Foreigners living in Latvia and their families take part in the clean-up and landscaping of the Riga Zoo

15.05.2024
Foreigners living in Latvia and their families take part in the clean-up and landscaping of the Riga Zoo

During the week of the Big Clean-up, the Riga National Zoo hosted a clean-up event for foreigners, jointly organised by Media Hub Riga and the Integration and Inclusion Agency of the Society Integration Foundation, in which 86 participants took part to clean and improve the Riga Zoo for the new season.

 

The aim of the clean-up was to participate in cleaning up and improving the environment, creating a feeling of togetherness, positivity and a job well done. This is a great tradition that allows people to get to know each other better and fosters a sense of belonging to the country.

 

Together with foreigners from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and Uzbekistan living in Latvia, the staff of the Integration and Inclusion Agency and Media Hub Riga actively participated in the clean-up and improvement of Riga Zoo – trees and shrubs were planted, sand, wood chips and black earth were brought for planting, and a sensory trail was created. As spring arrived, Riga Zoo also needed hands to rake leaves, weed and plant flowers. After the clean-up, families had the opportunity to visit the Riga Zoo, which was especially appreciated by the youngest volunteers.

 

Several participants shared their positive emotions about being together and the work they had done.

 

Olga took part in the clean-up with her children: “I am grateful to Latvia and the whole society for the opportunity to live in safety. Participating in joint events is an opportunity to show that we want to be considered own people, that we are ready to participate and do things together. Although we do not know how much longer we will be here, we are here today and we are grateful to be welcomed.”

 

Oksana from Ukraine lives in Latvia with her two children: “I am grateful for the opportunity to take part in the clean-up, to do good deeds together and meet other people at the same time. I really enjoyed the tour! I think it is a very good way to meet and get to know each other in an informal atmosphere. Ukrainian residents have the opportunity to visit Riga Zoo for free, but when we came to Latvia we had other priorities and didn’t take advantage of this opportunity, but now is the time!”

 

This is the second year that Maksim and his large family have participated in the spring clean-up: “Activities like this are very important for my family. We love Latvia and Riga very much, so cleaning up the capital is a pleasure. For example, every spring we plant flowers outside the windows of our Riga apartment. This is our modest contribution to greening our street. Last year we went with the children to the Big Clean-up in Zaķusala, and this year we were happy to take part in a similar event at Riga Zoo. It was a pleasure to meet many fellow journalists there who were equally engaged and not indifferent. I would also like to thank the Media Hub Riga team for organising the previous campaigns.”

 

The Integration and Inclusion Agency of the Society Integration Foundation and Media Hub Riga work to promote the integration of newcomers into Latvian society.

 

Media Hub Riga provides support to expatriate foreign media workers who are unable to pursue their professional activities in their home countries due to restrictions on freedom of expression and threats to their lives. In Latvia, they receive legal, social and professional integration support and access to a safe working environment. Media Hub Riga has supported 32 media and non-governmental organisations, a total of 712 media workers and their families since the beginning of 2022.

 

The Integration and Inclusion Agency of the Society Integration Foundation provides all the necessary information support to third-country nationals and beneficiaries of international protection in one place for their resettlement in Latvia and successful socio-economic integration. Counselling can also provide information on entry and residence conditions, employment, housing, healthcare, education, humanitarian aid and help with individual situations. The Agency provides interpretation and translation services in more than 24 languages, as well as legal assistance. Individual counselling with a psychologist and a psychotherapist will be introduced in the near future.

 

 

The implementation of the services of the Integration and Inclusion Agency is provided within the framework of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund project implemented by the Public Integration Fund (contract No PMIF/13.1./2022/1/01). Funding is provided by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (75%) and the Latvian state budget (25%).

 

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