Association „Balta maja”
29 February 2015
The Project “Association’s “Balta maja” Experience and Knowledge for the Integration of Minorities into Latvian Society” Ended in February
On 29th February ended the project “Association’s “Balta maja” Experience and Knowledge for the Integration of Minorities into Latvian Society” (Project’s contract identification number: 2013.EEZ/PP/2/MAC/035/050). The project was supported by the European Economic area financial mechanism 2009- 2014 period program’s “NGO fond” sub-program “NGO project program”. The aim of the project was to promote the involvement of minorities and minority NGOs into Latvian society and contribute to the involvement in civic participation processes. The civil society of Latvia was strenghtened during the project’s implementation period. In addition, support for Latvian non-governmental organizations was given in a number of areas such as democracy and participatory democracy, as well as human rights, including ethnic, religious, linguistic and sexual minority rights, at the same time promoting good governance and transparency, limitation of racism, xenophobia and discrimination. Other important points included gender equality, paying attenttion to gender-based violence reduction, as well as environmental protection and sustainable development. The project was implemented during the period from November 1st, 2014 till February 29th, 2016. Two Latvian districts, namely, Latgale and Zemgale had participated in the project activities for 16 months. Within the project there were organized educational events for representatives of national minorities and non-citizens, interactive events promoting intercultural communication, capacity strengthening events for minority NGOs. Furthermore, there were impemented information and publicity measures and developed attractive informational materials. The project partners were the association „Uzori” (Livani), Belarusian cultural and educational society „Uzdim” (Daugavpils), Rezekne city association theatre–studio “Joriks” (Rezekne) and Ukrainian cultural education association “Javir” (Jekabpils).
Numerous educational events, which were held during the implementation period, have contributed to the promotion of knowledge and development of understanding. The positive experience has encouraged the representatives of national minorities to obtain Latvian citizenship. Similarly, cross-cultural communication has improved; interactive events have promoted intercultural dialogue, the involvement in minority associations and have considerably popularized volunteering. During the project implementation period the capacity of 4 minority NGOs has been strenghtened, and long-term and friendly cooperation between the member organizations of the project has been promoted. Once again this was confirmed on 20th February and 24th February when there were held informative events in Rezekne and Jekabpils regarding the achieved results. During the event there was presented an informative publication “I for Latvia”.
A wide range of information and publicity measures- publications in regional newspapers, informative ads, press releases, project banner, informative calendar/ catalogue of project member organizations as well as informative postcards and many other events and activities of the project have ensured the the recognition of the project within Latvia.
The project has enriched the experience of member organizations, has created resonance in society, has invested in high-quality and practical knowledge and has given the courage and determination for further growth of NGOs. Moreover, it has given the opportunity to solve problems, accept challenges and to implement them in the real life. Thanks to the project, the level of knowledge of the Latvian language, Latvian cultural awareness and integration have increased significantly. The project has paved the way for new, joint projects in the future that include the development of ambitious ideas and understanding of values, tolerance and the benefits of the project to the public. The project’s greatest asset is human, community, cooperation and acceptance. Unanimously it was recognized that the project has reached its objectives; it has helped to see the value of integration and its contribution to society and the individual. The association “Balta maja” calls for further, just as successful integration, projects, courage, satisfaction and wish to cooperate and implement common goals!
The program is funded by the EEZ Grants and Latvian State
Supported by a grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway
This publication has been prepared by the EEA Financial Mechanism and Latvian State financial support.
For the content of this publication responsible is association „Balta maja”.