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Caritas Latvia

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 by 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 fight against poverty and social exclusion, such as working with migrants and refugees. Their soup kitchens provide food to poor families, people with HIV/AIDS and the homeless.

Caritas Latvia programmes also give a special attention to children in orphanages as they provide both materials and the intangibles such as a loving, caring family atmosphere.

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

Since 2005, Caritas Latvia has joined the Equal Project “Step by Step” initiated by the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs in Latvia. The task of Caritas Latvia in the project is to develop skills for asylum seekers to assist them in integrating into society in Latvia and entering the job market. The Equal Project was the first serious encounter of Caritas Latvia with the migration problem in Latvia; since then, work with asylum seekers and illegal immigrants has become a priority for Caritas Latvia.

Caritas Latvia main office is in Riga and employs a staff and volunteers that serve 4 Caritas diocesan and public social institutions spread throughout Latvia.

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

Caritas Updates from Latvia