Information and education activities are implemented for supporting immigrants in Latvia
Aimed for ensuring support services to third-country nationals residing in Latvia, the Society “Shelter “Safe House”” organized various informative and educational activities in the framework of the project “Information Centre for Immigrants” (ICI), during seven months of the last year.
Customer consultants at contact points of ICI in Riga, Daugavpils, Jelgava, Cesis and Liepaja have provided in total 940 consultations on legal and social issues to third-country nationals. The most topical issues: migration issues, acquisition of Latvian language, employment, family issues and healthcare. Most frequently customers have chosen to receive consultations on site – 628 times, via phone – 254 times, whereas electronically – 58 times. Free consultations were ensured in total to 522 third-country nationals from 46 countries, including: Russia, Ukraine, China, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Belarus, India, Pakistan and Eritrea. Also psychologist's services are available in the project, which were provided to three persons, who received in total 19 consultations.
The Society informs, that qualitative communication with customers of ICI was ensured by 18 interpreters/language experts with knowledge of the following languages: Arabic, Kurdish, Farsi, Dari, Chinese, Tigrinya, Pashto, French, Hindi, Urdu. Services of interpreters were actively used also by various state administration institutions, social services, crisis centres, education and healthcare institutions of several local governments, banks and employers. The service was ensured in total 265 times and for 231 third-country nationals.
Professional support for working with project target groups in the last year was provided to 87 specialists of various areas (social workers, managers of companies and NGOs, librarians, employees of orphan's courts and education institutions), providing 100 consultations during a seven-month period.
Information on current events in the migration area, the asylum system and admission and integration issues of refugees and persons with the alternative status was provided to 159 representatives of local governments in seminars/discussions “Refugees in Latvia and in the World”, which were organized in Liepaja, Kuldiga, Aizkraukle, Rezekne, Saldus and Dobele. Meeting on site with asylum seekers gave the participants of seminars an opportunity to ask questions and receive answers about the daily life of asylum seekers before arriving in Latvia, and to learn about future plans of these people.
In order to strengthen the civil society and develop favourable and open environment for societies and foundations in working with immigrants, 11 non-governmental organizations, which are active in the area of integration, are currently involved in the NGOs Dialogue platform.
During the informative days in Liepaja and Riga, third-country nationals had an opportunity to learn about informative and practically usable resources.
A significant contribution in organization of activities was made by volunteers involved by ICI, who have implemented in total 16 informative and cohesion activities, including the World Refugee Day and cultural evenings of various nations.
The following activities were organized for raising of public awareness of the migration issue: six informative stories on LNT, articles in the press, two educational webinars on the topics “Introduction to Migration” and “Rights of Migrants”; international conference “Migration in Media: Fact, Message, Perception” was organized; design and content was updated for the website www.integration.lv.
Representatives of the Society “Shelter “Safe House”” indicate, that working on ensuring of ICI services will be continued in this year and, in addition to the existing activities, the work is currently underway on distribution of information in universities of Latvia and embassies of third countries in Latvia. The organization invites third-country nationals to continue being active and use resources available to them.
Free consultations are available via phone, electronically or on site at:
Riga office of the project “Information Centre for Immigrants”: +371 25565098, + 371 28612120
Address: society „Shelter„Safe House””, Lāčplēša Street 75 – 9/10, Riga
Additional information: +371 67898343 (I-V 9:00 – 17:00)
Regional contact points:
“Latgale” in Daugavpils: +371 25723222
“Zemgale” in Jelgava: +371 25719588
“Vidzeme” in Cesis: +371 25719266
“Kurzeme” in Liepaja: +371 25719118
Already since 18 May 2016, a sustainable coordination system for supporting of immigrants at the national level is developed by the Society “Shelter “Safe House”” in the framework of the project “Information Centre for Immigrants”. ICI operates as a one-stop agency, providing the information and support to the third-country citizens, giving professional support to service providers in all the local governments of Latvia, co-ordinates the research and availability of the services for various groups of immigrants. The project “Information Centre for Immigrants” co-financed by the European Union within the framework of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.Grant Agreement No.PMIF/12/2016/1/1.
*A third-country national is any person who is not a citizen of the member states of the European Union, the European Economic Area or the Swiss Confederation.
Information was prepared by: Rasa Salina (Rasa Saliņa), Communications and Social Media Expert, e-mail: email@example.com