Lithuania will donate more than 700,000 litas to fund school reconstruction projects in the war-torn Afghan province of Ghor, BNS reported Aug. 27. Lithuania's Foreign Ministry and the UN World Food Program signed an agreement under which the WFP will manage the project, while Lithuania will contribute funding for it. Under the project, Ghor residents will build 14 news schools, receiving food as payment for labor. The Foreign Ministry reports that only 10 percent of Ghor's 450 educational establishments have buildings in which to teach. The rest hold lessons outdoors.
A Frenchman who was discovered conducting guided tours around Vilnius without the necessary qualifying certificate has been admonished by the Lithuanian capital's municipal authorities, the media reported on Aug. 27. It was the only violation among the 16 foreign language tour guides who were inspected the previous week by the city government. The inspectors' report stresses that there is a lack of tour guides in Vilnius during the tourist season who are able to give guided tours in foreign languages. To make up the gap, travel agencies are hiring fully-qualified, professional guides, some of whom lack the tour guide permits issued by the State Tourism Department.
A group of Lithuanian emigrants living in England and Northern Ireland is gathering signatures to petition the British education system to introduce an official exam for Lithuanian. Having the exam would make Lithuanian a certified foreign language in the classroom. Zivile Ilgunaite, head of the Lithuanian Union of the United Kingdom told BNS that her group wants to motivate children of emigrants to learn their native language. There have been more than 500 signatures collected so far and the group hopes to collect up to 1,000 by Sept. 20.
Lithuania's first ambassador to the European Union and NATO Adolfas Venskus, who died in late August, will be buried Sept. 3 in Paris. Venskus lived in Paris after his family emigrated there during World War II. The ambassador is most noted for making significant contributions to the cause of Baltic independence. He supported a European Parliament resolution that condemned the Soviet Union's occupation of the Baltic states, established a Baltic states information bureau in Brussels, and was an active member in many international organizations.
The city of Siauliai is preparing a bid to host the World Sports Games in 2013. Prime Minister Gedminas Kirkilas has decreed that the Head of the county Alvydas Sedzius oversee a work group to research whether the city could organize the international sporting event. The games, which take place every four years, highlight 30 non-Olympic sports, though the event is organized by the under supervision of the International Olympics Committee. Siauliai has made it stage two of the screening process. Around three and a half thousand athletes from all over the world compete in the games.