Social street work is assistance for the young people who spend most of their time on the streets. Currently most of our work is done in the residential neighborhoods of Viršuliškės, Pašilaičiai and Žvėrynas. We target people who are from 14 to 20 years old; however, we interact with other young people as well.
The main activities of Sofkė:
• work on the streets;
• youth counseling and occupation in open space;
• internet counseling.
Work on the streets
Social street work is a long-term process during which we aim at developing warm and respectful relationships with the youth. Meeting the young people on the streets, we discuss topics important to them, play together or sometimes simply greet each other and walk our own ways. We do not seek to change young people, preach or judge. We help only as much as the youth wants us to. Currently our Sofkė team can be met on the streets on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4pm to 7pm.
The following is important to us while working on the streets:
Confidentiality. The help that we provide to young people as well as the information that they share with us is not publicized or shared with other institutions without their consent.
Respectful interaction. When meeting young people on the streets we are their guests. This is the reason why we do not judge or preach the “correct” way of life. Still if they would like to receive our help, we invite them to follow “our rules”.
Help corresponding with the young people’s needs. As the discovery of the real needs of young people is important to us, we devote a lot of time to simple interactions. We try to shield the youth form the exaggerated societal pressures to live their lives the “right” way. We do not force young people to interact with us if they do not want to; however, we want to ensure that if need be our help is available.
Youth counseling and occupation in open spaces
Time: every Friday 4-7pm.
Address: J. Matulaičio a. 3, Pal. J. Matulaitis Social Centre
At the open space Sofkė we welcome not only the youth that we meet on the streets but everyone who wants to come. At Sofkė young people can spend their time any way they like. We have football, a small kitchen, board games and a computer. There are film screenings, food preparation and other activities at the open space. All of the activities held at the open space are organized with the help of volunteers.
Young people who wish to have a conversation “behind closed doors” will always find one of the street worker, located at the open space. These workers are ready to talk about important but not necessarily serious questions.
• you are not allowed to consume alcohol during Sofkė or arrive intoxicated;
• if someone breaks or damages something that belongs to Sofkė they must replace or fix it;
• people who do not follow the rules are not allowed in Sofkė.
You can find Sofkė on Facebook: www.facebook.com/sofke1.
All Sofkė workers have their own Facebook profiles. Young people can contact them if they have questions, need advice or simply want to talk. As these profiles are private, the youth can be certain that they are really talking to Ugnė (Fb: UgneSofke).
Ugnė Raščiūtė, Social Worker
Silvija Vainauskaitė, Head of the Department of Children and Youth
How to contact us?