Friday, 05 February 2010 11:45
The story of Tolerant Youth Association dates back to the gloomy days of November 2004. The only Lithuanian LGBT organization, Lithuanian Gay League was trying to set up a youth group. Those who gathered, however, did not feel inspired to work under the proposed structure and supervision. We did not want bureaucracy, supervision, or labels. We believed in the principle of freedom of thought as well as freedom of action as long as it does not harm another. We thus wanted to invite all LGBTs and the rest of the alphabet together with their friends to get together and establish the Tolerant Youth Association; a youth NGO working towards a society that would respect difference – be it a difference perception, demeanour or certain choices in life.
It took less than a year to find supporters, partners and prepare documents to become officially recognized as a Youth NGO. The following are the most important dates in our lifetime:
2004-10, the need for a new youth NGO aiming for an inclusive society was raised.
- 2005-07, the first informal youth camp “Kitoks, bet savas” (“Different, but with us”) was organized later turning into an annual tradition.
- 2005-10-17, we got registered as an NGO.
- 2006-06, we moved into our first office in Saltoniškių Str.
- 2006-07, we were granted money from the EU “Youth” programme for 2 international projects that were successfully organized.
- 2007-01, we moved into a larger office in Jasinskio str.
- 2007-01, we were granted funding by the European Social Fund for “Innovative integration of ethnic minorities”.
- 3 full-time staff were recruited.
- 2007-11, we joined IGLYO.
- 2008-01, we embarked on a joint project with the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman for refugees “Savas tarp svetimų” (“Belonging among strangers”).
- We moved into a more spacious and central office on Jakšto str.
- We opened a new office in Kaunas
- We employed 5 full-time staff