promoting inclusive societies

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Latvia

Project Liaison:  Christoph Siedersleben, v. Bodelschwinghschen Stiftungen Bethel, Germany

KOPA is an organization in Latvia, Riga that has been working with and advocating for adults and children with disabilities for more than 16 years. The organization's goal is to promote the integration, independence and participation of people with disabilities in society.

One of KOPA's main guidelines is to advocate for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their family members in the area of social care.

KOPA considers the current situation of the country, special circumstances and opportunities in the way it provides services and advocates for people with disabilities. Services provided by KOPA meet Social Service Law and Social Assistance Law in Latvia and also they mesh with the global health strategy that people with disabilities have rights to receive social rehabilitation services in the community in which they live.

Work with IMPACT's partner in Latvia, KOPA, began in 1994 when Mosaic first began providing support.  When IMPACT was formed in 2001, the project was transferred to IMPACT.

The first joint effort concerned a project called the "Community Experience Program" Today, the care and rehabilitation center supports young adults who have disabilities to become participants in their community.  Through the project, members of the community were also educated about people with disabilities.  After Latvia's entrance into the European Union, the focus of the project evolved into actual service provision.

Day Center

The Day Care and Rehabilitation Center for 16 people with disabilities is one of the first and oldest of KOPA's services. The goals of the Center are to provide social care, social rehabilitation skills and services from social work specialists to improve the integration of people with disabilities in society and in the labor market. Clients in the Center receive psychosocial support, develop skills and abilities for independent living, training on how to find employment, improve their knowledge of positive communication skills, develop understanding and knowledge of issues related to mental health and a healthy life style, develop interest in being involved in public activities, receive an opportunity to spend their free time in a very good way, and to improve their quality of li

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Residential Services

Another KOPĀ's service is the Group Home for 24 clients. The project involves people with disabilities who moved from two social care centers to start their lives in Riga.

The main goal of the project is to provide 24-hour individual social rehabilitation services for adults with mental illness who need support to live independently, but do not need to be in long-term social care and social rehabilitation institutions.

Specialized Workshops (sewing and laundry)

The goals of the workshops are to:

  1. provide social integration for people with mental illness to promote their skills in different crafts

  2. train clients for definite work skills and to use those skills in the workplace

  3. training necessary practical skills for independent living


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