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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki
Lithuania

Lithuania

9. Youth and the World

9.4 Raising awareness about global issues

On this page
  1. Formal, non-formal and informal learning
  1. Youth-targeted information campaigns on global issues
  2. Information providers
  3. Key initiatives

Formal, non-formal and informal learning

 In 13 April 2015, Vilnius hosted the first international conference on global education. The Global Education Scenario: From Concept to Action was one of the Lithuanian events dedicated to 2015 as the European Year for Development. The aim of this international conference was to build a common concept of global education and strengthen its role at various levels of the system. The following topics were discussed during the event: global education in Lithuania and Europe, implementation and results of global education in Europe, links between global education and realities of daily life. The draft Lithuanian Conceptual Framework of Global Education was presented during the conference for the first time.

Youth are viewed as one of the most active social groups able to determine changes in the society. This group plays an important role in the process of creation of a sustainable world, thus, young people inevitably become objects of global education. Pursuant to the Law on Youth Policy Framework of the Republic of Lithuania, the purpose of youth non-formal education is „[...] to educate an intelligent person, capable of responsible and creative resolution of his problems and active participation in public life as well as to develop social competencies of young people“.42 Youth non-formal education is carried out by youth organisations, youth leaders and youth workers. It should be noted that global education is one of the ways of assisting the above organisations and persons seeking the youth work goals, especially the ones promoting active participation of young people in public life. The purpose of global youth work43 is to increase young people’s ability to critically analyse local and global issues, make informed decisions and become responsible global citizens.44 In 2013 the Youth Career & Advising Centre (YCAC) carried out the research „ The Attitudes of Lithuanian Youth Organisations Towards Global Issues and Global Learning in Lithuania”. The research aimed to explore the attitudes of youth organizations in Lithuania on global development issues and the role of youth organizations in coping with problems. The research was also dedicated to explore the motivation, willingness and preparation of youth organisations to implement global learning and awareness raising activities for youth. According to the research, more than 3/5 of youth organisations in Lithuania recognise connections between their daily activities and the issues existing in international context; this shows a huge potential of youth organisations to pursue various global activities. Unfortunately, so far these organisations face difficulties in integrating global education aspects in their activity. According to the research, activities of many organisations are to some extent connected with the issues existing across the globe, but majority of the activities are based only on the realities of local communities (e.g. the right to education in Lithuania). The research also revealed that though some youth organisations in Lithuania are motivated to integrate global education activities in their work, quite a many of them still do not have a vision of introducing global dimension as an aspect of their daily activities and organisational culture.45 Pursuant to the research, it is very important to emphasise and help youth organisations realise the importance of global education and everyone’s role as a global citizen in today’s society. The research findings also showed that it is important to provide learning and and in -service training opportunities to youth leaders and youth workers empowering them to connect the current competence development activity with the key local education aspects, methods and content. It is important to note that in order to fill gaps in global education related to youth work, a number of steps have already been taken, including implementation of the initiatives promoting development of global education in the sector of youth non-formal education, name- Pursuant to the research, it is very important to emphasise and help youth organisations realise the importance of global education and everyone’s role as a global citizen in today’s society. The research findings also showed that it is important to provide learning and and in -service training opportunities to youth leaders and youth workers empowering them to connect the current competence development activity with the key local education aspects, methods and content. It is important to note that in order to fill gaps in global education related to youth work, a number of steps have already been taken, including implementation of the initiatives promoting development of global education in the sector of youth non-formal education, namely: · In implementing the project „Youth of the World! Mainstreaming Global Awareness in Youth Work“ supported by the European Commission, the Youth Career & Advising Centre pursues the activities related to the development of skills of youth leaders and youth workers in the sphere of global education. A methodological tool for better integration of global education in the youth work has been prepared during the project. · Association LITDEA and Kolping University of Applied Sciences pursued training programmes for multipliers in Global Education and engaged youth representatives in this activity. · Young people, youth leaders and youth workers have the possibility to participate in the international qualification upgrading, training and youth exchange activities organised by the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe and non-governmental organisations operating in various European countries. · Various non-governmental organisations pursue youth volunteer programmes supported by the European Union and other institutions. Taking part in the volunteer activity abroad young people have a possibility to develop their life skills and values and contribute to sustainable development. In reviewing the opportunities of youth and youth workers to develop global education competences, it is important to highlight the opportunities provided by the European Union and Council of Europe to youth to participate in various international global education events. For instance, every year the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe organises international training courses for lecturers intending to pursue youth global education activity. Several times per year this centre also organises distance training courses for global education practitioners. These training courses can be attended by youth leaders and youth workers from Lithuania. It is also important to note the opportunities provided by the ERASMUS+ Programme of the competences, understand socially relevant topics and thematic areas, new cultures, habits and lifestyles by learning from each other, and develop the values like solidarity, democracy, friendship etc. Moreover, the programme gives the possibility for young people to participate in volunteer activity both in European and neighbouring countries and in the daily work of various organisations (personal and social education of young people, participation in civil life, social care, inclusion of people with fewer opportunities, environmental protection, non -formal education programmes, development cooperation etc.).46 Programme requirements and supported activities are in tune with the main global education principles. This is a perfect opportunity for youth organisations and youth workers to develop global education activities and join global education initiatives implemented by other European organisations. When reviewing the methodological framework for youth workers and youth leaders on the development of global citizenship competences it is worth mentioning that a number of publications in Lithuanian are related to the development of intercultural personal competences, education on human rights, tolerance, discrimination and racism, gender equality problems and spread of democratic and solidarity values among youth. Many of the above publications have been prepared by the Council of Europe and translated into Lithuanian. There is still lack of specific measures for youth which could bring global issues closer to Lithuanian realities, help better understand the connection between (including reasons and consequences) local and global problems and initiate active citizenship in solving these problems. Youth are viewed as one of the most active social groups able to determine changes in the society. This group plays an important role in the process of creation of a sustainable world, thus, young people inevitably become objects of global education. Youth are viewed as one of the most active social groups able to determine changes in the society. This group plays an important role in the process of creation of a sustainable world, thus, young people inevitably become objects of global education. Pursuant to the Law on Youth Policy Framework of the Republic of Lithuania, the purpose of youth non-formal education is „[...] to educate an intelligent person, capable of responsible and creative resolution of his problems and active participation in public life as well as to develop social competencies of young people“.42 Youth non-formal education is carried out by youth organisations, youth leaders and youth workers. It should be noted that global education is one of the ways of assisting the above organisations and persons seeking the youth work goals, especially the ones promoting active participation of young people in public life. The purpose of global youth work43 is to increase young people’s ability to critically analyse local and global issues, make informed decisions and become responsible global citizens.44 In 2013 the Youth Career & Advising Centre (YCAC) carried out the research „ The Attitudes of Lithuanian Youth Organisations Towards Global Issues and Global Learning in Lithuania”. The research aimed to explore the attitudes of youth organizations in Lithuania on global development issues and the role of youth organizations in coping with problems. The research was also dedicated to explore the motivation, willingness and preparation of youth organisations to implement global learning and awareness raising activities for youth. According to the research, more than 3/5 of youth organisations in Lithuania recognise connections between their daily activities and the issues existing in international context; this shows a huge potential of youth organisations to pursue various global activities. Unfortunately, so far these organisations face difficulties in integrating global education aspects in their activity. According to the research, activities of many organisations are to some extent connected with the issues existing across the globe, but majority of the activities are based only on the realities of local communities (e.g. the right to education in Lithuania). The research also revealed that though some youth organisations in Lithuania are motivated to integrate global education activities in their work, quite a many of them still do not have a vision of introducing global dimension as an aspect of their daily activities and organisational culture.45 Pursuant to the research, it is very important to emphasise and help youth organisations realise the importance of global education and everyone’s role as a global citizen in today’s society. The research findings also showed that it is important to provide learning and and in -service training opportunities to youth leaders and youth workers empowering them to connect the current competence development activity with the key local education aspects, methods and content. It is important to note that in order to fill gaps in global education related to youth work, a number of steps have already been taken, including implementation of the initiatives promoting development of global education in the sector of youth non-formal education, name- Youth are viewed as one of the most active social groups able to determine changes in the society. This group plays an important role in the process of creation of a sustainable world, thus, young people inevitably become objects of global education.

 

Educational work in general education schools is pursued according to the General Curriculum Framework for Primary, Basic and Secondary Education approved by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania 22 and regulating the curriculum content in general education schools. The purpose of the national school curricula is to ensure coherent implementation, continuity and high quality of education in all schools of the country. The national school curricula stipulate the trends of education, its objectives and tasks, as well as the content and methods enabling the learners to acquire relevant knowledge, understand and develop key skills and values. The analysis of the current National School Curricula reveals that separate global education topics are integrated in the formal education process during the primary education and are further pursued in basic and secondary education stages. The curriculum of ethics and religion in primary education deal with the topics like social relations and relationship with the world where particular emphasis should be given to the global dimension. The teachers should understand and be able to integrate global topics in the curricula of the smallest school pupils. The Ethnic Culture curriculum in basic education is an integral part of general education contributing to the achievement of educational goals of cultural consciousness. These goals are to develop personal competences expressed via the ability to recognise, respect and preserve cultural diversity and participate in the socially valuable cultural expression activity. Ethno-cultural education also facilitates development of the sustainable development, i.e. it teaches tolerance and respect for other cultures, solidarity with own community, participation in its life and contribution to its development. During the stage of secondary education global education could be smoothly integrated in the Ethics, Religion and Sustainable Development Education Programmes aimed to develop skills and values of pupils contributing to the sustainable development of society: individually and in the community, at local and global level by analysing the topics like peace and conflicts, human rights, cultural diversity, socially responsible business, environmental protection, its quality, the related human health aspects, and climate change. The educators can successfully use integrated programmes of generic competences and life skills development programmes defining new curriculum content important for school pupils and for the society. Their main task is to make the curriculum content more relevant. The relevance of the subjects of the curriculum content is enhanced toward the following global education directions: -orientation to the development of competences relevant for social integration, i.e. learning to learn, communication, sustainable development, cultural consciousness or the competences providing a possibility to take active part in the public life, develop professional skills and contribute efficiently to the progressive societal changes; -assistance to pupils in preserving health and developing/promoting healthy life style; -pupils with negative social experience are involved in the activity which helps to develop resistance to negative life phenomena. The implemented integrated programmes take considerlocal problems and initiatives and their links with the national, European Union‘s and global development tendencies. The national school curricula are updated on a regular basis considering the changing pupils‘ needs, their expectations, the increasing diversity of education opportunities, strategic trends of the national and municipal sociocultural and economic development, international education trends, scientific and technological innovations. A new draft of the General Curriculum Framework for Primary, Basic and Secondary Education highlights that in the 21st cen-

tury life of the society is changing due to rapidly developing information infrastructure and high level technologies, as well as due to the effectively applied and created new knowledge and innovations. General education shall respond to the challenges of modern technologies and globalisation and create conditions for pupils to develop individual, civic, national and cultural identity and acquire competences relevant for the 21st century.23 Legal acts regulating general education are directed toward the development of pupils‘ competences, active learning via communication, cognition of their needs, adjustment of the curriculum content and equal education opportunities etc. Yet, the documents also highlight that in practice general education is often perceived as teaching and conveyance of knowledge. Relationship among the stakeholders of education process and their cooperation is fragmented. The curriculum content still lacks integrity, contextuality and learning-bydoing. Insufficient attention is given to pupils‘ learning needs, their diverse talents and learning difficulties. The draft Curriculum Framework anticipates relevant trends for the improvement of general education quality which are especially important in the context of global education and active citizenship: -to build general education on the dialogue among pupils and teachers during the learning process; and to make the school a welcoming place for learning, cooperation and creativity of all pupils; -in order to link theoretical and practical learning, education should be based on the analysis of real situations, problem solution, application of practical knowledge, interpretation of information and the interaction with social and cultural environment; -to recognise all the achievements in formal, non-formal and informal education; -to ground implementation of the national school curricula on the sustainable joint activity, mutual trust and cooperation culture for the sake of future of people and of the state.24 The new document sets forth the principles for the development and implementation of the national education curricula complying with the current global challenges: -fostering pupils’ deeper learning in acquiring competences relevant for life and learning. Relation of theoretical and practical knowledge provides opportunities to develop pupils’ values and attitudes. Competences acquired through deep learning determine pupils‘ choices, dialogue skills, responsible behaviour preserving nature and sociocultural environment, tolerance and social sensitivity; - commitments and activity. Pupils are encouraged to responsibly participate, express themselves and take the leader‘s position in the activity of a group, class, school and community and in the civil initiatives integrating life in and beyond schools.25 The national education curricula provides the possibility for pupils to successfully achieve education goals in the changing social, cultural and economic life, cope with global cultural diversity challenges, acquire the competences relevant for learning, work and creation and personal contribution to the sustainable development of the unique Lithuanian, European and global community and to the sustainable development of progressive economy. Due to its diverse nature and to the important task it plays in the educational process, Global Education needs to be an integral part of the education process. Global Education has to be embedded in the school culture and be transversally included in all relevant subjects. As Global Education is a participatory process it also requires time and space for student-led initiatives. Pursuant to the concept of global vision of the European Youth Forum26 and to the recommendations of the European Parliament and Council27, the formal education can mainstream Global Education in the following ways: -Through the transversal inclusion of global education in all relevant subjects, thus bringing an intercultural perspective into history, languages, geography, etc. -Through the inclusion of specific citizenship courses as a vital part of the curriculum. Such courses could provide a background and framework for the work done in other courses or projects; -by using, during the entire education process, interactive teaching methods and measures providing the possibility for pupils to act independently. Schools should especially promote the projects in which students go out and educate others in society, including projects through which students can act as peer-educators and multipliers. This fosters a sense of initiative and entrepreneurship and so directly contributes to the development of general competences; -The work of school and student councils is also an important part in developing and enhancing Global Education within formal education, especially through individual empowerment, and the promotion of participation and critical thinking. This is essential for raising awareness and reflective decision-making. -Through the first hand experience of another culture. One of the most important intercultural learning experiences is spending time abroad and being immersed in a different culture. All young people should be provided the possibility to take part in an exchange while being in education, as this can be a defining or very enriching experience in one’s lifetime. -By approaching the learner as a whole person. Formal education too often puts a lot of emphasis on the importance of academic knowledge and developing the rational side of people. Development of social, cultural and civil competences would help young persons to better understand themselves and enable them to improve or even change own values, attitudes and notions, and at the same time change the society; -Sensitivity to the diversity of our own societies. Global Education aims to make people aware of different cultural realities, both in other parts of the world and in our own societies. This should not only help students become aware of their multicultural societies but also should adapt schools systems to new realities of diversity. “Classrooms must be perceived as unique spaces for day-to-day intercultural learning. Students from another country or of another religion are more likely to remain low achievers as the educational system is not adequately adapted to their needs or does not reflect their background sufficiently.28 Developers of new curricula need to pay attention to the growing diversity in society and support/ensure inclusion. The first Global Education initiatives have been implemented recently by integrating this education concept in formal education. The main activities have been related to preparation and publishing of methodological tools on Global Education, integration of global education activities in the education process and development of a school culture etc. The main initiatives included: -Youth Career & Advising Centre, implementing the projects „Accessing Development Education“ and „Teach MDGs“ funded by the European Commission, prepared methodological tools for integration of Global Education in the education process. Methodological tools like „Get Global!”, “Go Banana”, “Change the World in Eight Steps” have been translated from English into Lithuanian, adapted and published. Methodological tools „Teach MDGs. Development Education Lessons“ and „Development Education Lessons. Experience of Lithuanian Teachers“ have also been published. Their aim was to present the methodology of global education and provide best practice examples of Lithuanian teachers by integrating global education in the educational process. -Teachers of Kaunas Jonas and Petras Vileišiai Basic School and of the Youth and Adult Training Centre in Kaišiadorys participated in the project „Teach MDGs“ and implemented school partnership projects on topics „Clean Water and Sanitation“ and „Discrimination and Prejudices“. -Teachers of Kaunas Jonas and Petras Vileišiai Basic School have been consistently organising global education lessons based on non-traditional methods; 29 Together with partners Lithuanian Children & Youth Centre initiated Sustainable Development Skills Formation programme „Sustainable School“. Its objective is to raise public awareness by providing the knowledge and skills necessary for the development of sustainable institutional communities able to efficiently manage and use resources, and coordinate environmental protection with social justice and economic development. All Lithuania‘s schools are invited to join the programme.30 In order to successfully integrate Global Education in school, teachers need solid initial training in Global Education, they have to be inquisitive and acquire new knowledge and skills which can be further developed throughout their careers, by way of international mobility programmes and further training within the framework of Erasmus+ Programme (since 2014). Teachers integrating Global Education and civic education topics shall work in cooperation with school teams. Association of Lithuanian non-governmental organisations LITDEA refers to Global Education in formal education as an active learning process where the educator plays a very important role. Teacher training and qualification development for Global Education is quite problematic in the education strategy. The absence of the national global education strategy (in 2012 the European Parliament has adopted an official resolution for its development and implementation) means absence of well-defined guidelines and a coordination mechanism for training the educators of global education programmes and for their qualification upgrading. Teacher training is a very important function of the state preparing the educators for their demanding professional activity in educating responsible and critically thinking creators of future able to make informed decisions. Teacher training systems have been rapidly changing across the globe in order to comply with new life challenges like globalisation, climate change, and sustainable development, and to create a better world. Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences is the major teacher training institution. The University does not have an extensive programme for future global education teachers, but integrates separate topics into the curricula of other programmes, e.g. a Bachelor’s degree study programme „Social Pedagogics“ 31 educating a personality able to find creative ways to respond to current challenges or find the purpose of life in contradictory life conditions. The programme offers the integrated subjects like protection of children‘s rights, civil society and participation, social communication, equal opportunities in education, personal social integration which serve as the basis for integration of Global Education in teacher training programmes. Other Lithuanian higher education institutions cannot offer any courses of the global education programme for educators. Teachers can choose only the studies of subjects integrating separate global education topics in Lithuanian universities. Thus so far the best way to upgrade qualification skills is non-formal education programmes or informal education. In Lithuania in-service teacher training in the sphere of global education is taking the first steps. These are the best practice examples in the field of qualification development of teachers: · Youth Career & Advising Centre implementing the project „Teach MDGs“ funded by the European Commission organised several in-service teacher training events32 : · International Summer School for Teachers “MDG-School-Partnership” where teachers from European and African schools not only deepened their knowledge on global education topics, but also planned joint school projects in the area of global education; · In-service trainings for teachers aimed to introduce the concept of Global Education, as well as methodology and opportunities for its integration in the education process; · Discussions with the representatives of higher education institutions aimed to promote integration of global education in the teacher training programmes. -Youth Career & Advising Centre as an accredited in-service teacher training institution integrated the elements of methodology and curriculum of Global Education in the teacher qualification development programmes in order to disseminate this concept in all Lithuanian schools; -In implementing the project Solidarity Schools“, Humana People to People Baltic, together with the Education Development Centre, organised in-service training workshops for teachers in the education centres of some towns and districts;33 -Lithuanian teachers take part in the international in-service training programmes (e.g. Pestalozzi Programme coordinated by the Council of Europe) offering training on Global Education topics;34 Universities are autonomic studies and science institutions which are free to choose what study programmes to offer to the society. It is declared that higher education institutions are sensitive to global changes and public needs. In response to global challenges, many universities deliver subjects presenting global dimension from the political, social, cultural and economic perspective which are integrated in different study programmes; whereas Vytautas Magnus University and Vilnius University accomplish complete study programmes analysing global development phenomena. Vytautas Magnus University realises the Bachelor’s degree study programme of International Politics and Development Studies. Its objective is to prepare highly qualified BA graduates of political sciences and professional analysts able to explain, analyse, compare and evaluate political, economic and social processes of the developing states and regions; to explain and evaluate the trends and strategies of the international support to the developing states; to independently pursue research, develop and implement practical and the applied projects35 . The study programme is designed for Lithuanian and foreign students interested in the subjects like theory of political sciences, public policy, state development, studies of developing regions and countries, international processes, human rights, studies of economic and social development, regional studies, orientalistics, international donor and development strategies, migration, project preparation and implementation etc. Vilnius University offers the Master’s degree study programme of „Communication for Sustainable Development“. The aims of the study programme are „to develop communication and information specialists’ understanding of the need for a sustainable development oriented change through the acquisition of knowledge and skills necessary to make communication decisions favourable for the development of sustainability; to respectively affect organisations which engage in communication activities; to be able to identify and support sustainable development oriented decisions and activities of individuals representing the area of communication and information as well as other areas“. 36 The graduates of this study programme will have the knowledge of sustainable development, its context and meaning, as well as the peculiarities of the development of this process; they will be able to critically analyse and evaluate environmental and social trends of the sustainable development and economic implementation of the sustainable development policy; effectively and constructively apply the acquired theoretical knowledge for the analysis and solution of specific sustainable development problems; identify and evaluate peculiarities of communication for sustainable development, develop a wider approach toward formation of sustainable development communication policy and planning of mass communication projects; have the competences and skills to consult and create sustainable development communication strategies and implement them; critically and creatively assess sustainable development communication features and peculiarities of their application.37 Non-formal education serves to provide lifelong learning opportunities for all and meet informal education and world cognition needs, as well as develop generic competences necessary in personal life and for public and professional activity. By target groups non-formal education can be divided into three main categories: 1.Non-formal education of children; 2.Non-formal education of youth (or youth work); 3.Non-formal education of adults. Below there is the analysis of opportunities for integrating Global Education in the three non -formal education categories, the description of the current situation and problems. Pursuant to the concept of Non-Formal Education of Children, one of its goals is „[...] to develop respect for human rights, dignity, citizenship and nationality, and democratic approach toward different worldviews and life styles“. 38 Non-formal education is also aimed to develop children‘s critical thinking and decision-making skills and the ability to find place in the dynamic society.39 These goals are in line with the goals of global education for they are directed toward the development of the same individual values and life skills necessary for every responsible citizen of the world. It should be noted that in Lithuania Global Education in non-formal education of children has already taken the first steps. Every year the Lithuanian Children & Youth Centre organises Global Education Week, which at European level is coordinated by the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe. During this week global education events are organised nearly in all European countries. These events cover many various initiatives and organisation of creative competitions, information campaigns, workshops and training courses, lectures, discussions, film reviews, conferences etc. Various educative events during the Global Education Week are also organised by different formal and non-formal education institutions.40 The analysis of educational tools of Global Education designed for non-formal education of children revealed that Lithuania still lacks special measures in this field. On the other hand, the analysis of methodological measures available in the database of educational publications on Global Education developed by the National Non-Governmental Development Cooperation Organisations’ Platform (NGDO) demonstrated that there is number of publications for children and for work with children. Yet, it is important to highlight that the majority of them are of general character and could be applied in both formal and non-formal education. The majority of these publications foster children‘s understanding of the world‘s structure and global problems, and critical thinking skills. There is still lack of educational tools related to the specific nature of non-formal education of Lithuanian children and to the needs of non-formal education system; there is also lack of the methods which could help children not only get acquainted with the global development problems but also develop global citizenship competences (e.g. cooperation, active participation, decision-making and other skills) and contribute to the solution of global problems. Pursuant to the recent research data41, today children are mainly interested in the additional lessons of sports, dance, music and arts. In view of this, it is necessary to analyse the needs of the above areas of nonformal education of children and opportunities for integrating Global Education, as well as to increase motivation of specialists working in the above fields, including development of their qualification skills in Global Education. Development of global education methodological tools and qualification upgrading services for non-formal education teachers would help to more effectively seek the intended outcomes defined in the concept of non-formal education. It is expected that they would not only be useful for an individual but for the entire society seeking more active citizenship and participation in public and community life. 

 

Youth-targeted information campaigns on global issues

The documentary film festival Ad Hoc: Inconvenient Films supported under the Development Cooperation and Democracy Promotion Programme is a huge success. Documentaries are shown in eleven Lithuanian cities and educational events highlighting the global issues and problems in developing countries. The website of the project www.nepatoguskinas.lt is devoted to raising awareness on global issues among youth and general public. 

Information providers

The database of Lithuanian non-governmental organisations working in the area of international development cooperation was created (www.pagalba.org/partnerships). Visitors can search the database looking for information about non-governmental organisations and descriptions of projects implemented by them.

Key initiatives

Global Citizens‘ Academy (GCA) was opened in 2014 with the aim to promote key values of active global citizenship and welfare among young people in Lithuania and abroad. It is a non-governmental organisation which contributes to making a difference in the global society by meeting the following objectives: 1) development of national, civic and cultural identities; 2) promoting respect for human dignity; 3) support to building capacities of young people in order to become active and responsible global citizens; 4) stimulating democratic dialogue among different actors in the society; 5) building capacity of civil society organisations. GCA was opened to provide non-formal education, awareness raising and campaigning activities for young people, training and capacity building for youth workers, youth leaders and educators and advocacy actions towards creating a just and sustainable world. Global Citizens‘ Academy is known as one of the ambassadors of global education in Lithuania. It actively works towards promoting the concept of global education in school, non-formal education and youth work environment all over the country. It runs several projects:

The project "A Strengthened Network and an Integration Map for Refugees" (I’MAPPY) is an ERASMUS + KA2 project funded by Turkish National Agency. It aims to enhance the active citizenship and empowerment of the young refugees, support the development of competences of NGOs working with young refugees, and strengthen the organisational capacity and overall professionalization of the structures through enhancing the coordination and unity of the NGOs dealing with refugees. The main idea of the project is to develop an application called I’MAPPY where this application will be an integration map especially for young refugees who do not have access to social and basic information about the asylum country or has no parents or families. Promoting empowerment, open to cross-sectorial cooperation, and active citizenship of young people are some of the essential goals of the project. In scope of the project, project website, application of  I’MAPPY, user guide for NGOs, Survival Kit and a final report will be produced.

In order to broaden civic participation of young people and enable them to contribute to meeting global challenges, 4 organisations from Lithuania, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Spain joined into partnership to implement the project “GlobaLab-2: Six Steps to Global Citizenship”. The project aims to improve the quality of youth work and join efforts of youth and educational bodies towards making young people promoters of global citizenship. The GlobaLab-2 project will be a laboratory for young people, where they will have an opportunity to think of the issues they face every day from the global perspective. It will allow them to find their own role in the global society, as well as stimulate their behavioural change in order to contribute to sustainable development both locally and globally. The project will also allow its participants to identify the effects of the global issues to their own lives and make them become more active and responsible by changing their own views, attitudes and daily habits. During 2 years of the project lifetime GlobaLab-2 will engage around 380 participants: young people, who will be provided with the opportunities to increase and apply their global citizenship competencies; youth workers and youth leaders who will be given the possibility to improve their professional competence and embed global citizenship into their daily work; educators and youth policy makers, who will inform the process of development of a common framework for active global citizenship in partner countries. The project will develop a number of outputs aimed to create, pilot and share good global citizenship education practices. They will include publications, joint educational frameworks, learning/teaching resources, ICT-based learning tools, interactive resources summarizing good global citizenship practices in partner countries. The outputs will be piloted and embedded into youth work and non-formal education practices with the help of a number of national and international training and multiplier events.

Year 2015 was announced as the European Year for Development This was a perfect opportunity to pay people's attention on how they could contribute to the efforts of the EU and national governments towards global development. For this reason, Global Citizens’ Academy and Kaunas Youth Valley initiated a project “Youth’s Socialization in a Global Society”. The project aimed to foster young people’s socialization in a global society by promoting the fundamental values of solidarity, tolerance, belief in making a difference, which are of crucial importance for development of a just and sustainable world. 

The main activity of the project was the global education event for school students “Challenge (In)equality!” which took place on 20.November, 2015 in Kaunas, Vytautas Magnus University. It was a space for the youngsters to become aware and experience the meaning of global inequality and injustice, as well as to look for solutions to decrease it. The participants had an opportunity to look at the issue of inequality in different contexts: economic, social, political and environmental. One-day event offered its participants a variety of workshops: simulations, creative labs, interactive lectures, discussion groups, etc. Every participant had an opportunity to participate in 2 workshops throughout the day.The event engaged 188 school students of the age 13 to 19. They represented 13 different schools from 10 municipalities. The opportunity to participate in the event was also provided for youngsters with fewer opportunities – 17 participants out of the overall number were with hearing difficulties.The event had a very positive effect on the motivation of young people towards their active engagement into creating a just and sustainable world. This was achieved by implementing the following measures: 1) establishing close cooperation with school communities interested in promoting global citizenship among their learners; 2) active involvement of young volunteers; 3) offering a variety of activities for students, so everyone could found one according to their needs and expectations.

GlobaLab is an international youth exchange project, which brought together young people from 4 countries (Lithuania, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Slovak Republic) for joint activities. The project aimed to reinforce active global citizenship among young Europeans and make them become promoters of the fundamental values, such as solidarity, tolerance, respect for diversity, equality, justice and peace. The project expected to raise awareness among young Europeans on interconnectivity existing among people, countries and cultures across the globe; to explore the common issues existing in local, national and global level; to build their active global citizenship skills in order to make them active towards coping with the challenges in the global society; to foster civic actions of youngsters towards sustainable future of the communities in Europe and around the world. The project established a laboratory for young Europeans, where they were be able to share their views and become aware of the realities of different communities in the context of globalization, to define their own roles in a global society, as well as to develop competencies necessary for contributing to sustainable changes in both local communities and globally. The activities of the youth exchange also stimulated their behavioral change in order to contribute to sustainable development both locally and globally.