Success stories contest “Fo
|Country of residence||Lithuania|
|City / Region|
In August 2012, in collaboration with the news portal www.15min.lt a contest 'ForeignerLT' was organised in order to present the success stories of foreigners living in Lithuania. A lot of interesting stories were received. The authors and heroes of the best stories in three different nominations were presented and awarded in the final event. Participants of the contest could send stories from 30 July 2012 to 12 August 2012. The voting of the best story was held on 13-19 August 2012. The final award event took place on 5 September 2012 in Consultation and Information Centre PLUS.
Lithuania seeks to be a welcoming, tolerant country where foreigners can feel safe and comfortable. The aim is to help immigrants, particularly newcomers from third countries, successfully integrate into society and the labour market. The main tools to achieve this objective are the European Refugee Fund (ERF) and the European Fund for the Integration of third country nationals (EIF). In Lithuania these funds are administrated by the Ministry of Social Security and Labour (Responsible Authority). The language barrier, communication problems, cultural differences, knowledge about the country's legal and social system deficiency - it's just part of the problems faced by the foreigners coming to live in Lithuania. Given the negative tone in society and the media regarding the issues of foreigners, there was a need for an alternative opinion. Thus the Responsible Authority initiated a contest of success stories written by Lithuanian society members about the people living and working together in the same country. The added value of the project was also to present the project results of EIF and ERF in Lithuania.
|How does it work?||
When the contest was announced the readers could send their stories about a foreigner – a friend, neighbour, co-worker or employer who is living in Lithuania at the moment. The had to shortly describe how the hero of the story came, settled in, what were the challenges he/she overcome and what are his/her future plans. After the deadline for submitting the stories, the voting week started. Readers could vote for the best story. Afterwards the winners were announced and invited to the final event - award ceremony.
During the contest organisers received 18 stories.
In total over 1600 votes were collected for the stories. Three stories were announced as winners in the following three nominations.
“15 minutes of glory” – story about the Vilnius African Community;
“Lithuania – my second home” – story about a man from Afghanistan.
“I like to be in Lithuania” - the winner's laurels went to the Egyptian Ehab life in Lithuania.
Around 40 participants from EIF, ERF projects, communities and other institutions working in this field took part in the final award event (5th of September).
This pilot project set good ground for partnership with the media. No special monitoring was carried out, but representatives from the Ministry of Social Security and Labour believe that this contest will initiate more positive discussions on the situation of foreigners living in Lithuania.
Who will benefit?
Lithuanian society, third country nationals in Lithuania
|Source of funding
and resources used
European Refugee Fund and European fund for the third country nationals (technical assistance)
|Organisation||Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania|
|Contact person||Artūras Bytautas Send email)|
|Function||Head of the Structural Support Management Division|