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Information Centre for Newcomers completes its work phase

Ievietots: 30.12.2022

The Information Centre for Newcomers was launched on 18 May 2016. During this time the project was implemented by the society "Shelter "Safe House"". From 1 January 2023, the functions of the Information Centre for Newcomers will be taken over by the Society Integration Foundation, which will implement it as a One Stop Shop. But for now, let`s take a look back at what has been achieved so far.

The main focus of the Information Centre for Newcomers is legal assistance and translation services for newcomers from third (non-EU) countries. However, the project has also organised inter-sectoral Dialogue Platform meetings, non-formal education activities, two international conferences and many other events aimed at supporting newcomers through public education, professional networking among sector organisations and direct assistance to newcomers. Since 2016, we have assisted 5163 male and 3973 female immigrants.

The final phase of the project started in 2020, under the title "Information Centre for Newcomers II".  Since July 2020, 4561 newcomers have been assisted. Of these, 4393 were third-country nationals, 39 refugees, 14 persons with subsidiary status and 115 asylum seekers. The main areas of concern for immigrants: migration issues, employment, learning Latvian, family issues, asylum issues.

The five countries from which most migrants have sought assistance are Ukraine, Russia, India, Uzbekistan and Pakistan.

We have also advised professionals who come into contact with migrants in their professional work (e.g. employers). In total, 728 professionals have been consulted.

We have provided translation services from many languages, including Urdu, Hindi, Arabic, Vietnamese, Tamil, Tigrinya and others, which are rare and exotic in our region. A total of 615 unique clients have received translation services since summer 2020.

We have educated the public by creating unique content through video news, podcasts, photo galleries, news articles to contribute to reducing various prejudices against people of different races, cultures or ethnicities. The content we produce is still available on the homepage of the society "Shelter "Safe House"" www.patverums-dm.lv  and on the website of the Information Centre for Newcomers www.integration.lv.

In the last series of video messages of the Information Centre for Newcomers, Gunta Viksne, Project Manager and Chairperson of the Board of the Society "Shelter "Safe House"", tells more about the project and her final impressions. Watch the interview here: https://youtu.be/foyKsIgpkkM.

The Society "Shelter "Safe House"" has gained invaluable experience in providing the Information Centre for Newcomers and hopes to use its expertise in future projects to help those who need advice and support to live in Latvia.

The activities of the Information Centre for Newcomers are provided and developed by the NGO "Shelter "Safe House"" within the framework of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund. The Centre is co-financed by the European Union. Grant Agreement No PMIF/12/2020/3/01. The total funding of the project is EUR 925 767,20, consisting of 75% funding from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and 25% co-financing from the state budget. The total number of persons to be assisted under the integration measures of the Fund is 2500.