Perspective of student on MAMUFY participants from Latvia

“I am a 1st year student of social work. Before I started studying, I spent several years outside Latvia, traveling, volunteering and gaining various experiences. As part of my studies, I chose to do my internship at the Resilience Center, because when I first heard about this organization, I was fascinated by the vision, mission, and goals of this center, which are in line with my ideas.!

The program uses a resilience approach that helps strengthen young people, develops skills that help them overcome difficulties, and focuses on the positive aspects of young people. Great emphasis is placed on the importance of a healthy relationship with both the young person and the group, as well as experiencing events together and being with the young person. Although change in people is not easy, even in two short months I have seen changes in young people and in group dynamics.

I saw the vitality and resilience of each young person, and every time the young people overcame any difficulty, went many kilometers of hiking, endured snowy and rainy weather, overcame various physical obstacles, collaborated in a group, or learned some new skills, I felt proud of them. Physical difficulties are like a metaphor for the difficulties you have to go through on a daily basis. Overcoming physical difficulties builds self-confidence and makes it easier to overcome other types of difficulties.


During the internship, I had different thoughts about the young people I came across. It seems to me that young people with behavioral problems are often marginalized in society and experience social exclusion, but life is not easy, it is often chaotic and unpredictable, we are all affected by circumstances that we cannot change in any way.

There is always a reason for a young person’s behavior, there are various risk factors that lead to delicate or destructive behavior. Everyone enters this world like a white page, full of potential, full of vitality, but sometimes the daily life and burden that everyone has to bear is too much and needs help to move forward.

People are multidimensional and traumatic events, the circumstances that have happened are only a small part of a person. They do not determine who a person is. Every young person has their own story and potential to change their lives. Each young person have to be treated with respect, helps him or her find strength and see his or her strengths, and helps to understand that the young person is capable and able to do so.

It seems to me that it is more important not to talk about the problems that young people face, but about how they are able to overcome them, about what young people are able to do. Every young person, if provided with a positive environment and resources, is able to grow and change.

Young people are the future of society and it is important that they grow into strong and resilient adults who can contribute to society. I believe that all young people have huge potential, they just need someone to help activate it.

“Sometimes all you need to help change is give it a chance to do it. ”

Dinija Birne , social work student from University of Latvia