“Youth Can” kids in charge of Christmas celebrations in their communities: “We really can do more than we think”
On the 12th of November, “Youth Can” kids received their challenge of the month – to organize exciting and physically active Christmas celebrations for their communities. The goal of the task was not only to present the “Youth Can” program to the community, but also to develop and improve their own life skills and personal traits by being in charge while organizing the events by themselves.
Each team of the program received small tasks every week which helped guide the kids in organising the events. In the first two weeks, the youth was asked to draft and prepare the program of the event and the list of preliminary guests and sponsors. On the third week, each team had to create a public communication plan. Finally, over the last week the kids had to share the responsibilities and decide who is in charge for what as fell as finalise the program. The first event took place ahead of schedule in Pumpėnai gymnasium on the 6th of December.
“In my opinion, this task was very valuable in encouraging ownership over responsibilities instead of wanting everything done for them. When they had the opportunity to organize an event, they saw how much effort was needed. We are feeling great now. The girls from my team have really worked hard and developed their team-working skills and saw that they can do so much on their own, which was really important for their self-confidence” – said the coach of the Pumpenai team Eglė Mickeliūnienė.
There were a total of fifteen events taking place in fifteen different towns and regions of Lithuania with the final one held on the 21st of December in Šaukėnai. Events were organized by “Youth Can” teams in Alsėdžiai, Ariogala, Joniškėlis, Klaipėda, Lentvaris, Miroslavas, Pandėlys, Raguvėlė, Smalininkai, Simnas, Šalčininkėliai, Veliučionys, and Želsva.
“At first it seemed impossible to organize the whole event and I was a bit sceptical about this task. When we started organizing, there were a lot of struggles, but, as a team, we were doing great. Also, I was communicating with other teams’ captains and they helped us. At a time like this, you understand that meeting other young people in this program is such a gift for us. When the day of the event came I was really scared. What if no one will like it? But I needn’t have worried, because everyone enjoyed it and everything went great. This task took me out of my comfort zone and proved that young people can really do more than they think!” – said Gabija from Raguvele team.
The coordinators Arminas Vareika, Benas Maciulaitis, and Ieva Marija Cerniauskaitė visited all the locations to see how the kids were doing, evaluating all the tasks and after the events they gave their feedback: advice, critique and, of course, compliments to the teams.
“First of all, this task was a great opportunity for the youth to see that they really can do a lot of things by themselves if only they work together and cooperate! The skills that were developed and the challenges that they faced while organizing the events are the most important things in our program. I am really proud of all the teams and the youth. While organizing the events they had a chance to improve their team-work and other skills. I do believe that the tasks worked out well and benefited all the children. After all their efforts, the kids asked to get more tasks like this one and were grateful for the opportunity to face difficulties and confront their fears” – said one of the program coordinators Benas Maciulaitis.