VILNIUS, Lithuania -- Building on her exposure with civic responsibility and volunteerism on her International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), Erika Lastovskyte returned to Lithuania and opened the first charity store in the country called NOT A SHOP which focuses on empowering socially disadvantaged groups through “cause product development.” Lastovskyte is also a grassroots organizer who has managed to recruit more than 50 volunteers for work in various charitable projects. She has also organized six workshops for socially excluded people with the aim to teach them arts and crafts and earn additional money as a means of self-empowerment.
Since completing her exchange program in 2010, Lastovskyte was elected as a board member at the International Voluntary Service Network "VOLiNTEER" where she has played an active role in shaping the new network. VOLiNTEER was founded by the leading international representatives from more than 100 countries around the globe who met in San Francisco during the IVLP in 2010. A strategic partnership was created with Meridian International Center and their Global Service Leaders Initiative.
Lastovskyte is also a guest lecturer at two major Lithuanian universities, where she presents the concepts of volunteerism and social entrepreneurship to further spread the information she gained from her exchange experience with other Lithuanians.
Since January 2011, she has also played an active role in the development of the first umbrella alumni association for U.S. government sponsored exchange program alumni in Lithuania, spearheading the development of the organization’s charter, mission, and first event.