A film on the activities at Center for Women and Children Nendre can be found at Youtube, look here.
Social Services and Counselling
The non-governmental kindergarten “Nendre” was founded in 1998 by the Åland Islands Peace Institute in Finland and the Women‘s Association ”Devyndarbe” in Vilnius, Lithuania.
“Nendre“ provides a broad range of social services to single-mother families including day care for pre-school children, free time activities for school children, individual and family counselling, case management, crisis intervention as well as social home services. The mission of the NGO is to prevent stigmatization of socially marginalized families and to support their integration into the society.
During the first half-year of 2007 the non-governmental kindergarten “Nendre” was providing social services to 44 single mothers, 57 school children (of which 15 attended day center on daily basis and 37 were involved in free-time activities and camps) and 22 pre-school children. All the beneficiaries come from one of the poorest parts of Snipiskes neighbourhood, which is a home for several ethnic minorities such as Roma, Belarusian and Russian. Many of the houses in Snipiskes lack central heating and running water and the living conditions of the families are very difficult. From the start up until the end of 2008 Nendre had provided services for 224 families, inkluding a total of 350 children.
Information about marginalized families is provided to “Nendre” by the police, Vilnius municipality or Children’s Rights Protection Office. The majority of all single women are unemployed and live on state benefits or live on the minimum wage, which is not sufficient to pay for the public child care services. The low level of education of the women and the lack of work experience prevent them from joining the labour market and earning a decent living. As a result, many of these women get depressed, lose their self-confidence and develop different psychological problems. Their children are strongly influenced by the surrounding environment and tend to follow the family model of their parents. Due to the lack of love and attention many children have various behavioural and emotional disturbances. Some children who come to “Nendre” have not yet begun to speak at the age of 3 or 4 years. There’s a risk that such children can develop language-based learning disabilities and end up having problems at schools.
The day care activities are based on both individual and group efforts. An individual action plan is designed for each child. The children learn to work as a group but individual initiatives are encouraged. The model of teaching that Nendre uses is to a large extent based on Nordic models of childcare. Democracy and equality are important perspectives integrated in this model.
Activities for schoolchildren
At Nendre schoolchildren are assisted with their homework. The centre also provides creative and recreational activities. The schoolchildren get an afternoon meal at Nendre. The alternative for these children is hanging around town, which means that they are at risk of becoming involved in violence, crime or drugs. The centre tries to prevent these children from becoming street kids. The activities with the schoolchildren as well as the day care activities is based on the Nordic model of pedagogy.
Counselling, guidance and education is offered for the mothers. Each mother receives an individual action plan about health care, family counselling and education for employment.
The staff of “Nendre” is trained in Nordic empowerment methods that help to strengthen the inner capacity of single mothers and to increase their motivation to bring positive changes in the life situation of their families. The staff of “Nendre” consists of a director, two social workers, a psychologist, a kindergarten pedagogue, a youth leader, a speech therapist and a bookkeeper.
The Åland Islands Peace Institute has bought a small farm in the village of Akmeniskes in Aukstaitija National Park in northeast Lithuania. The farm is called Villa Nina and is used for summer camps for the children and their mothers. Akmeniskes is located in a beautiful spot between three lakes. The lakes are good for both fishing and swimming and the forests around Villa Nina have both berries and mushrooms for picking. The summer camps give both mothers and children some relief from the everyday problems that they normally face. The aim is to strengthen family relations and help to keep the families together.
Nendre 10 years 2008
In 2008 the 10th birthday of Nendre was celebrated in the capital of Lithuania, Vilnius with a jubileé conference and a reception. At the conference representatives from national and international authorities in Lithuania as well as representatives from NGO:s in both Lithuania and Åland participated. From the Åland Islands Peace Institute Barbro Sundback, head of the board, Leena Lindqvist, member of the board, Sia Spiliopoulou Åkermark, Director, Susann Simolin, Information Officer and Justina Donelaite, project leader, attended the events. Carina Aaltonen represented the Åland Islands Peace Association-Emmaus.
Several of the speakers pointed out Nendre’s importance as a role model because of its unique method of working with the entire family, which is a new approach concerning work with socially marginalised families in Lithuania.
Today the organisation is self-finansed and runs and develops its activities independently, supported by the Åland Islands Peace Institute.
Support the Nendre Centre!
Make your contribution to The Åland Islands Peace Institute´s account in Ålandsbanken: 660100-1118595 (IBAN: FI22 6601 0001 2091 54, BIC: AABAFI22)
Sign with “Nendre”.
Tel/fax +370 2 752 282
To Nendre’s homepage (in Lithuanian)