On Friday afternoon, everyone is eager to forget all the hard work of the week and to experience the joy of spring. Some of us prefer going out of town, the others are searching for peace in the blossoming parks. However, on the 17th of May all of the 25 benches in
P. Cvirka square had notions saying “WARNING. FRESHLY PAINTED.” next to them. At the beginning, many passers-by were unsatisfied for they had to change their plans and search for another park to sit. After a moment, they saw a group of students, who were painting the benches with smiles and enthusiasm in their faces. Curiosity was unbearable and so people sat on stairs and lawn to observe the process, catching the positive vibes of students and gradually, starting to smile themselves. The bravest and most curious came closer and started asking for more information about the initiative they were witnessing.
Finally, it turned out that the benches were painted by volunteers from Erasmus Student Network Lithuania (ESN Lithuania): there were Lithuanians from Vilnius University, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University with the exchange program Erasmus students from USA, Croatia, Spain and Czech Republic as well as students of International School of Law and Business from India and Belarus. Many were surprised by the fact that students had no sponsors: all the money for benches renovation was gathered by previously mentioned high schools and University of Applied Social Sciences. The members of ESN in these institutions united to attain one goal: to motivate both Lithuanian and Erasmus students to collect white coins and prove that even students, who are just in the process of building their future careers, can be socially responsible. The members of ESN were happy with their job and emphasized, that it may only seem that it was very difficult to gather money for the renovation of 25 benches: a single white coin seems to be meaningless, but when people pool their coins, they unite and are able to make significant changes. The administration of “Vilnius Parks” were also pleased with students’ job and allowed ESN members to pain the logo of the organization on the renovated benches.
After painting all of the benches, students involved in the initiative were joking that
P. Cvirka square will become their favourite park and an ‘own’ place in Vilnius.
National SocialErasmus coordinator says huge thanks to exchange students - Chris Stowell (USA), Marina Garić (Croatia), Jeník Janata (Czech Republic), Alejandro Aguilar (Spain), Himanshu Singh Rana (India), Barys Kliuchnikau (Belarus); also for Lithuanians - Kornelija Ramanauskaitė, Renata Citrinavičiūtė, Monika Draučiūnaitė, Justina Prunskaitė, Agnė Babelytė, Dainius Vasiliauskas