E G L Ė C E L I E Š I E N Ė
I live in Vilnius, Lithuania. After completing a PhD in multicultural work in 2011, I started teaching at the Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences in Vilnius, where I am Associate Professor in the Social Work Baccalaureate and Social Work Master degree programs. I am also the Director of the Lithuanian College of Democracy (an NGO). My research interests are social communication and NGO sector development and I work with children at risk and their families. Together with international partners we are searching for social innovations and new methods to integrate working with children and their families participating in various activities, such as the Play for children with disability network (LUDI) and social clustering projects.
I chose Mobile garden because …
… children and their families need incentives to grow things, and through the growing process we can engage entire communities, not just individual families.
Traditional social work services tend to be bureaucratic, fire-fighting services. In contrast, my experience of working in the NGO sector has shown the possibility of working with children at risk and their families using more lasting kinds of intervention – by helping parents to spend quality time with their children, chatting and communicating with them, taking a main meal at home with them, spending holidays and leisure time together, in these ways we can devote much more attention to them.
We help every child who is growing up in a family at risk, or in a poor environment, to have access to diverse services that range from developing social skills to participating in socio-educational programs, such as day care centres, camps, vocational training and subsidised employment.