Young generation have important part in the
social and political life of the country. In Lithuania youth have an
opportunity to participate in consolidating democracy, developing civil
society. Through their participation in new democratic institutions and
socio-cultural activities young people can also help shape society and
so make it into one with which they identify.
Maximizing young people’s contribution
to the building of society became the most asserted goal of youth
policy in contemporary Europe. Government of Lithuania in its 1996
resolution of State Youth Policy Conception declare, that it is
important to raise intellectual, civil, democratic young generation
actively participating in political, economical, social and cultural
life of society.
Young people participate in civil society through
a wide range of activities, including social organizations, sports and
recreation clubs, and non-governmental organizations. Youth
organizations, in particular, provide a space where young people can
develop and represent their interests. In Lithuania much of this type
of participation is still evolving as a new relationship forms between
the state and civil society. During the transition the share of youth
formally joining in social organizations has been low. Although there
are now a great variety of associations, there is a tendency among
young people to reject organized activities.
One of the reason this situation occurred in
Lithuania – there are no active leaders of youth
organizations. The other reason, that youth is lack the appropriate
skills for implementing democracy: in order to participate in the
cultivation of a free democratic environment, one must be skilful in
democratic practices such as tolerance and the abilities to develop
understandings and reach conclusions.
The development of civic values is not a task only for the school and
its teachers. Lithuanian NGOs by joining their experience also can
assist in the process of development skills and values to make
democracy work by offering the effective teaching programs and
organizing workshops for the youth organizations.
|The main goal of the project - to develop program,
which can help acquire skills basic to the functions of a democracy and
organize set of seminars to show how to apply these skills practically.
The activities of the project was build on two programs –
Critical Thinking Development and Debate. They are run successfully in
Lithuania for several years already.
The core of Critical Thinking Development program
– critical pedagogy and democracy building, based on the best
achievements of the educators, such as Piaget, Dewey, Nodding,
Vygotsky, Anderson et etc. The methodology of this program is devoted
to acquire and strength the intellectual skills, that enable young
people to perceive, describe, explain, analyze, and evaluate
information. They empowered them to argue positions and make decisions.
Debate as a rational discussion is an essential
activity in democratic societies. Debate program helps to maintain
participation skills, that render the young people capable of effecting
public and civic life. They assist them to work with the others in
order to arrive at common interests and resolution of conflicts through
compromise. Debate is a effective tool to maintain communication
abilities, logical argumentation, rhetoric, tolerance to other opinion.
Joined program of Debate and Critical thinking
development designed according needs of youth and series of workshops
based on this program, would help the younger generation of Lithuania
to become active citizens of their country, to foster positive
attitudes in finding solutions for the better future of our society.
Needs assessment - sociological survey in youth
Qualitative research "Needs of the youth leaders for training" was
carried out in 6 various type youth organizations, such as Scouts,
Youth Liberals, Youth Christian Democrats, Youth Centrists, Youth
Conservatives and Youth Ateitininkai. More than 100 active participants
of the youth organizations were interviewed. The results of the
research revealed that respondents think youth leader’s
ability to unite and motivate a team is the most important skill. Other
important skills are planning and organizing, and accepting
responsibility. Some other important skills, which had been mentioned,
were coordination of personal and group interests, and organizing and
leading the meetings. The sociological survey showed that the
representatives of non-political organizations more often participate
in different training than those of political organizations. Both, the
representatives of political and non-political organizations, initiate
and organize training themselves.
7-8 May 2002, Vilnius
Workshop for teams of youth organizations.
Topics of workshop:
- Team building and motivating
- Coordination of individual and group interests
- Creating favorable environment for communication and cooperation
- Formulating and defending the opinion
- Discussions and argumentation
Adaptation existing materials for the target group.
2-5 July 2002, Druskininkai
Topics of workshop:
- Problems identification and ways of their solving
- Search and selection of the information
- Preparation of the public speeches
- Reading and analysing of official documents
- Replying to official documents
- Styles of debates. Parliamentary debates
- Development and implementation of projects
Summarizing of results. Analysis and the
preparation of the final training model.