Students from the European Humanities University (EHU) recently organized a celebration at the Vilnius Children’s Social Care Home Gilė. Together with about 30 children, the students made pots from clay and paper lace cuttings and participated in face-painting with the children.
This celebration is the first activity of the project Gėrio Spinduliai (Rays of Goodness). In future events, students from EHU and other Lithuanian universities will organize creative workshops and classes, take photos, organize the viewing of animated films, provide drawing lessons, and other activities.
“This project helps me to connect not only with peers in Belarus, but also with Lithuanians. In the future, I would like to teach children how to weave Belarusian bands,” says Andrei Strotsev, an EHU student of Cultural Heritage and Tourism.
This was the not the first occasion at which the EHU students met the children of Gilė. Their communication will now intensify with the support of the LitPro project, which promotes the integration of EHU students in Lithuania.
“For several years, EHU students have initiated and carried out charity projects during which the students collected money for Christmas gifts for children in care homes. But it is much more important to maintain the focus after the holidays, to continue meetings, and to learn—or just spend time together. This is a great opportunity for students to share the knowledge they obtained at the university in a new environment with a group of children who need it the most,” Aliaksandra Ihnatovich, the LitPro director and EHU alum, says.
LitPro seeks to facilitate the integration of Belarusians who come to study at EHU in Lithuania. The main project activities are Lithuanian language lessons, study tours, organization of meetings, and support for student-initiated projects. The LitPro project is supported by the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The European Humanities University is a private, nonprofit liberal arts university founded in Minsk in 1992. The university has been headquartered in Vilnius, Lithuania, since authorities expelled it from Belarus in 2004. It serves over 1,600 mostly Belarusian students, offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs and promoting research in the humanities and social sciences.