In 2010, Orphan Outreach completed a vision trip to Latvia and began working with the Day Center program in Liepaja, the Naval Port. The Day Center is working to provide social and spiritual support and a secure environment to more than 60 children from families at risk. The Naval Port was constructed from 1890-1906 as a naval base for Russia. When Latvia gained its independence from the Soviet Union and the Russian army left Latvia in 1994, the Naval Port became largely uninhabited and most structures fell to ruin.The Day Center for children was opened by a local pastor in 2007 and has been operating as a haven for the children in this area ever since. The majority of the children attending the Center come from abusive, needy homes where parents are unemployed, heartbroken and addicted to drugs and alcohol. A great number of the children in this area are without any adult supervision or guidance and they typically end up taking the same paths as their parents. There is no one to help them and they have no support system.The first goal of the Center is to meet the physical needs of the children — offering a safe, clean and warm environment, where the children can come and rest after a long day at school or find refuge and comfort when their parents have left them alone to wander the streets. The Center also offers a warm meal and each day the children are involved in various activities — arts, singing, Bible study, sports and English. During the school year, the staff also helps the children with their homework. The second goal of the staff is to meet the emotional and spiritual needs of the children by offering comfort, advice and emotional support; but the ultimate goal is covering them with prayer and the love and support of Christ.Orphan Outreach is partnering with the Day Center to provide financial resources and sponsorships of the children. Short-term mission teams have provided humanitarian aid and evangelical outreach programs for the children.
Language(s) - Latvian (official) 58.2%, Russian 37.5%, Lithuanian and other 4.3%
Currency - Latvian lat (LVL)
Type of Government - Parliamentary Democracy
Current Leader - President Valdis Zatlers
Compulsory Education - 6 to 14 years
Literacy - 99.8% (male); 99.8% (female); age 15 and over can read and write
Religion - Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Russian Orthodox
Latvia is situated on the eastern shore of the Baltic sea, sharing borders with Lithuania to the south, Estonia to the north, Russia to the east and Belarus to the southeast.
Latvia is slightly larger than West Virginia.
Latvia is divided into four historical regions: Vidzeme, Kurzeme, Latgale and Zemgale. The highest peak is Gaizins Kalns, standing at 311.5 meters. The climate in Latvia is moderate with distinct seasons. Summers are generally warm and short. Autumn and spring are relatively mild and rainy. Winter weather is cold and fluctuates a great deal, with some years snowier and colder than others.
After the restoration of independence in September 1991, Latvia has sought to join various international organisations. In April of 2004 Latvia became a member of NATO and in May of 2004, a member of the European Union. Latvia is also a member of the WTO.
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