On 31st July, 2017 European Volunteering Service (EVS) volunteers Tatiana and Giordano prepared another community event on the premises of LGL’s LGBT* Center. This time they presented various European projects and initiatives, as well as their own experience with the National LGBT* Rights Organization LGL as volunteers. Moreover, Tatiana and Giordano were joined by Maciek Grzeskowiak, a guest speaker from Poland.
Maciek Grzeskowiak is currently working as an intern at the European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) in Vilnius and was invited to present his experience from a 14-month independent travel around Southeast Asia and Africa. Even though he is only 22 years old, he wanted to show that traveling, volunteering abroad and thus sharing cultural values is now more accessible then ever. His experience was directly juxtaposed with the ones that Tatiana and Giordano presented, as they were talking mostly about Erasmus+ projects and initiatives supported financially by the European Union. The point of this event was to show that educational programs, cultural events and volunteering opportunities abroad are not the financial matter anymore, but the matter of choice.
After the presentations Tatiana introduced a “Yes & No Zone” debating activity, where participants had to defend their claims regarding statements on the flashcards in front of them. Ultimately, all of the participants concluded that European initiatives bring educational value and positive outcomes, rather than unifying individual European cultures into one or imposing any universal rules upon European Union (EU) member countries. Activity was followed by a simple “leading game” where one person in the pair was blindfolded and lead by the other to a certain place. The game was designed for all the participants to realize how they feel in the positions of power versus being told what to do in every step of the way and how that applies in their work life situations. Tatiana later invited participants to ponder on how this balance works in terms of individual EU member states as well.
LGL’s project manager, Roberta Matusevičiūtė, who was present at the event concluded: „I was pleasantly surprised because Tatiana and Giordano showed their different sides. Everytime I meet young people who are not affraid to step in various youth projects makes me feel a little jealous. It was a nice and relaxing evening!“
LGL is carrying out the 10-month project “Democracy and Art Intertwined: Working Towards Empowered and Active LGBT Community and Allies in Lithuania” under the Erasmus+ program EVS (European Voluntary Service).