Progress, achievements and results of the SOCIALNEET project in Latvia
Within the framework of the project, local social capital and unused resources were surveyed, which included surveys of civil society organizations and research and gathering of unused resources.
53 participants from different regions of Latvia participated in the survey: 32 from Latgale, 6 from Vidzeme, 5 from Zemgale, 5 from Kurzeme and 4 from Riga. The results of the survey show that the majority of respondents in Latvia are small organizations that do not have unused resources at their disposal. According to information research, there are 117 social enterprises operating in Latvia, most of them oriented towards environmental protection (57.4%) and education (38.5%).
Latvia consists of 4 regions: Kurzeme, Vidzeme, Zemgale and Latgale. RTA is located in Latgale region, therefore the research is mainly related to Latgale region. In this way, the project’s research on unused resources in Latgale region shows that there are many unused buildings left over from the USSR. Large amounts of money are needed to restore them, which the state and local governments do not have. Private owners are also not interested in renovating old buildings as it is very expensive.
Within the framework of the project two information awareness seminars were organized in cooperation with Rezekne Municipality, NGO and State Agency for Social Integration, Jurmala. During these meetings, employees of municipalities, NGOs and local social enterprises were introduced to the project goals, objectives and main results to be achieved. As a result of the seminars an agreement was reached on mutual cooperation in achieving the project results.
Capacity building seminars for young and emerging social entrepreneurs have been conducted as part of the project to strengthen their knowledge and experience. As a result, the NGO participants who participated in these seminars gained specific knowledge about the specifics of social entrepreneurship in Latvia, its financing and taxation. They use the gained knowledge and experience in their daily work in their social enterprises and NGOs.