Final “Sports Together” events in Vilnius and Jonava

Pūčkorių sodas 2018 Vilnius

On 30th of September our sport volunteers team organized two final events and symbolical closed our sport events season. We visited two Lithuanian cities – Vilnius and Jonava.
Here are some of the best moments from the final day of our “Sports Together” project even that took place in Vilnius. Association’s Aktyvus Jaunimasvolunteers and refugees in Vilnius had a chance to participate in huge festival together with Pavilnių ir Verkių regional park team. During the event professional sport volunteers and Pučkorių community representatives created a chance for refugees and local to experience many competitions (apple picking, apple peeling, running) and local traditions by making traditional Lithuanian “apple cheese” and dancing with “Šakar Makar” folk dance Capella. After the event refugees together with volunteers shared this new experience in small hike to the highest part of the park called “Pūčkorių atodanga”. This was a perfect chance for migrants to strengthen their integration and expand new social networks. Because of equal opportunities both locals and migrant families had a chance to experience some cultural exchange. 

Kaunas Capoeira team in Jonava

In the beautiful and cosy town Jonava, Aktyvus Jaunimas team together with trainers from Kaunas Capoeira and the people of Jonava had some fun learning the traditional Brazilian martial art capoeira. Jonava has one of the biggest refugee populations in Lithuania which is due to its location next to the Refugee Reception Centre in Rukla.

Many refugees that starts their integration in the host countries are in lack of contact with professional sport clubs. Therefore it’s a necessity to create various sport opportunities for them. Only this way migrant will feel more needed and less isolated from local communities. We believe that refugees together with newly met  sport communities will have more opportunities to work together as this event created a perfect chance for them to meet each other o more personal basis.
It is important for refugees to exercise their bodies and improve their physical/mental health as they have a lot of stressful difficulties during the early stage of their integration in new town. Providing sports opportunities in open air for refugees is not only useful, but can become fun as well. Especially when you’re doing it with energetic volunteers team!
This is a part of the one year project “Sports Together” Co-funded by European Union. Therefore, we are planing to implement more various sporting activities in the future.

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Photo credit: Deivydas Čepas