February 15th, 2010
Latvia Children’s Fund has begun the implementation of the project “Development of a Multifunctional Support Centre for Children with Special Needs” in Ventspils.
It is planned that, at the newly developed centre, children with special needs will receive free of charge access to qualitative social and medical rehabilitation services. The project is implemented with the support of Ventspils City Council, as well as allocating the EEZ and Norway financial aid grants from Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway. The total budget for the project is EUR 331 321. It is planned that the Centre will operate as an independent nongovernmental organisation and will launch its activities in autumn 2010.
Ventspils City Council has granted space for the project’s needs in the amount of 161.4 m2 as well as co-funding in the amount of 10%, or EUR 33 132. But before the launching of the project, the municipality had developed a technical project for the repair works of the premises, thus investing in the project implementation another EUR 13 233 (LVL 9300) in addition to the already mentioned co-funding. Also, 9 jobs are planned to be created within the project development.
The President of the Latvia Children’s Fund, Andris Berzins:
“The necessity to create such a centre arose after gathering information about children with special needs in Ventspils, their quality of life, and evaluating the work of Latvia Children’s Fund Ventspils department which has, for many years, been implementing various charity support events for these children and their families. Although Ventspils is one of the largest cities in Latvia, its citizens are significantly affected by the lack of social, medical, and rehabilitation support services. We really hope that the development of such a centre in Ventspils will become a positive example and source of inspiration for other districts in Latvia.”
At the multifunctional support centre, an information point for parents of children with special needs will also be created where parents themselves will have the chance for voluntary work, and they, the same as the future professional workers, will be specially trained for the work at the centre. The intention to create a database with united information about children with special needs in Ventspils is also significant.
Currently in Ventspils and its district there are more than three hundred children with special needs.
According to the Ministry of Welfare of the Republic of Latvia, the number of residents in Latvia on 1 January 2009 was 2 261 294, 397 486 of whom were children (0 till 17 years old). At the end of 2008, 7556 children with special needs were registered, which is 2% of the total number of children. At the end of 2008 6% (121 494) of the total number of people with special needs were children.
Ministry of Education and Science’s "Protection of Child Rights Law” of 19 June 1998 Chapter VIII, “The Child with Special Needs” Section 53 provides that: “a child with special needs is a child who, in connection with an illness, trauma or functional impairment of an organ system caused by an innate defect, has need of additional medical and social assistance irrespective of whether there is a determination of disability in accordance with procedures set out by law.”
About Latvia Children’s Fund
Latvia Children’s Fund is a public benefit organisation which, since 1988, has been taking care of providing support to children and adolescents, improving their health, as well as promoting their development and education. In 1990, the Fund was registered in the United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF, but since 1991 is the official representative of the Christian Children’s Fund International in Latvia.
In 2003, Latvia Children’s Fund became a member of NGO/UNICEF’s regional network for children in CE/EE, CIS & the Baltic States. The goal of the Fund is to improve the moral, legal, physical, mental, and material condition of the children and adolescents, and their orientation towards common human values. The tasks of the activities are organisation of different Latvian and international children’s health and protection programmes and campaigns, as well as participation in these events, and provision of support for minor residents with special needs and for children with long-term curable diseases, orphans, large families, and other families that need support.
Activities of the Latvia Children’s Fund are organised within four activity programmes: “Family”, “Orphans”, “Health”, “Development, sport, culture, talent”. Several larger and smaller projects are being developed within these programmes that provide practical support to the groups of children and individual children who have no parents, who are in crisis situations or are severely ill, as well as talented children who lack assets for the development of their talent.
A long-term, successful cooperation in various activities and projects has been formed with several municipalities in Latvia, as well as local enterprises. Huge support is also provided by a network of almost 200 voluntary workers all over Latvia.
More information at
, Latvia Children’s Fund Project Manager Veronika Lemesevska
Phone: (+371) 67185722, Mobile phone: (+371) 29238947