Latvia

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Address: Katolu iela 14, Riga, LV-1003, Latvia
Telephone: +371 67 20 50 67 Fax: +371 20 03 24 59
Email: info@caritas.lv
Facebook: Caritas-Latvija Twitter: CaritasLatvija YouTube: zignevs
www.caritaslatvija.lv

Caritas Latvia was founded by the Latvian Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Churches in 2004. It had been operational since 1990 as a relief organisation within the Catholic Church in Latvia, but it had no official recognition from the Bishops’ Conference. Today, it is part of the international structure of Caritas Internationalis and Caritas Europa.

Caritas Latvia’s mission is to promote the Caritas network among the Catholic population in Latvia, as well as to fight against poverty and social exclusion, for example, by working with migrants and refugees. Our soup kitchens provide food to poor families, people with HIV/AIDS and the homeless.

Caritas Latvia programmes also pay special attention to children and youngsters with special needs and their families, in order to help them better integrate into society (projects, summer camps, sports, family meetings once a month, etc.)

Caritas Latvia promotes voluntarism to empower youth and instil confidence in them, so that through social service they can make a difference in their communities.

In 2005 Caritas Latvia joined the Equal Project “Step by Step” initiated by the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs in Latvia. Caritas Latvia’s task in the project is to develop asylum seekers’ skills in order to help them integrate into Latvian society and enter the job market. The Equal Project was Caritas Latvia’s first serious encounter with the migration problem in Latvia. Since then, working with asylum seekers and irregular immigrants has become a priority for Caritas Latvia.

Caritas Latvia’s main office is in Riga, and employs staff and volunteers who serve four diocesan Caritas and public social institutions located throughout Latvia.

Caritas Latvia is one of the more than 160 members of Caritas Internationalis, and is also a member of Caritas Europa.

To improve former prisoners’ integration into society, Caritas Latvia collaborates with the Prison Chaplain Service on the organisation of educational seminars for volunteers, and working on development of the volunteer network in this specific field.

Updates from Latvia