Consultations in Riga
+371 25565098 (I-V 9:00-17:00)
+371 28612120 (I-V 9:00-17:00)

+371 67898343 (I-V 9:00-20:00)
Skype: PatverumsDM
Lacplesa street 75 - 1 B, Riga
Consultations in the Regions
Latgale
+371 25723222
Kurzeme
+371 25719118
Vidzeme
+371 25719266
Zemgale
+371 25719588

The Support Actions for Persons under International Protection

The support project educating persons under international protection about Latvia closes

Ievietots: 22.12.2017

                  

The project “Support Activities for Persons Under International Protection”, which the Society “Shelter “Safe House”” has been implementing since 1 July 2016, closes on 31 December 2017. The purpose of the project was to provide courses and informative activities fit for the needs of persons under international protection promoting their inclusion in the Latvian society. 

Within 18 months, 20 groups, i.e., the total 455 representatives of the target group from 22 countries participated in the Social Economic Inclusion Program and completed the education: Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, Cuba, United States, India, Sri-Lanka, Nepal, Cameroon, Lebanon, Bangladesh. 

Within the framework of the training programme, its participants learned about Latvia and how various systems operate in our country – employment, education, health care, housing market, support system for refugees and other. Throughout the training course lectors of the society together with participants of the courses also analysed specific situations and searched for practical solutions. Most interest and questions during the training were related to residence permits, employment, opening of a bank account, searching for an apartment. To promote participation of children with families in the courses, activities for children of different ages were also organised during the training.

In addition to the training course, there were also training visits to the training centre “BUTS” and companies “Senā klēts” and “Jaunais A salons”, where participants learned about the possibilities of obtaining a profession. Most interest and questions of the participants were about the most perspective professions, placement and training opportunities, including the level of Latvian necessary to start training, the duration, times, costs of courses. In order to get a better insight in the history of Latvia and Riga, educational trips to the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation, the National History Museum of Latvia, the Riga Motor Museum, the Mentzendorff’s House, the Laima Chocolate Museum, the Zoo were organised. 

In order to ensure high quality communication with participants of the trainings, all project activities were translated from Latvian into Tigrinya, Arabic, Kurdish, Tajik, Georgian, Hindi, Urdu, Spanish, Tamil, Dari, Bengali, Turkish, French and Russian.

During the implementation of the project information adapted for the target group was created: the Information material “Latvia – a Country by the Baltic Sea” was updated and translated into Arabic, Dari, English and French.

As also minor children come to Latvia within the framework of the relocation programme, including children with special needs, an Information material about Latvia for children “Hedgehog and His Friends Learn about Latvia” has been created for them within the scope of the project. It covers general topics about the Latvian state, topic for children aged 6 to 9 years about school and school environment, including: I live in Latvia (about Latvia, Latvian symbols, history); we celebrate – holidays in Latvia; Latvian capital – Riga; Latvian nature, seasons; Latvian animals; Latvian national dishes; I prepare for school; I go to school; what to do after school – hobbies, interests; decency rules, etc. The material is available in Arabic, Dari, French and Latvian on www.beglis.lv.

10 interactive and easy to perceive stories on the topics of importance for refugees have been created to support persons under international protection who cannot or who have serious difficulty to write or read.

Website www.beglis.lv has been updated within the scope of the project, and provides information in 6 languagesLatvian, Russian, English, French, Arabic and Dari. The website has two main target audiences and tasks — one of the functions of the website is to create an understanding about refugees ensuring the opportunity for Latvian residents to receive information about different aspects of including refugees into the Latvian society. The refugees, who can receive answers to questions they are interested in by using the website, is the other main target audience. The website provides this information in languages, which are currently spoken by the asylum seekers who have entered or moved to Latvia.

The project “Support Activities for Persons Under International Protection” was implemented by the society “Shelter “Safe House”” within the framework of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund. Its period of implementation: 1 July 2016 – 31 December 2017. The project was co-financed by the European Union.  Grant Agreement No. PMIF/9/2016/1/03.

Information was prepared by: Rasa Salina (Rasa Saliņa), Communications and Social Media Expert, e-mail: rasa.salina@gmail.com

Infographic about the support provided to the persons under international protection

Ievietots: 14.11.2017

To provide learning courses and informative activities adapted for the needs of the persons under international protection that would facilitate their inclusion into the Latvian society, the Society “Shelter “Safe House”” is implementing the project “Support Activities for Persons Under International Protection” since 1 July 2016. The project is mainly focusing on subjects that are important for the asylum seekers after their arrival in Latvia and starting their independent life after obtaining the status. Please, see the achieved results in the infographic!

Within 15 months, 17 groups, i.e., the total 401 representatives of the target group from 22 countries, participated in the Social Economic Inclusion Program and completed the education: Syria 275, Iraq 12, Afghanistan 12, Eritrea 27, Russia 5, Belarus 4, Ukraine 2, Georgia 4, Armenia 10, Azerbaijan 3, Kazakhstan 1, Tajikistan 10, Kirgizstan 4, Turkey 7, Cuba 2, USA 1, India 8, Sri Lanka 3, Nepal 1, Cameroon 1, Lebanon 4, Bangladesh – 5. 

Translations from the Latvian language to Tigrinya, Arab, Kurdish, Tajik, Georgian, Hindi, Urdu, Spanish, Tamil, Dari, Bengal, Turkish, French and Russian languages have been ensured during the entire period.

Information material “Latvia – a Country by the Baltic Sea” (“Latvija – valsts pie Baltijas jūras”) has been updated http://www.beglis.lv/lv/informativie-materiali

Information material about Latvia for children “Hedgehog and His Friends Learn about Latvia” ("Ezis un viņa draugi iepazīst Latviju") has been developed http://www.beglis.lv/en/-informative-materials

10 information stories/animations telling about subjects important to refugees in simple language with duration up to 3 minutes have been made http://www.beglis.lv/en/video

Website www.beglis.lv has been updated; the website contains information in 6 languages – Latvian, Russian, English, French, Arab and Dari. The website has two main target audiences and tasks — one of the functions of the website is to create an understanding about refugees ensuring the opportunity for Latvian residents to receive information about different aspects of including refugees into the Latvian society. The refugees, who can receive answers to questions they are interested in by using the website, is the other target audience. The website provides this information in languages, which are currently spoken by the asylum seekers who have entered or moved to Latvia.

The project is implemented by the society “Shelter “Safe House”” within the framework of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund. Its period of implementation: 1 July 2016 – 31 December 2017 The project is co-financed by the European Union.  Grant Agreement No. PMIF/9/2016/1/03.

Information was prepared by: Rasa Salina (Rasa Saliņa), Communications and Social Media Expert, e-mail: rasa.salina@gmail.com

Persons under international protection explore the adult learning and employment opportunities

Ievietots: 26.10.2017

                  

To explore the adult learning and employment opportunities in person and to expand future opportunities of choosing the future employment direction according to the acquired or desired profession, on 4 October, 13 persons under international protection went to educational visit to the education centre “BUTS”*. The participants included citizens of Russia, the Sudan, Cameroon and Afghanistan, who have obtained the professions of a construction specialist, custom officer, accountant, marketing specialist, engineer, lawyer and motor engineer in their countries of residence.

“During the educational visit, the persons under international protection can obtain a general view of the application of their professions in our country,” Mārtiņš Segliņš, Deputy Director of the education centre “BUTS”, says. “For the participants involved in learning, such visits also ensure a new point of view how to overcome the difficulties in their lives. We are glad that the participants are open and willing to learn new knowledge and skills”.

Representatives of the “Shelter “Safe House”” inform that the asylum seekers were keen to learn and active during the educational visit. They were most interested and asking questions about the perspective professions, internship opportunities and tuition, including about the level of the Latvian language necessary for starting learning, durations of courses, schedules and expenses.

Educational visits are organised after completion of the education programme of social economic inclusion about Latvia. During the educational process that consists of 5 lessons, the participants can learn different information about the state of Latvia, employment opportunities, education, health care, social aid system and other subjects. Participants of the lessons receive practical answers about the subjects they are interested in and that have incurred during their current stay in Latvia.  Understanding of the opportunities of resolving own situations bot has asylum seekers and after receiving the status is one of the main benefits gained by the participants of the lessons.

From 1 July 2016 until 30 September 2017, the education programme of social economic inclusion had 17 groups who participated and completed the education, i.e., the total of 401 target group person from 22 countries: Syria — 275, Iraq — 12, Afghanistan — 12, Eritrea — 27, Russia — 5, Belarus — 4, Ukraine — 2, Georgia — 4, Armenia — 10, Azerbaijan — 3, Kazakhstan — 1, Tajikistan — 10, Kyrgyzstan — 4, Turkey — 7, Cuba — 2, USA — 1, India — 8, Sri Lanka — 3, Nepal — 1, Cameroon — 1, Lebanon — 4, Bangladesh — 5. The 18th group consisting of 20 persons commenced learning in the end of September and completed the course in October.

The goal of the project “Support Activities for Persons Under International Protection” is to ensure courses and informative events for the needs of the persons under international protection promoting their inclusion in the Latvian society. The project is implemented by the society “Shelter “Safe House”” within the framework of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund. Its period of implementation: 1 July 2016 – 31 December 2017 The project is co-financed by the European Union.  Grant Agreement No. PMIF/9/2016/1/03.

* Education centre “BUTS” is one of the leading professional continuing education institutions in Latvia.

Information was prepared by: Rasa Salina (Rasa Saliņa), Communications and Social Media Expert, e-mail: rasa.salina@gmail.com

 

Group No. 18 starts the training program about Latvia

Ievietots: 29.09.2017

                  

In the end of September, Group No. 18, which includes 23 persons under international protection from Russia, Belarus, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Cameroon, started acquiring the training programme on the social and economic inclusion about Latvia. Experts in French, Dari and Russian languages ensure quality communication with trainees during the training.

The training course was completed this month by Group No. 17 consisting of 15 people from Afghanistan, Belarus, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Turkey. Lecturers point out that these persons under international protection were interested in various subjects. For example, about health care services available in Latvia - “If I have arrived to Latvia alone, can I register with a general practitioner?” and “Is health insurance provided for asylum seekers?”. Participants in the training asked questions about the use of public transportation: “Can I use a ticket bought in one town also in other towns?”, “Can I listen to music in public transportation?”, “How can I know how many journeys have I left in my e-ticket?”. Also, various questions about everyday life were also important: “Do I have to re-declare my address, if I change my place of residence?”, “Do I have to know the Latvian language, if I want to start a business in Latvia?”. Persons under international protection also wanted to learn about the national holidays in Latvia, national symbols and national types of sports.

To provide asylum seekers, refugees and persons with the alternative status with the knowledge useful for life in Latvia, lessons about how various systems operate in Latvia – labour market, education system, health care, housing market, support system for refugees, and others are taking place under the training programme on the social and economic inclusion implemented within the project “Support Activities for Persons Under International Protection” since 1 July 2016. In addition to training courses, the trainees are attending training visits during which they can personally learn about the opportunities of adult education and employment.

“The goal of the project “Support Activities for Persons Under International Protection” is to ensure courses and informative events for the needs of the persons under international protection promoting their inclusion in the Latvian society. The project is implemented by the society “Shelter “Safe House”” within the framework of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund. Its period of implementation: 1 July 2016 – 31 December 2017 The project is co-financed by the European Union.  Grant Agreement No. PMIF/9/2016/1/03.

Training Courses for Asylum Seekers Continue in Summer

Ievietots: 31.08.2017

                  

The 16th group has completed the training programme on the social and economic inclusion under the Support Actions for Persons under International Protection project. The group consisted of 27 persons, who come from Syria (19), India (4), Armenia (2), Russia (1), Turkey (1). Through the entire period of educational activities Kurdish, Arabic, Hindi and Russian language experts ensured quality communication with the participants.

From 1 July last year until 14 August this year a total of 385 persons under international protection have participated in the training courses and information events aimed at inclusion of the target group into Latvian society.

Specialists of the society “Shelter “Safe House”” inform that the 17th group commenced training on 22 August. Since the number of resettled refugees, who arrive in Latvia, has declined, persons, who have arrived in our country from Afghanistan, Belarus, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Turkey, are obtaining knowledge about Latvia. This group has 15 participants.

The training programme on the social and economic inclusion allows its participants to acquire information about Latvia as a state, employment, education, health care, social assistance system and other topics. In the classes participants can obtain answers to questions that have arisen during their current stay in Latvia. Lecturers indicate that persons under international protection most often require information on the matters of employment and education. One of the main benefits for participants of the training is gaining understanding of possible solutions to their situation as asylum seekers and after the receipt of the status.

Activities for children are organised in a separate room during the training to encourage families with children to participate.

In addition to the training course various information and educational activities take place – educational visits to the training centre „BUTS”, so that participants can learn more about the opportunities of acquiring various professions, and educational excursions to museums in Latvia.

Under the Support Actions for Persons under International Protection project implemented with the support of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Foundation by society “Shelter “Safe House”” support is planned for 530 persons. The target audience includes adults, children and illiterate asylum seekers.

The project is co-financed by the European Union. Grant Agreement No. PMIF/9/2016/1/03.

Information was prepared by: Rasa Salina (Rasa Saliņa), Communications and Social Media Expert, e-mail: rasa.salina@gmail.com

 

355 Persons Under International Protection Have Acquired Knowledge About Latvia Over the Year

Ievietots: 10.07.2017

                  

Society "Shelter "Safe House"" informs that a year has passed since the launch of the Support Actions for Persons under International Protection project. The goal of the project is to ensure courses and informative events suited to the needs of persons under international protection to promote their inclusion in the society of Latvia. 

During the period from 1 July 2016 until 30 June 2017 Society "Shelter "Safe House"" has provided training courses and various information events adapted to the needs of persons under international protection and promoting inclusion of this target group in the Latvian society to 355  persons under international protection. All in all 15 groups have completed the training programme on the social and economic inclusion. People from 20 countries participated in it: Syria (239), Eritrea (27), Afghanistan (21), Iraq (12), Tajikistan (9), Bangladesh (5), Armenia (5), India (4), Kyrgyzstan (4), Lebanon (4), Russia (4), Turkey (4), Azerbaijan (3), Belarus (3), Georgia (3), Sri Lanka (3), Cuba (2), USA (1), Cameroon (1), Nepal (1).

To form a more comprehensive picture of the history of Latvia and Riga, 163 representatives of the target group attended the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation, the National History Museum of Latvia, Riga Motor Museum, Mentzendorff House, the Laima Chocolate Museum and Riga Zoo. 

Specialists of the Society "Shelter "Safe House"" provided an opportunity to 269 participants of the training programme to learn more about the possibilities of acquiring various professions by organizing educational visits to the training centre "BUTS" and one visit to the company "Senā klēts" and "Jaunais A salons" for 14 groups.

During the entire period of training, communication with the participants of the socio-economic training programme was ensured by Tigrinya, Arabic, Kurdish, Tajik, Georgian, Hindi, Urdu, Spanish, Tamil, Dari, Bengali and Turkish language experts. 

For the support of persons under international protection, who are illiterate or have serious difficulties writing or reading, 10 informative videos-animations on the following topics have been produced under the project: security and assistance services in Latvia (how to act in emergency situations), money and banks, documentation, transport in Latvia, seasons, housing, medical services, employment, holidays and education. Videos along with other practical information on the refugee integration for the target group of the project and the Latvian society is available on the website www.beglis.lv/www.refugees.lv in six languages - Latvian, Russian, English, French, Arabic, Dari.

A special 27-page informative material "Hedgehog`s Friends" was developed for children and is now available in Arabic, Dari, French and Latvian languages. The material provides minor refugees with information about Latvia in their native tongue and helps them to learn Latvian language in a creative way.

Representatives of the Society "Shelter "Safe House"" emphasise that the information material for asylum seekers "Latvia is a state at the Baltic Sea" has been updated and made available to the target group in Latvian, Arabic, Dari, English, and French.

The Support Actions for Persons under International Protection project will continue until 31 December 2017. Support under the project will be provided to 530 persons, among them adults, children and illiterate asylum seekers. The project within Asylum, Migration and Integration Foundation is performed by Society “Shelter “Safe House””. The project is co-financed by the European Union. Grant Agreement No. PMIF/9/2016/1/03.

Information was prepared by: Rasa Salina (Rasa Saliņa), Communications and Social Media Expert, e-mail: rasa.salina@gmail.com

                  

Representatives of Public Authorities and NGOs Meet with Persons under International Protection

21.06.2017. On June 20 – World Refugee Day – society “Shelter “Safe House””, in cooperation with the Ministry of the Interior, organised an informative meeting to inform about the current situation in the field of reception and integration of refugees, as well as to answer questions on topical issues for asylum seekers in person.  More than 20 representatives of ministries and institutions, whose work is related to reception and integration in Latvia of persons in need of international protection, participated and represented the following authorities in it: the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (OCMA), the Ministry of the Interior, the Latvian Language Agency, the State Employment Agency (SEA), the Society Integration Fund, the Ministry of Welfare, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Economics, the Ministry of Culture, the State Social Insurance Agency (SSIA), and the Academic Information Centre.

At the beginning of the meeting, representatives of the public authorities briefly informed the audience on the current developments in the field of asylum seekers, refugees and persons with alternative status, including the changes in the conditions for granting benefits and other social support, opportunities for studying the Latvian language, as well as employment issues.

Later, the representatives of the field answered several questions by asylum seekers from Syria and Eritrea regarding finding a place to live, distribution of benefits, possible social assistance, Latvian language courses, job search opportunities, recognition of educational documents in Latvia, and other issues. Up-to-date information on benefits was provided with regard to changes in laws and regulations. Namely, as of 1 June 2017, conditions for benefits to refugees and persons with alternative status have changed, prescribing that, in situations where people do not have sufficient means of subsistence, they have the right to apply for an increase in the initial benefit during the first month – EUR 278 for the first person in the family and EUR 194 for each subsequent family member, so that the person can pay rent (make a deposit / pay guarantee amount) and satisfy other needs.

At the same time, it was mentioned that the current monthly benefit of EUR 139 for the first person in the family and EUR 97 for each subsequent family member remains the same, while the period for the benefit payment is shorter now – from twelve to ten months for refugees and from nine to seven months for persons with alternative status. It was also pointed out that, as of 1 June 2017, for persons of working age the benefit is linked to registration with SEA and the implementation of socio-economic inclusion measures (the benefit is not paid if the person has left the country and does not fulfil the unemployed or job-seeker`s obligations). Since the benefit is now being paid by two institutions – OCMA and SSIA – the beneficiaries of the international protection status now have to submit two applications to two different institutions in order to claim the said benefit.

One of the main issues, which asylum seekers are most concerned about, is whether they will have a place to live after receiving protection status and leaving Accommodation Centre for Asylum Seekers “Mucenieki”. Some asylum seekers, at the same time, mentioned the lack of educational activities for school-age children while educational institutions have a break – they believe that children have nothing to do at the Accommodation Centre for Asylum Seekers during school breaks. Representatives of public authorities focused on various options for seeking support.

When answering questions by asylum seekers, emphasis was laid on using employment services, including the Latvian language course, as the key to successful socio-economic inclusion in society.

During the conversation, asylum seekers repeatedly mentioned that they wanted to do some good for Latvia and did not intend to “live on benefits”. One of the attendees, a young man from Eritrea, admitted: “Before I went to Latvia, I had heard some negative comments, but now I understand that they were not true. I am pleasantly surprised by the support and assistance received so far.”

Several asylum seekers noted the usefulness of this meeting for the understanding of various issues and the future efforts of socio-economic inclusion. They were thankful for such a unique opportunity to meet several government experts from the relevant field.

The informative meeting was organised under “The Support Actions for Persons under International Protection” project implemented with the support of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Foundation by society “Shelter “Safe House””. Period of implementation of the project: 1 July 2016 – 31 December 2017 The goal of the project is to ensure courses and informative events suited to the needs of persons under international protection promoting their inclusion in the society of Latvia. The duration of the project is 18 months, and it is planned to provide support to 530 people, including adults, children and illiterate asylum seekers, within the framework of the project. The project is co-financed by the European Union. Grant Agreement No. PMIF/9/2016/1/03.

Information was prepared by: Rasa Salina (Rasa Saliņa), Communications and Social Media Expert, e-mail: rasa.salina@gmail.com


                  

In May, two groups of persons under international protection gained knowledge about Latvia

29.05.2017. Society “Shelter “Safe House”” informs that two study groups concluded the cycle of five lessons planned in the social economic inclusion curriculum in May this year. The total number of persons who learned about Latvia was 55, i.e., 25 adults and 30 children from Syria, Russia, Belarus, Tajikistan and Bangladesh.

Patvēruma meklētāji

Each study group had the opportunity to learn about the state of Latvia, political system, history, culture and traditions and to receive practical information about Latvia and services, inclusion into the society, principles of non-discrimination, communication and religion differences, decision-making, sense of time, market of flats, employment opportunities, education system and opportunities to acquire education, opportunities to spend free time, healthcare system, social security network and social aid system in Latvia. During the lessons, also inclusion of children in training in specific groups was also organized.

In addition to the education course, various informative activities were organized aiming at advancing the inclusion of this target group into the Latvian society. To ensure the chance to learn about the opportunities of acquiring different professions, one of the groups had an educational visit in the beginning of May to the Education Centre “BUTS”. By visiting JSC (AS) “Laima”, the students could learn about the largest chocolate museum in the Baltic States.

Arab, Kurd, Tajic and Bengali language specialists ensured quality communication for the education course students during all educational activities organized by the Society “Shelter “Safe House””.

The total number of persons attending the education course within the project “Support Actions for Persons under International Protection” from 1 July to 25 May 2016 was 333.

The aim of the project launched on 1 July 2016 was to ensure courses and information activities suitable to the needs of persons under international protection by facilitating their inclusion into the Latvian society. The total duration of the project is 18 months, and provision of support to 530 persons, including adults, children and asylum seekers without writing and reading skills, has been planned under this project.

"The Support Actions for Persons under International Protection" project within Asylum, Migration and Integration Foundation is performed by Society “Shelter “Safe House””. The project is co-financed by the European Union. Grant Agreement No. PMIF/9/2016/1/03.

Information was prepared by: Rasa Salina (Rasa Saliņa), Communications and Social Media Expert, e-mail: rasa.salina@gmail.com


                  

Persons under international protection visit Motor Museum

26.04.2017. Society "Shelter "Safe House"" within the framework of the project "The Support Actions for Persons under International Protection"in April of this year organized an event that gave the persons under international protection the opportunity to get to know the biggest and oldest motor vehicle museum in Baltics - Riga Motor Museum which at the moment hosts more than 100 ancient vehicles for the visitors to see.

The participants of the educational excursion had the possibility to get to know the exhibition with the help of modern, multiform multimedia and design, while taking part in interactive activities themselves.

The staff of Riga Motor Museum informed the participants of the tour that the museum not only collects, preserves, explores, restores and promotes the antique vehicles, but is also a creative place to study. "Everyone, especially children and young people here can learn the road traffic rules, history of the development of car, motorcycle, bicycle construction  and gain also engineering knowledge."

After the visit of the museum, the participants continued to share their experiences and discuss what they had seen.

Additionally to the lessons about Latvia, various informational activities are being organized for the persons under international protection with the aim to promote the inclusion of the target group in Latvian society. One of the activities is visiting of various Latvian museums, including Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation, Riga Motor Museum and others.

The aim of the project launched on 1 July 2016 was to ensure courses and information activities suitable to the needs of persons under international protection by facilitating their inclusion into the Latvian society. The total duration of the project is 18 months, and provision of support to 530 persons, including adults, children and asylum seekers without writing and reading skills, has been planned under this project.

"The Support Actions for Persons under International Protection" project within Asylum, Migration and Integration Foundation is performed by Society “Shelter “Safe House””. The project is co-financed by the European Union. Grant Agreement No. PMIF/9/2016/1/03.

Information was prepared by: Rasa Salina (Rasa Saliņa), Communications and Social Media Expert, e-mail: rasa.salina@gmail.com


                  

Information material “Latvia – a State at the Baltic Sea” has been updated

30.03.2017. To supplement the scarce adapted information about the rights and obligations of refugees, the Society “Shelter “Safe House”” updated the information material “Latvia – a State at the Baltic Sea” („Latvija – valsts pie Baltijas jūras”) for asylum seekers and ensured its translations into Arab, Dari, English and French to complement the material in Latvian.

„This material will allow many asylum seekers arriving to Latvia learn about it as the new country of residence,” Project Manager Gunta Viksne (Gunta Vīksne) emphasizes. “To ensure that this information can be perceived easily and of practical use for these people, we involved also representatives of the target group to help us and they provided us with recommendations during the information preparation process”.

The total number of subject included in the information material is 22: general information about Latvia; personal identification documents in Latvia, rights, obligations and responsibility of residents; history of Latvia; national holidays (days off); Latvian climate and weather; public transportation; banks; road traffic regulations in Latvia; telephone, mail and the Internet; rights and obligations of an asylum seeker; healthcare; social security network in Latvia; social assistance system in Latvia; looking for dwelling and market of dwellings; education; employment and looking for job; recreation opportunities; religion; learning of the Latvian language; phone numbers for emergency calls.

G. Viksne specifies that the information material version in Latvian is mainly intended for specialists from different fields, also for employees of Latvian municipalities. It has been planned to publish the material so it can be accessed both electronically on the website  www.beglis.lv/www.refugees.lv and as a printed material for asylum seekers living in the Accommodation Centre for Asylum Seekers “Mucenieki” to facilitate learning of the Latvian language.

The copies of the material “Latvia – a State at the Baltic Sea” will be made under office conditions. At this moment, this material is available in the Latvian language. Representatives of the Society inform that versions in Arab, Dari, English and French will be available within the next few weeks.

"The Support Actions for Persons under International Protection" project within Asylum, Migration and Integration Foundation is performed by Society “Shelter “Safe House””. The project is co-financed by the European Union. Grant Agreement No. PMIF/9/2016/1/03.


                  

Introduction of an educational material for children

14.02.2017. On the 14th of February 2017, the society “Shelter “Safe House”” within the frame of project “Support Activities for Persons under International Protection" organized an informative event to introduce an educational material designed for children "Hedgehog and His Friends", which is available in Arabic, Dari, French and Latvian. The event took place in the Latvian Museum of Natural History and more than 40 asylum seekers, including children, participated.

The participants – asylum seekers admitted that it was their first time in the museum of natural history and the children didn’t hide their enthusiasm about the animals seen in the exhibition, including the hedgehog. Each participant had both the chance to meet and have a conversation with the author of the informative material “Hedgehog and His Friends" – Liene Valdmane, and to take part in creative workshop.

Photo gallery

The material "Hedgehog and His Friends" includes general topics about Latvia, topics about school and school environment, designed specifically for the age groups of children. These topics include: I live in Latvia (about Latvia, the symbols of Latvia, history); we celebrate – the holidays in Latvia; the capital of Latvia – Riga; nature of Latvia, animals; national dishes; I prepare myself for school; I go to school; what to do after school – hobbies, interests; decency in the society etc.

"The Support Actions for Persons under International Protection" project within Asylum, Migration and Integration Foundation is performed by Society “Shelter “Safe House””. The project is co-financed by the European Union. Grant Agreement No. PMIF/9/2016/1/03.


                  

Persons under international protection from seven countries gained useful knowledge of Latvia

25.01.2017. From 1 July to 31 December 2016, training courses adapted for the needs of 157 persons under international protection, as well as various informative activities with a purpose to promote inclusion of this target group in the Latvian society were provided within the project “Support Activities for Persons under International Protection"  carried out by the Society "Shelter "Safe House"".

In total, six groups consisting of representatives of seven countries: Syria (109), Afghanistan (21), Iraq (12), Eritrea (9), Tajikistan (3), Belarus (2), Russia (1) were taught about Latvia in the socio-economic inclusion training program. There were in total 5 classes for each training group during which participants could gain knowledge of Latvia, its state system, history, culture and traditions, practical information about Latvia and services, information about integration into the society, non-discrimination principles, communication and religious differences, decision making, sense of time, housing market, employment facilities, education system and education acquisition opportunities, available leisure activities, healthcare system, social security network and social support system in Latvia. During the classes children were also included in training by organizing separate groups for them.

To get an in-depth picture of the history of Latvia and Riga, 60 representatives of the target group attended the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation and the National History Museum of Latvia.

The specialists of the Society "Shelter "Safe House"" provided a possibility to 115 participants of the training course to get to know possibilities of acquiring various professions by organizing five educational visits to the training centre "BUTS" and one visit to the company "Senā klēts" and "Jaunais A salons".

During the entire period of educational activities, communication with the participants of the socio-economic training programme was provided by the Tigrinya, Arabic, Kurdish, Tajik and Dari language experts.

To support the persons under international protection which are illiterate or which have serious difficulties to write or read, the first five of 10 planned informative videos-animations on the following topics: documents, security, money, transport, seasons have been made within the framework of the project. The videos, as well as more practical information on the refugee integration useful for the project target group and the Latvian society are available on the website www.beglis.lv/www.refugees.lv in six languages - Latvian, Russian, English, French, Arabic, Dari. The information is renewed and updated on a regular basis in collaboration with the governmental and municipal authorities, institutions involved in the Action Plan implementation and the most active NGOs of the field.

During the course of the project, a special 27-page informative material for the children "Hedgehog Friends" is developed, and it is available in Arabic, Dari, French and Latvian languages. Thanks to this material, a possibility is provided for the minor refugees to get the information in their native languages, as well as to find out more about Latvia and learn the Latvian language in a creative way.

To introduce a general public with this material, a project team will organize an informative and educational event in the Latvian Museum of Natural History on 14 February 2017 at 12:30 p.m. during which everybody will have a possibility to meet Liene Valdmane, the author of the "Hedgehog Friends", to find out more about hedgehogs by help of the employees of the Latvian Museum of Natural History, as well as to participate in the creative workshops.

The goal of the project which started on 1 July 2016 is to ensure courses and informative events for the needs of the persons under international protection promoting their inclusion in the Latvian society. The duration of the project is 18 months, and it is planned to provide support to 530 people, including adults, children and illiterate asylum seekers, within the framework of the project.

"The Support Actions for Persons under International Protection" project within Asylum, Migration and Integration Foundation is performed by Society “Shelter “Safe House””. The project will be implemented until 31 December 2017. The project is co-financed by the European Union. Grant Agreement No. PMIF/9/2016/1/03.

Information was prepared by: Rasa Salina (Rasa Saliņa), Communications and Social Media Expert, e-mail: rasa.salina@gmail.com

 

                  

Information on the integration of refugees is available to the public in six languages

27.12.2016. The specialists of the Society “Shelter “Safe House”” inform that website www.beglis.lv is updated within the framework of the project “Support Actions for Persons under International Protection” and is now available in six languages – Latvian, Russian, English, French, Arabic, Dari.

Representatives of the organization point out that the website has two main target groups and tasks: one of its functions is to raise awareness of refugees, providing a possibility for the inhabitants of Latvia to obtain information on various aspects related to the integration of refugees in the society of Latvia, as well as to get involved in providing support for improving refugees’ situation.

The second main target group is refugees who may receive answers to their questions using the website. The information on the website is provided in more common languages spoken at present by the asylum seekers who have arrived in Latvia or by those who plan to move to Latvia as displaced asylum seekers.

In order for nationals of various countries to easily find the information on the above issues, the website has two domain addresses – www.beglis.lv and www.refugees.lv.

It is planned that in collaboration with governmental and municipal authorities, institutions involved in the implementation of the Action Plan, and the most active NGOs of this field, the website www.beglis.lv/www.refugees.lv will be also updated on a regular basis in future and the information relevant to both target groups will be renewed.

"The Support Actions for Persons under International Protection" project within Asylum, Migration and Integration Foundation is performed by Society “Shelter “Safe House””. The project is co-financed by the European Union. Grant Agreement No. PMIF/9/2016/1/03.

Information was prepared by: Rasa Salina (Rasa Saliņa), Communications and Social Media Expert, e-mail: rasa.salina@gmail.com


                  

Information material about Latvia for children in the Arab, Dari, French and Latvian languages has been prepared

29.11.2016. The specialists of the Society "Shelter "Safe House"" inform that a special information material for children "Hedgehog and His Friends" ("Eža draugi") available in Arab, Dari, French, and Latvian has been prepared within the project "Support Actions for Persons under International Protection".

“As the number of minors arriving to Latvia and seeking asylum is increasing, it is necessary to pay much more attention to this group with creating education materials suitable and adapted especially for this target group and by ensuring age-appropriate education both about Latvia in general and about subjects and interests corresponding to their age,” Gunta Viksne (Gunta Vīksne), Project Manager, emphasizes. „Thanks to this material, the underage refugees now have the opportunity to obtain information in their mother tongues and to learn about Latvia and the Latvian language in creative manner.”

The prepared material on 27 pages has been created with the support from the author/proof-reader Liene Valdmane and the teachers from classes for children who will from now on use the created material for organizing and supervising the classes. L. Valdmane has the essential experience obtained by working with the project’s target group for several years and teaching the Latvian language to refugees, also to minors, within the projects of European Refugee Foundation implemented by the Society "Shelter "Safe House"".

“The artwork of the information material has been designed in a way that it is easily understandable for the children, thus helping the underage children understand the described subject while reading, watching the illustrations and carrying out different assignments,” L. Valdmane says. “Grown-ups in their lives are looking for common values and learning about the culture of other nations, but children are looking for friends. And friendship is what this material is about.”

It has been planned to copy the information material as quality colourful printouts in office-like conditions.

"The Support Actions for Persons under International Protection" project within Asylum, Migration and Integration Foundation is performed by Society “Shelter “Safe House””. The project is co-financed by the European Union. Grant Agreement No. PMIF/9/2016/1/03.

Information was prepared by: Rasa Salina (Rasa Saliņa), Communications and Social Media Expert, e-mail: rasa.salina@gmail.com


                  

Two Saeima commissions visit the Society

10.10.2016. Society “Shelter “Safe House” informs that, on October 5 of 2016, the society organised an Informative Event, which hosted visiting sessions of the Saeima Commission for Human Rights and Public Affairs and the Saeima Commission for Citizenship, Migration and Public Unity. During the event, deputies of both commissions, as well as attending mass media representatives were informed about support measures currently implemented by the society for asylum seekers, refugees and persons having the alternative status.

Saeimas komisiju deputāti apmeklē

Sandra Zalcmane, the head of the Society “Shelter “Safe House”, informed that 76 persons from Syria, Eritrea, Afghanistan and Iraq participated in the social inclusion training programme within the project “Support measures for persons subject to international protection” for three months. Trainings about Latvia were provided for three groups. Five classes, a training visit to the BUTS training centre and a visit to the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation were organised for each of them.

Attendees were informed that, in addition to trainings, the informative material “Latvian – a country near the Baltic Sea” was updated, as well as a special informative material about Latvian children was created during the implementation of the programme.

The first two interactive pieces/animations of 10 planned pieces about the beginning of life in Latvia have been created involving the project target group in the activity. Pieces are created as easy-to-perceive and compelling for minor children and persons with weak writing and reading skills, there are plans to use them as a visual aid in the training programme about Latvia.

Also, information was provided that the website created by the society last year www.beglis.lv/refugees.lv was being updated within the scope of the project.

When answering to the questions of deputies about problems related to the acceptance of refugees, S.Zalcmane indicated that the problem of finding a home in the first three months was the most topical for refugees.
“The first months are the most difficult for refugees, because they must provide themselves and their family with all the essentials. This problem may be solved by a nine-month allowance, thus moving allowances from the last three months to the first three months to make it easier for the person, who has obtained the status of a refugee, to start independent life in Latvia”.

She identified the short period of learning Latvian as the second most topical problem. “If a refugee is learning Latvian in the centre for accommodation of asylum seekers “Mucenieki” for three months, then the resulting knowledge of Latvian is quite insignificant. Learning of the language may be continued in the State Employment Agency, however, the period of studies is insufficient”. As a solution, S.Zalcmane offered deputies to extend this period to at least three months.

The goal of the project "The Support Actions for Persons under International Protection" is to provide the training courses and information events corresponding to the needs of the persons under international protection, promoting their integration in the Latvian society. The project will be performed for 18 months, and within its framework it is planned to give support to 530 people, including adults, children and asylum seekers without writing and reading skills.
 
"The Support Actions for Persons under International Protection" project within Asylum, Migration and Integration Foundation is performed by Society “Shelter “Safe House””. The project is co-financed by the European Union. Grant Agreement No. PMIF/9/2016/1/03.

Information was prepared by: Rasa Salina (Rasa Saliņa), Communications and Social Media Expert, e-mail: rasa.salina@gmail.com


                  

Asylum seekers mostly ask about education and employment

29.09.2016. NGO "Shelter "Safe House"" specialists inform that on September 20 asylum seekers from Eritrea and Syria have taken part in the "Social and Economic Inclusion Programme" within the project "The Support Actions for Persons under International Protection".

Participants of the course were introduced to Latvia and got answers to questions risen while residing here. Lecturers note that this group was eager to learn about employment and education for example wandering whether studies are free, is there an age limit to enroll in university, is there a point when asylum seekers have to pay Latvian language courses as their command of the language increases, is an asylum seeker allowed to work? The course was carried out with lectures and practical tasks. 
 
To learn about professional education courses asylum seekers visited the Education Center "BUTS" and expanded their knowledge about Latvia in guided tour at the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation.
 
The goal of the project "The Support Actions for Persons under International Protection" is to provide the training courses and information events corresponding to the needs of the persons under international protection, promoting their integration in the Latvian society. The project will be performed for 18 months, and within its framework it is planned to give support to 530 people, including adults, children and asylum seekers without writing and reading skills.
 
"The Support Actions for Persons under International Protection" project within Asylum, Migration and Integration Foundation is performed by Society “Shelter “Safe House””. The project is co-financed by the European Union. Grant Agreement No. PMIF/9/2016/1/03.

Information was prepared by: Rasa Salina (Rasa Saliņa), Communications and Social Media Expert, e-mail: rasa.salina@gmail.com


                  

56 persons under international protection participated in the social and economic inclusion programme

25.08.2016. 56 persons, including 35 adults and 21 children from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Eritrea participated in training courses on Latvia, organised within the framework of the project "The Support Actions for Persons under International Protection" implemented by the Society “Shelter “Safe House”” since this 1 July, in July and August.

Within the framework of the social and economic inclusion programme, 5 lessons in total were organised for the project’s target group; during these lessons, it was possible to obtain knowledge about Latvia, the state system, history, culture and traditions, practical information about Latvia and services, information about integration into the society, non-discrimination principles, communication and religious differences, decision making, sense of time, housing market, employment facilities, education system and education acquisition opportunities, available leisure activities, healthcare system, social security network and social support system in Latvia. Within the framework of the entire training course, lecturers of the society along with participants of the lessons analysed also different specific situations and searched for practical solutions thereto. During the training, the representative of the Ombudsman’s Office provided information to trainees as well.

The largest interest and the most questions within the framework of the introductory course were about residence permits, employment, opening a bank account, searching for a flat.

In order for the education of representatives of the target group on the subjects of the training programme to be purposeful, both the mastering of theoretical knowledge and application of obtained knowledge in practice were ensured during the lessons, using different formal and informal methods of education.

During the lessons, the inclusion of children in training was organised in separate groups.

To familiarise asylum seekers with the possibilities of obtaining new education and undergoing re-qualification, a special educational visit to the training centre BUTS was organised. During this visit, the target group was ensured of an opportunity to become acquainted with education and employment possibilities, as well as to receive answers to questions of concern.

At the end of the training course, trainees went to an educational tour to the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation, during which they had an opportunity to get a comprehensive, in-depth and visual insight into the history of Latvia and Riga.

During the entire training course, high-quality communication with the participants of the training course was ensured by Arabic, Tigrinya, Kurdish and Dari speakers.

The goal of the project "The Support Actions for Persons under International Protection" launched on 1 July this year is to provide the training courses and information events corresponding to the needs of the persons under international protection, promoting their integration in the Latvian society. The project will be implemented until 31 December 2017.

"The Support Actions for Persons under International Protection" project within Asylum, Migration and Integration Foundation is performed by Society “Shelter “Safe House””. The project is co-financed by the European Union. Grant Agreement No. PMIF/9/2016/1/03.

Information was prepared by: Rasa Salina (Rasa Saliņa), Communications and Social Media Expert, e-mail: rasa.salina@gmail.com


                  

Training Courses for Persons under International Protection will be Continued

13.07.2016. To provide the training courses and information events corresponding to the needs of the persons under international protection, promoting their integration in the Latvian society, on 1 July of this year Society "Shelter "Safe House"" started the Support Actions for Persons under International Protection project. The project will be performed for 18 months, and within its framework it is planned to give support to 530 people, including adults, children and asylum seekers without writing and reading skills.

The society`s representatives say that the main accents in the project are aimed at the subjects that are topical for asylum seekers after their arrival in Latvia, starting an independent life after receiving the status.

To provide asylum seekers, refugees and persons with an alternative status with the knowledge useful for life in Latvia, the training program in the social and economic inclusion will have lessons about how various systems operate in Latvia – labour market, education system, housing market, support system for refugees, and others. In addition to the training courses, the trainees will make Educational Visits, during which they can personally ask educators and employers about educational and employment opportunities for adults, so expanding their future opportunities to choose an employment direction according to the already received profession and their desire to get a new profession.

During the project, some work will be performed to develop the information adapted for asylum seekers: The information material `Latvia is a state at the Baltic Sea` will be updated, having translated it into Arabic, Dari, English, and French.

More and more minor children, including children with special needs, arrive in Latvia as refugees, for this purpose the project especially considered also this target group – the information material about Latvia will be created for children, and it will include both general subjects about the Latvian State and subjects meeting age stages about school and the school environment.  To support the persons under international protection who have no writing or reading skills, or their use is rather hard, 10 interactive and easily understood information stories will be created in the project for various subjects that are important for each refugee starting life in our state.

Within the project, it is planned to update the www.beglis.lv/refugees.lv page, offering the Latvian society the information on refugees, as well as a new section will be developed, which will give answers to refugees on the issues of interest, with translations into five languages – Arabic, Russian, English, Dari, and French. This homepage will provide every interested visitor with an opportunity to obtain up-to-date information on the situation with refugees in Latvia, receive answers to the issues of interest, and to take part in providing support to improve the situation of the refugees.

The Support Actions for Persons under International Protection project within Asylum, Migration and Integration Foundation is performed by Society "Shelter "Safe House"". The project is co-financed by the European Union. The project`s total budget is EUR 221 538.67, of which the financing from the European Union is EUR 166 154.00, and the financing from the state budget is EUR 55 384.67. Grant Agreement No. PMIF/9/2016/1/03.

Information was prepared by: Rasa Salina (Rasa Saliņa), Communications and Social Media Expert, e-mail: rasa.salina@gmail.com


Lessons about Latvia May 2017 | Patvērums Drošā Māja
Lessons about Latvia, May 2017
Introduction of an educational material for children | Patvērums Drošā Māja
Introduction of an educational material for children
Lessons about Latvia | Patvērums Drošā Māja
Lessons about Latvia
Lessons for asylum seekers | Patvērums Drošā Māja
Lessons for asylum seekers
Lessons about Latvia 15.07. | Patvērums Drošā Māja
Lessons about Latvia, 15.07.
Lessons about Latvia 14.07. | Patvērums Drošā Māja
Lessons about Latvia, 14.07.