Reflecting on 2023: A Year of Milestones and Achievements

Reflecting on 2023: A Year of Milestones and Achievements

In January of this year, the Society Integration Foundation (SIF) started a new project – Integration and Inclusion Agency (IIA) with the aim of providing informational support and services to third country nationals and persons in need of international protection (refugees, persons who have been granted alternative status, and asylum seekers) all in one place. 3 regional branches were opened in less than a year:

  • Kurzeme branch - in Liepāja, at the premises of the Liepāja City Council, Rožu Street 6;
  • Zemgale branch - in Jelgava, at the premises of the Jelgava Public Center (Jelgavas Sabiedriskais cents), Skolotāju Street 8;
  • Latgale branch - in Daugavpils, Ģimnāzijas Street 11.

It is planned to open a branch in Valmiera in the first quarter of 2024.

The agency offers a wide range of information according to the needs and problems of the target group through face-to-face and/or online individual consultations. Information is provided in Latvian, Russian and English, while in cases where the client uses another language of communication, an interpreter is provided if necessary. In situations that require the involvement of other specialists (situations of violence, crisis related situations when entering the territory of Latvia, unemployment, obstacles that prevent receiving services, etc.), a Change Agent is deployed who works with the client on a long-term basis.

In addition to individual consultations and interpretation services, the agency has been offering translation services and legal assistance since November. Psychologist and Psychotherapist consultations are planned to be introduced at the beginning of next year.

From January to the end of December 2023, Client Consultants of the IIA provided a total of 3,644 individual consultations. Meanwhile, the translation service was provided 260 times.

The greatest interest the target group has are about the topics of issuing a residence permit, finding a job in Latvia without knowledge of the Latvian language, receiving e-services through, opportunities to learn Latvian language and issues related to healthcare. Client Consultants and Change Agents of the IIA also provide the necessary assistance in the preparation of submission letters to the state institutions, information on the availability of social services and explain the decisions of the state institutions within the framework of consultations.

The IIA thanks customers and partners for their trust and cooperation in 2023, wishes them a happy and successful 2024!

Services of the Integration and Inclusion Agency are provided by the Society Integration Foundation within the framework of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund’s project (Agreement No. PMIF/13.1./2022/1/01). The funding has been allocated by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (75%) and Latvian State budget (25%).

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