J O R U N E V Y S N I A U S K Y T E – R I M K I E N E
I came to social work not very much knowing what it is, but feeling that it is my field. In Lithuania before my studies started social work did not exist, we were one of the first to study this very new field in the country. I loved my studies from the first moment – as I was caught deeply by its main meaning – to take care about vulnerable groups of people, to stand for their rights, to empower them to change their discouraging life situations. Almost 10 years I spent in social work practice – being the social worker in a school, working in several NGOs with youth groups and communities. Later, feeling the lack of knowledge I came back to university. For 12 years I am teaching in the social work department in Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, but at the same time I am working in the field as groupworker (with adolescents and parents) and giving training to colleagues and practitioners. At the end of 2015 I became a vice-dean of the social sciences faculty at Vytautas Magnus university.
I chose Candle because …
… It is as a symbol that contains one of the meanings I think social work has – brings hope and light to a person’s life. As Candle, a social worker provides more light to situations that seem discouraging. It can be compared to situation when you sit in a dark room and cannot see anything around till somebody brings in the lighted candle. When people have ‘dark times’ and different crises in their lives often everything can seem so pessimistic without any possible solutions, but social workers bring in the light and help people to look around and notice the possibility that there are so many different ways to see yourself, your family and the world.
Candle has many meanings of hope and light for me. When you are stuck in a tunnel a candle helps you find out your way out. Candle is lightening not only the outside but the inside world as well. You can be lost in your ‘inner tunnel’ and the candle light gives you hope, to see the light and strength in your own soul and mind. And that life can be changed.
Social workers provide a candle to others person to lighten their lives.
Let’s remember to lighten it for our own ‘rooms’, too.