To promote the inclusion of persons under international protection in society, since 1 September 2020 Society “Shelter “Safe House”” has been implementing the project “Support Activities for Persons Under International Protection III”. The course of Latvian language was one of project activities.
Within 27 months the Latvian training course was mastered by 17 groups, which included 218 representatives of the target group from 22 countries: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bangladesh, Eritrea, India, Iraq, Iran, Cameroon, Congo, Russia, Kuwait, China, Morocco, Pakistan, Palestine, Syria, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan. 180 persons received certificates of successful attendance and completion of the training course.
The training was organised both on site and remotely. On-site training was held at CAS Mucenieki, and one group was organised at the premises of Ikšķile Secondary School. Representatives of the target group from Ikšķile, Ogre and Riga participated in the training. 8 groups were organised remotely on Jitsimeet and Zoom platforms, where the training was received by persons from Mucenieki, Rīga, Saulkrasti, Liepāja, Ventspils, Tukums, Jūrmala and Ogre. 6 of the groups were organised remotely due to the Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions on face-to-face meetings, while 2 groups were deliberately organised on Zoom platform in order to provide an opportunity for persons under international protection from various regions of Latvia to learn Latvian using Russian as an intermediate language.
The great interest of persons under international protection in learning the Latvian language increased over the last year, especially in the summer months, when 3 Latvian language teachers taught 5 training groups at the same time. The demand still stands, and several representatives of the target group are waiting for the continuation of Latvian language courses in 2023. Some students have a very strong desire and motivation to continue their training at level A2, but it often takes longer for the next courses to start. There are also positive examples where within 5 months spent at CAS “Mucenieki” a person is able to take both level A1 courses offered by the society and immediately begin level A2 courses in projects offered by other organisations and successfully pass level A examination in order to successfully engage in working life with basic knowledge of Latvian, being able to communicate independently.
Within the scope of the course of Latvian language persons under international protection had an opportunity to get language knowledge and skills necessary for work and everyday life, as well as develop main language skills: reading, speaking, writing, listening and use of grammar. Course participants had an opportunity to learn the language to communicate in solving different matters at a simple level or prepare documents in local government or state institutions, thus increasing the number of social contacts of the target group, increasing participation in the life of society in general. During the training, a great deal of interest arose to life in Latvia, its history, culture and holidays. Latvian traditions and holidays were also learned during the training. If anyone had a birthday on their training day, then they were congratulated with a cake. Special holidays were celebrated together and information was provided on the various activities and events that members of the group could attend. The students actively participated in the situational language games organised in the classroom, diligently did homework, worked individually and in pairs.
Together with the Latvian language teacher, study groups visited the Krišjānis Barons Museum, Latvian National Museum of Art and Art Museum Zuzeum. The groups went to the Old Rīga, Central market and Vērmanes Park, where they could use their knowledge of Latvian in practice.
Graduates of the last group, as well as participants of previous groups were invited to the final meeting, where certificates of the course were issued and they visited the art museum “ZUZEUM” together. Zuzeum welcomes every person under international protection to visit the museum free of charge.
Support Actions for Persons Under International Protection III project is implemented withthe support of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and is co-financed by the European Union. Grant agreement No. PMIF/9/2020/3/02