important to them. In the duration of the non-formal method activities, participants highlighted the most important competences, then divided into 6 international groups. Each of them received one of the most important competences. The task was, to prepare an act, which would reveal how differently, in important historical periods, important competences evolved and how it can look like in the future. Special guidelines were prepared for this activity. They represented various timelines and evolutions: Stone Age, middle age, new times, modernism, present time and the future. All of the teams did an astounding job in not only mentioning the value of their competence, but its evolution as well. It was the creative way to find out the attitude of youth related to project topic and to realize how important is to educate the competences in social and civic aspect.

Lots of new experience laid ahead, as the participants became acquainted with different locations in Vilnius, solved problems, analyzed situations, got ready for the civic action, its creation and execution, by the results of the “tasks in the city”. On the third day the citizens of the Czech Republic, Poland and Lithuania, got their special missions, by which the programs organizers tried to encourage participants to observe, develop, and evaluate the social and civic competences in specific situations. By that they also made up their own opinion about Vilnius, its public, and the problems. They learned to observe and see the surroundings and the expression of competences in it.

Also the most innovative museum The Centre for Civil Education in the Presidential Palace – was visited. There we found a multitude of ideas, how to encourage young people to be more civilly competent.

On the fourth day, participants have visited one the homeliest areas in Vilnius. It was a youth center in Antakalnis, called “The Greenhouse”. There the project teams saw what the “Greenhouse” is for, what is has to offer, and the opportunities that it opens for the youth. The teams have also presented the results, which they achieved during the team quests in the city, and in accordance with them, in a short period of time, the teams have created amazing and very different civic actions in the micro district of Antakalnis.

Short videos of the civic actions are available at the following links:

In the last day the whole group came back to the intellectual result development, general evaluation was done and certificates of participation were presented.

At the beginning of the next year project there are the last LTT activities planned in the Czech Republic, which will be dedicated to the formation of specific tasks, their division, and their fulfilment, which will be necessary to reach the final result of the project- to create an innovative, non-formal educational tool to develop youth social and civic competences.