Formula of Poverty Reduction 10 x 10 = 0 (European Social Fund)
Skurdo mažinimo formulė 10 x 10 = 0
(Formula of Poverty Reduction 10x10=0)
National Poverty Reduction Network including Lithuanian Red Cross
Time frame: February 2010 - November 2010
EU Policy Area: Social Policy (Poverty reduction and Social Inclusion)
EU Programme: European Social Fund (ESF)
2010 was the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion. Accordingly, each EU Member State took various actions to spotlight the topic of poverty in society. The goal of the project implemented in Lithuania was to encourage and strengthen local communities, increase their participation in social and civil activities aiming to reduce social exclusion and poverty of children.
The quite complicated project slogan ‘’Formula of Poverty Reduction 10 x 10 = 0’’ hides a clear meaning: In 10 months of the project implementation the main problems caused by poverty will be identified and their solutions will be found. Thus the scale of poverty in the country will reach a quantity of 0 within 10 years. The priority of this project was combating poverty of children addressing numerous families, single parents raising children, children growing in shelters as these groups of people usually are in a greater danger to suffer from poverty.
The activities of this project included community forums and theatres, camps (’Snowball – communication against poverty’’), information seminars and conferences (‘’How assistance at home can support poverty reduction’’, ‘’Children integration into community aiming to reduce social exclusion’’, project ending conference in Lithuanian Parliament), opening of photo exhibition on social exclusion issues ‘’Witnesses’’, organization of photo and paintings contest for children ’’10x10 Faces of Poverty’’. The most eye-catching event of the project was an exhibition of sculptures made of food cans, called ‘’Figures of Poverty from 10.000 cans’’. This activity was a result of creativity and the art contest for university students, school children, youth organisations and clubs’ members who where lead by 70 professional artists.
The main responsibility of Lithuanian Red Cross in this project was to organise a youth bicycle trip named ‘’10 kilometers of Poverty’’ with the final event of the trip - summer camp. During the trip 21 young people (till the age of 18) facing social exclusion and 6 Lithuanian Red Cross youth volunteers traveled 304 km through 10 Lithuanian districts, where the problems of poverty are the most urgent. When the group arrived in a district, they invited the local youth to join them in the trip, spreading information on combating poverty, making public awareness campaigns on human trafficking, and organising other activities together with local youth (sport games, competitions etc.). The main achievements of the organized activities were successful public awareness campaigns on poverty issues, many local communities reached directly and engaged into activities, children and youth from social risk groups encouraged to participate in community activities, networking with volunteers of humanitarian organizations, youth clubs promoted, poverty problems underlined for Lithuanian government decision makers.