Ambassadors: Antanas Kavaliauskas, Brandon Davies, Paulius Valinskas and Kevin Pangos
Main life skills: Communication, Tolerance, Emotion Management and Goal Identification
About the program: Starting from 2013 Zalgiris Kaunas developed their One Team program with three different organizations – the Kaunas Socialization Center, the Kaunas Probation Service and Kaunas Juvenile remand prison – correction house.
This new season Zalgiris is working with two separate partners, the first one is collaborating with Kaunas Regional Probation service. Zalgiris Kaunas works with a group of 8-12 youths from Kaunas Regional Probation Service. This organization looks after people who have been involved in criminal activities and are sentenced to be under service control (they are not allowed to leave country, they have to stay at home from 8 pm to 8 am, behave well, etc.). The aim of the service is to change the environment where boys are used to spending their spare time and engaging in disruptive activities. Going to service recommended events is not obligatory but teenagers can shorten their sentence by behaving well and going to any suggested activities.
Together, Zalgiris Kaunas and Probation service employees work with youngsters trying to positively change their behaviour and develop their personal values and social skills. Some of the boys come from extremely troubled backgrounds and the program seeks to instil aspirations and show the youngsters that there is more to life than hanging around in the streets. The boys stay under probation no longer than one year. That means it’s possible to work with a different group every year while continuing working with the same organization. Kaunas Regional Probation service values the relationship with Zalgiris as the sessions are interesting for the boys and they can incentivise good behaviour and attendance through the opportunity to meet with players or watch games at the arena. The sessions are run with full parental consent.