Dennis’ Trip to Lithuania: Day 3
My final day in Lithuania and the day of the presentation at Parliament on Youth Social Enterprise.
Wednesday 11th December: Presentation Day
Samuel and I woke up early again but this time after breakfast we could go not go back to our sleep as it was the day of our presentation to the Lithuanian Parliament. We were getting picked up from our hotel by a journalist and some young people to go to Parliament together. We arrived a bit late as we couldn’t find parking but we had not missed much.
When we came in we took a seat amongst the Politicians, listening to everything that was being said on stage through headphones so we could hear the translation into English. The issues that face the Lithuanians are very different from those in England. Whilst some people in the UK worry about immigration, the Lithuanian’s worry is about the emigration of their most talented young people to the UK.A single flight from Vilnius to Stanstead can cost as little as £22!
The politicians discussed how to build on patriotism and how to encourage young people to have at least four children. One professor suggested that if young people misbehave in the community then their school should be held responsible as it’s the school that’s meant to be teaching children how to behave. That would go down well in London (not).There were so many different things said concerning young people but no young people were there to speak for themselves.
When Samuel and I were called onto the stage to present with Julia, I used the opportunity to express to the Politicians how young people must feel living in Lithuania, and the importance of involving them in decision making and responsibility for running their own projects. Together, Samuel, Julia and I presented on the advantages of encouraging young people to set up their own enterprises. These advantages included; it provides young people with a route into employment; it helps the economy; it gives young people a purpose and control over their lives and teaches them to take on a leadership role and provides role models for their peers.
We left the building with the Politician’s clapping their hands and nodding their heads to all that we said and at the end some took my contact details for exploring further project and workshops between us and Lithuania. It was a great day. After the Presentation Julia and her friends treated us out to dinner as it was our last night.
Thursday 12th December: We went hard, so now we go home!
On our last day, Samuel and I visited the KGB Museum (The Museum of Genocide Victims) which provided a fascinating insight into the history of Lithuania. Then in the evening we packed up our bags again and headed off to the airport to return back to London.
I arrived back and felt that my perception on life has changed. I am very lucky to have a business that’s doing well because in some other parts of the world, young people are not getting the support or the encouragement to stand on their own feet as we do here. I t has encouraged and empowered me to take more interest and love in everything we do at Endz2Endz, especially building the interest of young people up to set up their own businesses to help themselves and the economy. Lastly, it has made me want, more than ever, to make my family and E2E family proud, and I hope my blogs have inspired you all to do the same!