Since its inception in 2002, the Lithuanian Rural Internet Access Points (RIAP) movement quickly earned prominence and attracted attention from all interested groups. Dedication and commitment to the cause of making the Internet and e-services available to Lithuania’s rural population resulted in unprecedented proliferation of RIAPs with their number already exceeding 800.
Initial focus was made on rural areas with poor communications infrastructure. The centres operate in the local focal points – libraries, community centres, schools, cultural centers and etc. All RIAPs were equipped with up to five computers with Internet access. These points guarantee more than 20 hours per week free access to the Internet. Successful selection of local staff proved to be pivotal for the success. Notably and regrettably, role of volunteers for the cause of spreading e-literacy has been rather insignificant in Lithuania until now. This has resulted in limitations of efficiency since, at occasions, tutors have insufficient command of computer literacy.
A project called Taking People out of Boxes: Active Volunteering is tackling such state of affairs and is promoting positive attitudes towards volunteering in Lithuania. In this context the Rural Internet Access Points Association and Responsible Business Institute of Poland have come up with a joint idea to create video film stimulating enthusiasm for active volunteering in Lithuania. The idea was implemented during recent exchange visit of two RIAP association members to Poland where Polish volunteering experience was examined. The film contextualises the valuable experience of attracting volunteers to telecentres in Poland through various innovative instruments, such as special online platforms. It must be stressed that this experience is widely regarded as very successful and can be useful for addressing volunteering challenge in Lithuania and beyond.
Video film you can see by clicking this link (video in English):