Small steps can lead to great things

Gold Award holder Greta, from Lithuania, talks to us about her Award experience and how, thanks to the skills she’s learnt, she’s been able to pivot in the COVID-19 crisis and confront this unprecedented challenge with competence.

Tell us about your Award journey – why did you decide to start your Award?

I have always been a bubbly person and really enjoyed spending my free time not only with my friends but volunteering as well. And two years ago when my mother became one of the Award Leaders in our city Klaipėda, she suggested I start my Award journey. She helped me to find an organisation (as I’m not a student in her school) where I could start my journey and make the life-time changes for myself in an attractive and productive way.

What do you like about the Award?

I really like the Award because it helps to recognise and develop my abilities which I didn’t know I had. I also appreciate the opportunities it provides me with like taking part in #BeMentee, where I get my own experience and develop my ‘soft skills’, which will be really important in my future.

What do you find challenging about the Award?            

As I’m the type of person who likes a variety of activities, my daily schedule is usually so full of ‘must do’ things that sometimes I lack time to manage with everything on time. However, I try to do my best.

What sort of challenges are you facing in your day-to-day life, as a result of COVID-19? How has this impacted you?

One of the biggest challenges was finding a solution to continuing to support the kids I help to develop their abilities in dancing lessons. Being a gymnasium student myself, I had to learn how to teach young children online in just a few weeks.

Moreover, for my skills section I have to do more sewing using only my hands, whilst before I had the chance to use a sewing machine at school. However, that doesn’t stop me, and last week I sewed face masks for my family.

And the biggest change was for my Voluntary Service section but luckily the librarians are very open-minded and quickly helped me to continue my Gold Award path. Instead of going to help the librarians in person, they have asked for my help to sort the list of compulsory literature books for the pupils from 1st to 10th grade. My task is to create a file of the books which are stored online, and the pupils can read them while all public places, like libraries, are closed.

Greta from Lithuania

Is the Award helping you to deal with any of these challenges? If so, how?

Yes, my Award Leader is always ready to offer me a solution so that I don’t have to stop my journey to achieving my goals, for example she suggests how to divide the tasks into chunks, so that the Award would not become a burden. I know that I can always go to her if I have any hesitations or have dropped down in my motivation.

Are you using your Award (and particularly your Voluntary Service section) to help your community deal with the challenges of COVID-19? If so, how?

I hope that in the long-term perspective my input into this list of online books will help the pupils to look and find the book to read, as no-one knows what will happen in the future, and who knows, maybe in a few years’ time my pre-made online list of books will be easily edited and again used during any challenging crisis.

Do you think being involved with the Award helps you and your community at this time? If so, how?

I suppose, I benefit here the most, as I’m sure enough that in the future I’ll find it easier to deal with challenges and learn to commit to the tasks that I’m responsible for.

The Award has taught me that every step we make forward, even the smallest one, does make us move forward. So, if you can push yourself and be a little bit better than you were yesterday, you’ll always be ahead of the ones who sit on the couch and moan!