The Åland Islands Peace Institute has built a well-functioning network of non-governmental organisations in Lithuania, Belarus and the Kaliningrad region (Russia). This co-operation is based on the experiences gained and methods developed at the Nendre Centre for Women and Children in Vilnius, Lithuania. Nendre was established in 1998 by the Åland Islands Peace Institute and the Devyndarbe Women’s Club.
Today the Centre offers social services to single mothers and their children. It provides support to the mothers, day care for small children and afternoon activities for school children. Nendre has become recognized as one of the leading organisations in the field of gender equality education and promotion in Lithuania.
Since 2005 Nendre has been sharing its experiences with organisations in Belarus and Kaliningrad. The goal is to give marginalised groups the strength to manage their problems and to take control of their own lives. Project initiatives include training, counselling and development activities for women and children.
The Åland Islands Peace Institute has also helped to spread the “girls’ group” method in Lithuania. This method, originally developed in the Nordic countries and adapted to local conditions, helps to strengthen young girls’ self-awareness and prevent trafficking. The method is now also being introduced in Belarus.
Trafficking has become a serious problem especially in many Eastern European countries. Young girls are enticed with false promises about a good job and salary into Western European countries, where they are locked into brothels for sexual slavery. Most of them lack a passport and money. The Peace Institute has cooperated with the Missing Persons Families Support Center in Vilnius since 2003 in addressing problems of trafficking. We use the Girl Power method for training young girls in the risk zone.
More about trafficking and girl power >>
Since 2005 the Åland Islands Peace Institute and the Center for Women and Children “Nendre” in Lithuania are implementing the project “Nendre – Lessons Learned”. The main objective of the project is to promote capacity-building and the development of democratic societies through cross-border co-operation between NGOs in Finland, Lithuania, Belarus and the Kaliningrad region (Russia). The project is also aimed at sharing the experiences of social work at “Nendre” and starting up new project initiatives for the empowerment of socially marginalized families and individuals in the neighbouring countries.
During the three years of the project’s implementation (2005-2007), the following results have been achieved: