“BRIDGE IT!”: 19 IDEAS FOR 25 PARTICIPANTS
The first stage of the “Bridge It!” non-formal education Programme, directed at involvement of youth from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and the North-West of Russia in the development of the Baltic region, finding solutions for actual social problems and establishment of good neighbouring ties between the targeted countries, has just finished.
From July 1-8, the first introduction seminar devoted to the topic “Migration: To Live or to Leave” took place in Pelči (Latvia), while another seminar – ”Ecological Lifestyle” – was held nearby Gdov (Pskov Region, Russia) from July 11-18, 2014.
‘Although the Programme this year showed a slight progress only in the terms of number of participants – from 20 to 25 young people in comparison to 2013,‘ says Inga BODNARJUKA, a Programme Co-Ordinator from Riga (Latvia), ‘the quality of ideas has improved significantly. We are looking forward to new 19 ideas for social projects and initiatives in the fields of immigration regulation, general and artistic education, gender equality, separation of waste, healthy lifestyle, promotion of national cultures, and others.’
The participants represented not only St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region but also Republic of Karelia and the Arkhangelsk Region. Besides, they also came from wider regions of the Baltic states – Western Viru County and Haapsalu (Estonia); Riga, Ventspils, and the Nica County (Latvia), and even Bangladesh represented by a student from St. Petersburg.
’As usual, the main focus of both seminars was on participants themselves as well as their development potential,’ tells Sergei TERESHENKOV, another Programme Co-Ordinator from St. Petersburg (Russia), PR Co-Ordinator of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum. ‘Apart from sessions provided by experienced facilitators, the participants in Pelči tried out mini actions, while the seminar in the Pskov Region was visited by two experts – Igor Batov from the ”Free Coast” Movement from Pskov and Petr Rakcheev from the ”No More Waste” Organisation from St. Petersburg.’
The Programme year 2014 will be continued by two project meetings on August 5-11, 2014. They will be carried out in Riga and St. Petersburg. After the implementation stage of social projects and initiatives planned for September-November is over, the evaluation seminar will be carried out at the end of November in Tartu (Estonia).
For your information. Bridge it! is an empowerment programme for young people at the age between 18 and 28 years old coming from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and the North-West of Russia. It connects people and raises their interest in the Baltic region. The Programme is based on non-formal educational methods stimulating the participants to develop critical thinking, diversity awareness and giving them impulses for civic involvement and a space for trying out own initiatives. The Programme has been implemented by organisations ”German-Russian Exchange” (Russia), ”Orbita” (Latvia), ”Domus Dorpatensis” (Estonia), ”Lithuanian Children’s and Youth Centre” (Lithuania) and supported by the Theodor Heuss Kolleg of the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the MitOst Association (Germany).