Lithuania small grant project, written by Eliza Kurcevic, from Young Wave (Juana Banga), who is also one of our Project Managers at Youth RISE.
Young Wave (Juana Banga) is a non-governmental organization, established by young people who use drugs who are affected by harmful drug policies in Lithuania, to embrace each other and be a respectable and constructive part of drug policy formation. Young Wave promotes civic activity and follows scientific progress in the drug policy and harm reduction fields. All members of the organization are also peers and the harm reduction services provided by Young Wave are based on the peer-to-peer approach.
Young Wave was established at the end of 2017. However, for almost three years, the organization didn’t have any internal documents, or an organizational strategy, which when developed would strengthen the organization. So, this year we received a small grant from Youth RISE for organizational strengthening activities. In our small grant, we had two main activities, which are the core of the small grant: 1) development of internal documents related to financial resources; 2) development of the strategy for 2021-2022.
DEVELOPMENT OF INTERNAL DOCUMENTS RELATED TO FINANCIAL RESOURCES:
As mentioned above, the organization for almost 3 years operated without any organizational documents. Since more people joined the organization, as well the organization receiving money and implementing projects, we recognized a significant need to develop internal documents, which will help to manage finances and be more transparent, both for donors and for people who are following us. We created documents, such as: List of paid invoices, income register, projects registry, agreements registry, technical forms for reimbursements, travelling, etc. As we have a few project managers, now it will be easier to track what projects we have, who is responsible for what, as well as track the payments, and if they are made on time. Most of these forms will help us in the end of the year to prepare annual reports, which will ensure that organization is transparent and using its’ resources for the justified activities.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE STRATEGY FOR 2021-2022:
Becoming a bigger organization also means that we need to have a clear mission, vision, and strategy. As an organization, we have never had a strategy and it’s hard to move forward and plan any activities, or even apply for different projects when we don’t have priorities identified. The mission and vision were created in summer of 2017 and never reviewed. It should be mentioned that from 2017, many members joined the team while some others left, so there is a need to review our mission and vision. To facilitate this, we organized a 2 days strategy meeting, during which vision, mission and organizational strategy was developed.
Our organization is currently going through a period of transition. We grow, we become more visible and known. We are growing with the number of members, needs, ideas and aspirations. We face organizational difficulties, such as volunteer dissatisfaction, and we start to raise questions about the quality of work. In order for the organization not to stagnate, but to move forward, grow and strengthen, we need to take into account the changing circumstances, the needs of volunteers and make changes in the structure of the organization, focus on the financial stability of the organization and take into account the needs of volunteers. On the other hand, we must not only ensure the continuity of the organization’s activities, but also expand the availability of services and improve their quality.
Below you can see new vision, mission and 4 strategic goals, developed by all of the Young Wave team, during the strategy meeting.
VISION. Society without a problematic relationship with a usage of psychoactive substances.
MISSION. Society where people using psychoactive substances have universal access to health and social services without a fear of being stigmatized or discriminated against.
4 STRATEGICAL GOALS:
1) Ensure Young Wave’s financial stability.
2) Ensure Young Wave’s sustainability, stability, and consistency.
3) Educate society about psychoactive substances and inform them about harm reduction services which are provided by Young Wave, as well significance of such services.
4) Provide harm reduction services, as well tools, which are reducing harm to people’s health and encourages the individual to make objective decisions about the use of psychoactive substances.
It was planned that we organize a team-building activity, after preparation of all these documents. However, due to Covid-19 and country-level restriction we were not able to do it. So the left-over money will be spent for the development of 2 leaflets on the substances: GHB and Ketamine, as well as for printing them out, and other leaflets.