Ålands fredsinstitut
The Åland Islands Peace Institute

Hamngatan 4
AX-22100 Mariehamn, Åland, Finland
Tel. +358 18 15570
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the Åland Example


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The Åland Islands Peace Institute has developed a well-functioning network of non-governmental organizations in Lithuania, Belarus, Latvia as well as the Kaliningrad region and the Karelian Republic in Russia. The cooperation has mainly focused on the model for social work, which has been developed in Lithuania, and the preventive initiatives against sexual slavery.


This cooperation is based on the experiences gained and methods developed at the Center for Women and Children Nendre in Vilnius, Lithuania.  Nendre was established in 1998 by the Åland Islands Peace Institute and the Women’s club Devyndarbe. Today the Center offers social services to marginalized families of single parents in the neighborhood of Snipiskes, which is one of the poorest in Vilnius. It provides support, counseling and information for the parents, day care for the pre-school children and day center services, including a wide range of free time activities, for the school children. The main goal is to promote the integration of families into society and to strengthen the relationship between family members. The activities at Nendre are inspired by the pedagogical theories and practice as well as knowledge and ideas coming from both Lithuania and the Nordic countries. Democratic participation, social security and gender equality are the corner stones for all the activities.


Nendre is the first organization in Lithuania, which has adopted the so called gender pedagogy in the activities for pre-school children. It has also been a pioneer in launching the girl group method for empowerment of girls in the risk zone of being trafficked. In connection with its project initiatives and innovative methods Nendre has received much interest both on local, regional and international level. Since 2005 Nendre has been sharing its experiences of social work with other NGOs in the neighboring countries (Belarus and the Kaliningrad region). The local initiatives, developed by its partners, include education, counseling and empowering activities for parents and children.

Nendre has changed the life situation for many marginalized families in Vilnius and provided them with an opportunity to take charge of their own future. Nendre has also been a source of inspiration for many other organizations, especially in the field of gender equality promotion, empowerment of young girls and changing of attitudes towards single mothers in Lithuania. Nendre has also played an important role as a facilitator for a better life, security, inclusion and democracy.

Read more about Nendre here.

Homepage of Nendre: www.nendre.org

Combating sexual slavery

tillsammansengwebbThe Åland Islands Peace Institute has been engaged in the activities for trafficking prevention in Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus and the Kaliningrad region. The cooperation with Azerbaijan will start in autumn 2011.  

Trafficking prevention activities have been developed in cooperation with the Missing Persons’ Families Support Center in Vilnius, Lithuania, which is focused on combating human trafficking and providing assistance to trafficking victims. Together the two organizations have adopted the girl group method in order to prevent young Lithuanian girls from becoming victims of sexual slavery. The first education for girl group leaders was held in November 2003 with a trainer Mia Hanström from the Åland Islands. The group activities were launched the same year.  Since then the interest among social workers, teachers, psychologists and NGO activists in receiving a qualification of a group leader has been constantly growing in connection with the success of the method and the positive impact of the girl group activities on the group members. In order to develop a long term sustainability of the project, 13 of Lithuanian trainers were educated in 2006. Since then they have provided training opportunities for new girl group leaders both in Lithuania and abroad. The method manual by Mia Hanströms has been translated to Lithuanian and Russian.

The girl group method has become a successful export product from the Åland Islands. Besides Lithuania, it has been introduced in Belarus, the Kaliningrad region and Latvia.  In 2012 the girl group activities should also be launched in Azerbaijan.