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Rasa is Coordinator of International Projects at the Valakupiai Rehabilitation Centre (VRC) (Vilnius, Lithuania) backing a number of international projects with funding from European Commission, Erasmus+ and other international and national funds. International cooperation has been a part of the VRC’s activities since 2003. Through more than 10 years, there were many different projects related with vocational training, employment, sports, arts for people with disabilities or even quality assurance or constructions.

 At present, the VRC is running a number of projects. One is Chic&Craft, also granted by Erasmus+ programme. This project is important because it helps to improve the practices of work with the people having mental health problems. ‘We wouldn’t have been able to develop this idea with the funds we have, that’s why we joined the Spanish partner INTRAS’s initiative to apply for funding from the Erasmus+ programme,’ Rasa says.

The value of international cooperation is also reflected in the way an organisation and its employees are able to grow as a result of their contact with the partners abroad. ‘It’s inspiring to see how staff skills grow and develop through work on international projects,’ Rasa says. 

Experience in international cooperation makes it easier to come up with new ideas for the future projects and offering new services responding the changing needs of the services users.

‘Even different approaches may exist in other countries- she adds- it takes some time to find the best decision adopting the good practices of other countries’.