VILNIUS - President Dalia Grybauskaite invited to breakfast the participants of the Mission Siberia 2014, who returned to Vilnius on Aug. 1, reports ELTA. According to the president, this program is an exceptional initiative promoting citizenship and patriotism.
In the meeting, the young participants of the project shared their experiences, talked about the work they had done and the Lithuanians still living in Siberia they had met.
“Mission Siberia is an exceptional initiative promoting patriotism and citizenship. These expeditions of young people are of a great value, they urge us to not forget about the painful history of our nation and remind us what a long and hard road our state has gone down. Your mission in Siberia has just started, now pass on the message throughout Lithuania about what you have seen, learnt and understood there,” said Grybauskaite.
On July 17, participants of the 13th Mission Siberia expedition left for Krasnoyarsk, the Russian Federation. Fifteen young Lithuanians took part in the mission. Having returned to Lithuania, the participants will share their experience with society, photography exhibitions will be held, and a documentary will be made.
During the expedition the youth managed to clean and restore 9 cemeteries of Lithuanian exiles in Siberia.
Twenty thousand Lithuanians lived in Krasnoyarsk in 1989, but now only several thousand live in the 2.3 million square meter region. The first deportations to the region began in 1941, while in 1948 as many as 21,000 Lithuanians were deported to Krasnoyarsk.
Mission Siberia project, intended to foster historical memory and national patriotism among Lithuanian youth; has been organized for nine years already. Twelve expeditions have been held to the sites were Lithuanians were deported and imprisoned. The expeditions have maintained around 100 cemeteries.