Living in Latvia - 3

 

Since December 2012 Education development centre is implementing the project “Living in Latvia - 3”. This is already the fourth project, which is the framework of the European third-country citizens’ integration foundation of the European Union. EDC offers an integration program for the third country nationals who have recently settled for living in Latvia about the country, its inhabitants, political, social, economic and cultural life. The project will implement different learning and hands- on activities, interest group meetings, excursions, support groups for learning the Latvian language and other events- more information will be presented in this section.

 

Project „Living in Latvia - 3” (Nr. IF/2011/1.a/1) is implemented within the 2011 program of the European Integration Fund of the Third country nationals. With the joint funding from the European Union (75%) and Latvia State budget (25%). The organization “Education Development centre” is responsible for the content of the publications

 

www.dzivotlatvija.eu/en

In June we have completed the activities organized in the project “Living in Latvia – 3” in 2013.  The final event of the project took place at Roja, on June 5, 2013. Foto Despite the fact that at first the seaside of Kurzeme surprised the people from Riga who were exhausted from the oppressive heat with cool, fresh air the day at Roja and its vicinity turned out to be very colourful, interesting, emotionally and physically warm and exciting. We would like to express our deepest gratitude to Zinta Valdmane and her team for organizing the event. They managed to acquaint the project participants professionally and sincerely and present the life at Roja in the 7 hours we were able to spend there. For centuries people’s main occupation at Roja has been connected with the sea, fishing and fish processing. The visit to the local fisherman Oskars and tasting the freshly smoked fish as well as the possibility to find answers to the nuances connected with fishing and fish processing created great interest. Can you tie the love knot? – the ladies at Roja museum asked. They had transformed themselves into images from different historical times and engaged us in finding out the application of different old-time exhibits. Thus we learnt more also about the lifestyle of Roja people through the years. Along with the key wealth of the nature- the sea and the beach- Roja can attract people also with its rich cultural life and local people actively participate in it. Thank you to the head of the Culture centre Dace Broka and the director of the Music/Art school Jānis Kivils for the time and energy they devoted to us.

 

The theme of the project "Living in Latvia - 3" in May is "History, culture and traditions of Latvia" which is acquired theoretically and practically.  On May 16 and 17 the project participants participated in the seminar at EDC but acquired this theme in practice by visiting the exhibition "Latvian artists in exile" in the exhibition hall "Arsenāls" and exploring the centre of Riga in the excursion. The excursion ended with getting an excellent bird-eye's view on Riga from the tower of St. Peter's church in Old Riga. After the seminar the participants admitted that it learning about the ancient signs of the Balts was an especially interesting learning experience. The information about the history of Latvia encourages to learn more about it. Thank you for the hand-outs and the book  „Latviešu virtuve”; The presentation of the history of Latvia was very well-thought over, I had never heard something like that before; The psychological insight on  self-assessment and acquiring the sense of freedom; Much information about the history and culture of Latvia. Everything was presented in a form of game and there was no time to get bored; Thank you for the information that could not be found on the Internet. The facts given were interesting as well as the personal opinions of the presenters; Thank you for the information which we will use in our further life in Latvia, the knowledgeful information will serve as a spring-board to continue learning the history of Latvia.

 The project is coming to its end and there are still meetings in the Latvian language group on Mondays as well as the final event - the interest group meeting in Roja, June 5 to which we invite the project participants with their famiilies and the organizers of the project. We hope the weather will be with us in Kurzeme seaside.

 

Two activities have taken place in April: a seminar about the basic principles of how Latvia as a state functions and the third interest group meeting at Viļķene.

On April 11 and 12 the project participants attended the seminar “Key principles of functioning of Latvia as the state”.  The basic facts and information about the beginning of the ideas about the stat, the foundation and restoration as well as other historical and political issues that are significant for the existence of Latvia as a state were discussed. The participants had a possibility to visit the Visitors’ centre of the Bank of Latvia “The World of the Money” in the second part of the seminar. Here we had a possibility to learn everything about money as well the national economy of Latvia  and national currency policy.

Looking forward to spring on April 18 we went to the countryside of Latvia – Viļķeni to learn how life is organized in a small rural village, how the municipality and school functions and what possibilities and activities that differ from those in Riga spring offers in the countryside. The participants listened with great interest and asked questions to the chairperson of the village Board of Viļķene  Ilmārs Dzenis, the principal of the Baumaņu Kārlis Viļķene basic school Ilze Ādamsone made us interested in the small school and advantages it gives to pupils and teachers as well as the historical issues of the district guiding the visitors through the local museum that they have established themselves. This was a wonderful day when we could taste fresh birch juice, make small bird-houses and place them in the trees around the school for the blackbirds. Lively bustle filled the yard and surroundings of Viļķene school. The fresh spring air and the interest of the local people fully enchanted the project participants. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all who took care so that we all felt so good together! Foto 

The end of the project is approaching and we still will meet in the 4th module of the program about the history, culture and traditions of Latvia on May 16 and 17.  The final interest group meeting will be at Roja on June 5 – we are really looking forward to the sun and good weather!

 

The second seminar for the project participants about national economy and employability in Latvia

On February 28 and March 1, 2013 the participats of the project "Living in Latvia - 3" were involved in the acquisition of the second module of the program "National economy and employability in Latvia". Foto

Of course, also this time there was not only studying in the seminar but many diverse cognitive activities organized in the context of this theme: materials and presentations about different branches of national economy of Latvia, information and consultations provided by experts on the issues of psychology, legislation, social support as well as the possibilities of supporting business activities offered by the project "Atspēriens" implemented by Development department of Riga Municipality in Riga. The seminar day ended with an excursion in the international airport "Riga", which allowed to learn namy interesting and axciting things and to gain professional answers to the questions.

 

The second event of the interest group in the project "Living in Latvia - 3" took place on March 13, 2013 at Gulbene. Here the project participants learnt more how to start one's own business, which challenges the young businessmen face and how to do things that you really find interesting. Foto

The day started with a visit to a small cheese plant "MŪ Siers", where the hostess Vita Kence showed how cheese is made from milk. The participants had a chance to taste dufferent kinds of cheese, ask questions on both how the cheese was made and how to start one's own business.

 Discussions on employability isses continued in Gulbene Secondary school Nr. 2. The school project coordinator Dita Grigore together with teachers and pupils had organized  a meeting with businessmen from Gulbene, active local people who spend their free time in an interesting way and know how to inspire others. The participants participated in creative workshops and learnt the skills of making jewelery and puppets. The story about making the snow shoes and how to wear them in the deep snow caused huge interest.

The sightseeing excursion at Gulbene enriched the day. The pride of Gulbene is the narrow-gauge passenger railway and the well-preserved railway station. The visit of the places gave new impressions and also stirred up memories of the past.

 It was especially useful to meet young people and their teachers from Gulbene Secondary school Nr. 2 and see that the schol offers possibilities of diverse activities. The songs that the young people sang in different languages caused positive emotions in all those present.

 Thank you to the organizers of the event for their hospitality! The event gave new ideas on how to spend the free time in an interesting way, how to tyurn small ideas into great works and where to go sightseeing in Latvia!

 

On February,13 the participants of the project "Living in Latvia- 3"went to Kurzeme to get acquainted with Kuldīga and its inhabitants. The town offers excellent possibilities of rest and entertainment to every visitor in summer and with its ancient charm and people's hospitality it can warm every heart also in the winter cold. Inga and Uldis are the local patriots whose stories and tales about the history and culture of the town makes everyone forget  the unpleasant weather: .... and the last story - Uldis repeats it for the fifth time and again our thougths from the numb fingers are engaged in the romantic, historic and imaginative stories about the tradesmen and inhabitants of the town, the bridge and Peter the Great, the rich and their mistresses. foto

We are invited to lunch. Do we, Latvians ourselves, remember when was the last time we sat at the long party table?   More than 60 participants are sitting shoulder to shoulder to enjoy the food of Kurzeme, the stodiers and to sing the songs. You can hear talking in the latvian, Russian, English languages. The eating is followed by singing, dancing, weaving, handicraft - talks and activities - unremitting interest on the part of the participants for finally there is a possibility to see and touch everything, to clarify and try things. After the visit that lasted for 5 hours participating in the activities organized by Kuldīga people, the participants wonder: why do we have to leave? We will stay.

Thank you to the hospitable local people (organizers, singers, crafts people and weavers) - our common promise is - we will return!

The next seminar meeting will be on February 28/ March 1, 2013- the second seminar of the program "National economy of Latvia and employment". The experts' consultations will also be provided and we will visit the international airport "Rīga".

foto

The first study seminars within the theme “Me in the society of Latvia” were organized on January 24 and 25, 2013. The interest about the seminar was great; more than 50 participants who have arrived and settled in Latvia from Russia, Ukraine, Byelorussia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Australia, USA, Japan and other countries participated in it.  
 Participants who have already participated in the integration program were happy to meet their acquaintances, friends, project team and trainers and gladly remembered their previous experience in the project. The new participants, in their turn, had a possibility to find out about the learning activities planned in the project for the coming half a year, to meet the EDC team and other participants in the project. During this seminar the participants worked with the materials within the theme “Me in the society of Latvia”; they clarified the topical questions concerning the citizenship and migration issues as well to visit the Natural Museum of Latvia at the end of the day where the guides acquainted the visitors with the wealth of Latvian nature in a very interesting way.  

The next event for the whole target group will be on February 13 when we will go to explore Kuldīga, the most beautiful town of Kurzeme, and its inhabitants.

 

The aim of the project is to implement activities that would promote successful integration of the European third country nationals with different cultural, religious, language and ethic background in the society of Latvia and Europe and active participation in the community life of the country.
The specific aim of the project is to ensure effective integration of the European third country nationals (including the specific group of the third country nationals) in the accepting community and their access to services: 1) actualizing a qualitative adaptation program “Living in Latvia” about the history of Latvia, social and economic features, the issues of state management and basic rights, cultural life and language; 2) organizing the acquisition of the program “Living in Latvia” in the integration courses (face–to face meetings and distance learning) and special support events (support groups for the acquisition of the Latvian language and interest groups) with the participation of local people.   
Duration of the project: December 18, 2012 – June 30, 2013.

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