SOTAS is 10 years old, and to celebrate invited the friends from within Lithuania and without who have accompanied the journey and continue to support them.The Lithuanian partner of the AVSI network marked the important milestone with a concert of traditional songs linked to the "Singing Revolution", which was born in response to the Russian occupation. The folk songs mark some of the most significant moments of the country’s history, and are the expression of a people with a deep cultural and national identity, closely tied to its homeland. The concert ended with some contemporary songs to represent the infinite desire of all men and women, which does not die with the arrival of independence.
Established in April 2002 as a non-governmental organization in Vilnius, Lithuania, SOTAS was born from the desire of some friends to respond to emerging needs and urgencies in particular among young people and to accompany families experiencing difficulties in their daily life. Currently, projects continue to focus on educational activities for families, especially those with adopted children or families at risk.
In accordance with their beginning, the organizers also structured the concert around a friendship, that among the choir and orchestra members and the association. The finale of the performance was a beautiful tango performed by three young people from Utena, a town about 60 miles from Vilnius, who with their families, benefit from AVSI and SOTAS’s Distance Support Program.
From the opening slide show documenting the ten years of history to the musical performances and the closing reception, the entire evening showed careful planning and attention to duty that testifies to the daily way of working.
Over 250 people attended the event, including beneficiaries, employees, sponsors and other collaborators met along the 10 years. SOTAS staff member and concert organizer Eglė Basytė explained three messages behind their choice of music:
1) A friendship is what makes us regain interest in our traditions.
2) Our tradition is not just some sort of echo from the past, but is surviving and can be the base from which our interest and creativity take off now.
3) The people who are really making a change in history are those who are seeking ideals and searching for meaning in life.