Erasmus+ youth exchange dubbed “Prove Them Wrong” (or PTW in short) took place in Kaunas, Lithuania on 8–16 April of 2018. 36 youngsters from 6 different countries (Lithuania, Portugal, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Germany and Turkey) worked together with an aim to enhance their knowledge on the issue of youth criminality, what are the causes, methods / tools (both new and old) of tackling this issue and how to successfully (re-)integrate youth back into society.
Through various activities, carried out during the project, participants identified the most common crimes youngsters are commiting and what are the main reasons for breaking the law. By leading various workshops, participants had an opportunity to share the current juvenile criminality situation in their country, statistics and best practises/programs of preventing minors from committing crimes.
Theory and knowledge was not the only things that participants shared and gained thanks to this project. We had a rare opportunity to visit Kaunas Juvenile Remand Prison-Correction House, where participants had a chance to see the living conditions of the inmates. After the visit, we had discussions with head of a Correction House Vytautas Lamauskas about current issues with minor’s reintegration process and what are plans for future projects. Participants were left inspired by the direction Correction House is moving and were happy by their plans to implement Scandinavian imprisonment model.
Furthermore, representative of social enterprise “Mano Guru” (salad bar, which employs people, who served their time in imprisonment) and their work methods of (re-)integrating people from prison into society. Her inspiring presentation led to the participants creating videos about social initiatives,which would raise public awareness about the importance of re-/integration and breaking stereotypes about juvenile criminality.
We believe that such projects, can make a huge impact on youth. The main reason for this is because projects like PTW is significant in order to raise awareness on problems such as juvenile offense and to look for ways of reintegrating them into society successfully.
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