English

Vision, Mission and Goals

European Voluntary Service Association “SALTES” is an independent non-profit organization that gathers volunteers, makes international and local volunteering projects as well as youth initiatives.

Our vision – to be the most active organization promoting volunteering and unifying enthusiastic volunteers.

Our mission – to spread and popularize the ideas of voluntarism and non-formal education, to unite and take care of EVS participants, to join together volunteers in Lithuania to support them, to motivate cultural cooperation and to develop social - cultural competence.

Goals:
* introduce volunteering as an alternative way to improve and learn;
* gain understanding;
* encourage the informal learning skills;
* organize volunteer training course;
* provide young people with opportunities to develop;
* accomplish their initiatives as well as join the existing ones integrate international;
* foreign volunteers integration in Lithuania.

European Voluntary Service Association “SALTES” is a nongovernmental organization founded by ex-EVS volunteers with a goal to strengthen and promote non-formal education and volunteering at national and international level. SALTES also seeks to provide young people (including those with fewer opportunities) an opportunity for self and professional development through active involvement in non-formal based activities.
To reach our goal we work to disseminate and promote volunteering and non-formal education ideas, to unite volunteers, to create volunteering traditions in Lithuania, to exchange best practices of youth work internationally, to raise the quality of youth work in the field of volunteering, to promote cultural cooperation and develop socio-cultural competences.
 
 
SALTES has rich experience (around 10 years) in implementing various training courses and youth exchanges, tackling especially the following issues: intercultural learning and creativity, inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities, conflict management, quality of youth work, promotion and recognition of volunteering activities, raising the quality of work with local and international volunteers, cooperation between different sectors (NGO, business, public sectors).  SALTES is a sending and coordinating organization of EVS volunteers. In numbers we can add that we organized over 20 Youth in Action Projects (youth Exchanges, training courses) and sent/hosted over 150 EVS volunteers.

 

Projects

Project “Making Volunteering Visible”

Project “Making Volunteering Visible” was aimed at gathering together for a 6 day training course in Vilnius people from various European countries who work with promotion of local and / or international volunteering, popularizing it among the youth. During the training course and the conference, participants all together were searching for ways, means to make volunteering more “visible“ – i.e. a phenomenon well promoted in the society, noticed by governmental and business sectors, thefore appreciated and supported both politically and financially, as well noticed by media. Goals of this project: to contribute to reaching the aims of the ”European Year of Volunteering 2011“ raising awareness about the value and importance of volunteering and strengthening voluntary organizations, encouraging their cooperation and sharing of experience. Participants have bean taught concrete practical skills – to create strategies of promotion and fundraising, how to “reach“ other sectors which could support volunteering politically and financially; how, using what means to communicate the value and importance of volunteering. During the conference which was taking place in the frame of this project, colleagues had an opportunity to share their experience, to improve their knowledge / perception of the European context of volunteering; to learn about various practices of promoting and supporting volunteering in different European countries. Representatives of Lithuanian governmental and business sectors, media, various NGOs which promote or want to promote volunteering in the future have bean invited to this open conference. Methods of non-formal education have bean used in the training course, participants have bean consulted by experts of promotion and fundraising.

„Ex-EVS let‘s do more!“

„Ex-EVS on the wave“ (2006-2007)

The Project „Ex-EVS on wave“ funded by European Commission has the objective to popularize voluntary ideas in Lithuania, improve the quality of European Voluntary service program, increase information accessibility and opportunities for young people to participate in international voluntary programs, to promote cultural exchange, knowledge and understanding as well as discussions in all topical questions not only in the context of Lithuania, but also in the whole Europe.

We organized traditional weekly events in the ESTA “Saltes” office:

The first week of the month we have various classes of handicrafts, e.g. making Chinese lamps, masks, wool fulling-mill etc.

The second week of the month is dedicated for non-commercial movie shows. We have started the movie season with “The children from the New York hotel”, directed by R. Banionis. The director himself came to present this movie.

The third week of the month we are inviting those who are interested in volunteering and voluntary service opportunities both in Lithuania and abroad. During these meetings volunteers share their experience and impressions, present the possibilities given by the “Active youth” program, the project phases etc.

The last week of the month is to represent and get to know traditions of various countries and cultures. Ex-volunteers together with current volunteers from foreign countries, who are doing their EVS in Lithuania, organize interesting and fun evenings with music, songs, dances, typical dishes etc. We have already had a possibility to get to know Dutch, German, Spanish, Macedonian, Arab, Hindu cultures; we have danced sirtaki, sung Macedonian songs, tasted Hindu dishes, played German table games and learnt the Dutch language.

Thanks to this project we have issued information leaflets in Lithuanian and English and created this internet site. The data base of ex-EVS volunteers is nearly prepared.

We have started mentors’ (the people, who are helping the EVS volunteers to integrate and adapt in Lithuania) training program. In the future we plan to create the database for other NGOs as well as organize mentors’ training seminars.

What is more, the “Volunteer’s experience book”, that will help both Lithuanian volunteers going abroad and foreign volunteers coming to Lithuania go through the adaptation period easier, is being translated into Lithuanian.

Theme evenings

You have never been to the East? You have never tasted real Dutch cheese or Armenian lavash? You have no idea how to cook humus or prepare sangria? You don’t know anything about Honduras or Peru? You are eager to socialize and meet interesting people? Then the evenings organized by ESTA “Saltes” are just for you… Sometimes we just watch movies or share our experience of voluntary service in various countries, but mostly we talk about intercultural learning, cultural differences and similarities and we’re always having fun and a good time…

See you at our cozy office!