Please briefly present the partner organisation/group (e.g. its type, scope of work, areas of activity and if applicable, approximate number of paid/unpaid staff, learners and members of the group).
Active Youth Association (AY) is a for-purpose organisation working with youth and communities in need in Lithuania and across borders. We have extensive experience in non-formal education, as well as a range of other topics. Most important among which: migration, entrepreneurship, healthy lifestyle, human rights.
AY has been actively involved in local and international (youth) projects since the very start of its existence. Up until now, the organization has successfully implemented (getting just the highest scores from the evaluators) more than 25 separate project actions on its own (and several times that as a partner). What is more, our NGO has built up a large partnership network all over Europe (more than 500 organisations). All of that can be used for the current project.
In whatever activity we carry out, we follow our 4 core principles: 1) dedication – meaning that we give our 100% and more; 2) openness – we work with – and for the public; 3) positivity – we see opportunities rather than problems; and 4) enthusiasm – we want to change our surroundings for the better. Surely, it’s easy to list these values on paper and a lot harder to follow them through in real.
That is why, we focus extensively in having the right team for every project (presently, our paid staff is 15). Commited people are professionals with relevant experience and a record of success (whether in youth work and/or the topic of the project). We also rely on a deep pool of volunteers (over 1000) and potential partners to ensure: 1) the project’s implementation goes smoothly; 2) the dissemination efforts reach the specified target groups.
The projects AY takes on, as a rule, focus on demanding and sensitive issues (e.g. refugee integration in Lithuania). Hence, we look forward to challenges offered by the current project.
What are the activities and experience of the partner organisation in the areas relevant for this project?
To be filled according to the project’s topic.
AY has been active in the field of x for years. We have carried out the following projects/initiatives: x. They have focused on: x. This experience will allow us to contribute to the objectives of X.
Our aim is, by definition, to not just address the issue, but also inform the local communities about 1) the benefits of such projects; and 2) the seriousness of the issues being brought to light. For that reason, AY pays attention to every detail and carries out the full spectrum of activities. From early research to later stages of result dissemination. Such approach & competences are relevant for any project.
What are the skills and/or expertise of key persons involved in this project?
Key person involved in this application is the board member of AY – Gediminas Kondrackis. He is accompanied by other staff of the association, who all have international experience.
Our staff are young leaders, who developed during their studies & life in Spain, Sweden, Portugal, Italy, USA, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Lithuania and Latvia. This has not only given them strong educational basis but has also taught them how to communicate with people coming from different cultural and social backgrounds.
The key staff involved have been part of all the previous activities of the association (see above). Therefore, they have the necessary knowledge to chip in to the current project as well.
Through their other endeavours, they have led seminars for youth to develop their entrepreneurial skills (Lithuania), educated children about studies abroad (Lithuania, the Netherlands), worked as animators in youth clubs (Denmark), organized international student competitions and study fairs, social inclusion programs of foreign students to the local community, youth university exchanges (Latvia), and several sport events encouraging healthy lifestyle (Lithuania). In addition, they have participated in previous ‘Youth in Action’ & Erasmus+ projects themselves (e.g. “Creative Approaches for Youth” in Ukraine, “Be Part of It” in Romania, “Eco Startup” in Spain), courses about NFE methods, environmental initiatives, and activities supporting Ukraine during the “Euromaidan” events. All of this has given them a range of skills and competencies usable for a project as this one.
Furthermore, the key staff has a truly entrepreneurial spirit. Apart from AY, they have also founded their own business enterprise – “MB Wellness Travels”, where they create further employment opportunities for youth. With this business, they have appeared in a few publications aimed at inspiring the young (e.g. “BZN Start”, “Panele” journals), start-up events and award ceremonies, as well as youth employment forums to deepen their insights in the field. Additionally, the board members have started a Lithuania-based initiative aiming to help and integrate the incoming refugees from Syria & Africa (http://refugees.lt).
All in all, the previously mentioned activities have indeed given the key staff the needed experience to work in a multinational environment.