Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Spring mix of House of Europe Activities

Roundtables with journalists and activists

There were two roundtables organized with journalists and activists in the field of development cooperation in the following period.

First roundtable took place in April and targeted life in Thailand. Journalist as well as expert of Asia Daiva Repečkaitė shared her experiences from visiting Thailand and spoke about peoples’ daily life as well as ways to make a living there. The country is frequently called as “land of smiley faces” and the roundtable aimed to explore what is really behind these smiles.

                                     A Roundtable with Journalists and Activists, 28 April 2016

Another roundtable was organized in May and challenged views about frozen Israeli-Palestinian conflict. An activist working in the field of development cooperation in Palestine Gabrielė Tervydytė shared her experience while making a short documentary in West Bank and presented Palestinian position on the the prolonged conflict. Participants actively discussed challenges and possibilities people face in this hostile context.

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                                      A Roundtable with Journalists and Activists, 19 May 2016

Film screenings

In the begining of May, in cooperation with the regional office of the United Nations Refugee Agency in Vilnius, a public screening of the  documentary “In an Alien Land” and a panel discussion in connection with the recent outbreak of the refugee crisis, reasons behind it and its outcomes was organised at the “Pasaka” cinema theatre in Vilnius.
Renata Kuleš (the head of United Nations Refugee Agency in Vilnius), Edvardas Špokas, Miglė Gaižiūtė, Eglė Marija Želvytė (LRT film crew) and a researcher of migration Karolis Žibas took part in the discussion moderated by a journalist Rosita Garškaitė.
The event was attended by more than 60 people. Audience took part in a lively debate with the film crew and experts and continued their exchange in an unofficial setting afterwards.

Open film screening at “Pasaka” cinema theatre, 
5 May 2016.

A second screening and a discussion about hope and despair people express while trapped in an “alien land” followed in the second part of May. “House of Europe” representatives introduced NGO community from Lithuanian Network of Anna Lindh Foundation with the film and its development process. Around 10 people attended the session.

Film screening at the meeting of Anna Lindh Foundation Lithuanian Network, 18 May 2016

African Days

In collaboration with Lithuanian Foreign Affairs ministry and several NGOs, International Day of Africa was celebrated in Vilnius and Kaunas on May 28. “House of Europe” took over a tradition of Subsacharan Africa cultural festival, formaly organized by other NGO, and prepared 4 day program. “African days” served as an umbrella for various events: African dance and drumming workshops, concert with the musicians from Africa,, meetings and discussions. Partners “Afri Ko” organized a discusion on Informational and communcational technologies and it’s influence on African development. The guest speakers from several African countries spoke in the panel. Event took place in Foreign Affairs Ministry. 

In Vilnius’ “Green Cafe” academics, journalists, volunteers presented their African experiences and specific topics in the world cafe principal. Around 35 people participated in the event. Giedrė Birzyte, a member of the project, presented her Kenyan trip. She also did the presentation in Kaunas Cultural Center of Various Nations. Approximately, audience was around 45 people.

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World cafe discussions, African days in Vilnius, May 26, 2016

Photo exhibition

The photo exhibition “The World As You See It” continues to be displayed in different venues and invites local communities to take a deeper look into life of developing countries. In April, exhibition was displayed in Education Development Centre and Proffesional training centre of Žirmūnai. In May, it stayed in the public library of Šilutė. Further, the exhibition will be displayed in the Parliament as well as Government’s facilities and will visit smaller towns around Lithuania.
Photo exhibition “The World as You See it” displayed in Šilutė.

Bulletin on Humanitarian Aid

At the end of May, an electronic bulletin on humanitarian aid was issued and sent out to policy makers and opinion leaders, in particular, members of the Parliament, public officials, politicians, journalists, representatives of NGO sector and national academia. While featuring articles of mainly local authors, this issue aims to present in-depth analysis of the latest tendencies and chronic challenges in the humanitarian aid sector:
  • Humanitarian aid given by Lithuanian citizens: main trends, directions, institutional challenges and future opportunities (prepared by Lithuanian journalist Jūratė Važgauskaitė).
  • Expert opinion about macro-level factors for the effectiveness of humanitarian aid and the need for structural reforms (prepared by Žilvinas Švedkauskas, NGO“House of Europe”).
  • World Humanitarian Summit and Lithuania’s part in it (prepared by Lithuanian journalist Rosita Garškaitė).
  • The prospects of cash transfers in humanitarian aid (a translation of a text by Paul Harvey, an expert at Overseas development institute).
  • Importance of humanitarian communication.
Cover of the Bulletin no 3.
Media appearances

On the 25th of May, “Media4Development” project was mentioned when African days idea and the program was announced on the National Broadcaster’s morning show “Labas rytas”. Project’s communication officer shortly introduced viewers to journalists’ trip to Kenya and invited to attend the meetings in Vilnius and Kaunas.

Article Section

In April - May, a section in the national daily Lietuvos žinios (introduced in order to reach a wider public and familiarize it with current development issues) was further complemented by 7 different articles of various Lithuanian journalists. Traditional bee-keeping and eco-challenges for Lake Victoria in Kenya were presented by Berta Tilmantaitė, whereas Vaida Blažytė covered a conflict between man and nature in country’s nature conservancies. Besides special insights to Kenya, articles about World Humanitarian Summit, women rights in Sri Lanka and women entrepreneurs in Thailand, paradoxes of humanitarian aid in Ukraine were published. Each article is accompanied by an introduction into a certain relevant aspect of development cooperation.

 Aušra Mažonė. Women of Sri Lanka. 30 April, 2016.

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