In Lithuania, there are many organizationsworking on the issues related to migrant integration, cross-cultural exchange, and the promotion of equal treatment for people of all genders, races, and backgrounds. Some organizations focus ona particularethnic group, while others promotecross-culturalcooperation as whole. The team at EthnicKitchensupportsthe meaningfulwork of these organizationsandencourages you to get involved in any that pique your interest!
The International Women’s Association of Vilnius (IWAV) is a non-government and non-profit association established as a forum for communication, cooperation, and charitable work. Meetings take place monthly and members organize a number of annual community events, including the Christmas Charity Bazaar in December and the Blossom of Hope gala each spring. The working language of the organisation is English but the members hail from many different countries, including Lithuania, Russia, France, Spain, Italy, Sweden, and Finland.
Shenet is a women’s network. It was established in 1999 and is active in Sweden, Lithuania and Shanghai. According to the Swedish founder of the organisation, Mary Forssen, the goal of this network is to inspire women to action: to help them establish both personal and professional contacts, share their experiences, and explore new opportunities.
Forssen’s vision is spreading rapidly; the network boasts more than 5,000 members in Sweden, and has executed a number of successful projects, including fashion and art presentations and seminars on entrepreneurship. In Lithuania, businesswomen Jolanta Bastienė and Vaidilute Eičienė established a local sister network in 2012. Sweden is currently one of the largest investors in Lithuania and many Swedish companies have offices in Lithuania, so entrepreneurs have discovered countless opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation.
YFU (Youth for Understanding) is an international organization promoting youth exchange programs around the world. YFU provides an opportunity for students to spend a year, a semester or summer in another country, and offers families the opportunity to host an exchange student. Students live with host families, visit local schools and learn the language of their host country. This experience allows students to learn about different cultures and become more tolerant and independent. They immerse themselves in a new culture and come back to Lithuania with a new, global perspective.
Since 2000, YFU has been working closely with the International Schoolchildren Exchange as its implementing partner. The Exchange was founded by YFU alumni who wanted to expand the YFU to include as many students as possible. These days, some 20 students travel with exchange programs annually with YFU’s help. In 2005, YFU introduced a new programme for incoming students. Since then, fifteen students from Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands have seized the opportunity to live with Lithuanian families and go to local schools.
Baltic Chechenians Association
J. Jasinskio 17-1, Vilnius
Phone (8-5) 249 7556
Center for Equality Advancement
TheCenter for Equality Advancement(CEA) was founded in 2003 to promote gender dialogue and raise public intolerance for discrimination based on ethnicity, disability, sex, age or sexual orientation. CEA promotes equality and tolerance of ideas, initiating educational projects aimed at changing negative stereotypes and promoting positive change in society. It also works to strengthen cooperation between state and local authorities, educational institutions, and non-governmental organizations, all in support of democracy, openness and tolerance. The CEA staff also writes scientific articles and organises seminars, round table discussions, courses, and lectures on discrimination.
Lithuanian Gypsy Association "Gypsy Fire"
Since 1997, Gypsy Fire has been actively involved in addressing Roma issues. The organisation actively collaborates with Vilnius Municipality, the Department of National Minorities and Lithuanians Living Abroad, and the Lithuanian Children’s Fund.
Lithuanian Union Sakaliukai
The Lithuanian Union Sakaliukai is a non-governmental organisation for youth and children that links volunteer mentors with child mentees and victims of domestic abuse.
Lithuanian Children's Fund
The Lithuanian Children’s Fund is one of the founders of Roma Community Centre. The Fund prepares Roma children to enter the mainstream education system and teaches their parents various crafts. From 2004-2008, the Fund worked with seven partner organizations to implement a project called “Integration of Roma into the labor market,” which was financed by the European Community Initiative EQUAL. Since June 2010, the World Children Foundation has supported the project “Together”, as implemented by the Roma Community Centre. Since January 2012, the Fund also gives support to the teachers working with Roma children in secondary schools of Naujininkai and Saulėtekis (Vilnius). Since October 2013, the Fund together with Lithuanian Women Society and Roma Community Center implement a project “NGO network to empower Roma community”. The project is supported by the European Economic Area Grants NGO Program Lithuania.
Lithuanian Centre for Human Rights
The Lithuanian Centre for Human Rights (LCHR) has been working in the field of human rights for almost twenty years. Since its foundation by private citizens in 1994, LCHR has focused on human rights education and implemented countless projects and activities in that field. Equality and eliminating discrimination have always been at the core of the LCHR philosophy.
National Institute for Social Integration
The National Institute for Social Integration (Žmogui.lt) helps persons from socially vulnerable groups integrate successfully into mainstream society. Žmogui.lt is known for its innovative approach to integration and nuanced social tactics to bring outsiders and youths seamlessly into the public fold.
Social Work Agency "SOPA"
Public organisation SOPA is a social job recruitment agency, which helps people with less opportunities to find and keep a job. SOPA consults, trains job-seekers and cooperates with employers in order to helps the job seekers to find jobs and internships in the labor market.
The House of National Communities
Public institution the House of National Communities is a non–profit established in 1991. It focuses on culture, education, and science. The organisation works to preserve the cultural and ethnic individuality of indigenous Lithuanian minority communities. The House works with twelve Lithuanian ethnic communities, community organizations. In total, 40 national minority organizations are registered with House of National Communities.
Caritas Lithuania is an organization motivated by the social teaching of the Catholic Church and humanistic attitudes. It aims to reduce poverty, social exclusion and to serve in the spirit of Jesus Christ in helping the most vulnerable members of the society.
Caritas Lithuania’s social projects bring together volunteers and professional coordinators. The organization emphasizes the importance of love, tolerance, and preserving the dignity of those in need. It is guided by the principles of solidarity and justice.
(Migration information and cooperation platform)
The goal of MIPAS is to educate workers employed in the immigration sector to help them better understand and communicate with foreigners moving to Lithuania. MIPAS aims to improve cooperation and strengthen the network of stakeholders to make the integration of third-country nationals a smoother and more effective transition.
Centras PLIUS provides free services and consultations in the following areas:
- Lithuanian language
- social work
- migration issues
- Lithuania history and culture
The project is financed by the annual European Fund for the Integration of Third-country Nationals Programme.